Julian Castro, Barack Obama's housing chief, launches 2020 U.S. presidential bid

Julian Castro To Announce 2020 Presidential Bid Saturday

In a Saturday morning speech at San Antonio's Plaza Guadalupe, Castro denounced President Donald Trump's immigration policies-including his demand for billions of dollars in border wall funding that's produced the longest government shutdown in us history-and his charaterization of refugees from Central and South America arriving at the Southern border as "a national security crisis".

Castro's entry into the race was widely expected after he formed an exploratory committee last month.

Introduced by his mother, local activist Rosie Castro, he said the country was going through a crisis of leadership under President Donald Trump.

Castro was reflective days before his announcement, acknowledging how his wife's support and mother's political work helped him get to this point. He only barely registers in polls, and sometimes isn't included as an option at all. The committee held a hearing on "HUD Accountability". Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) have already announced definitive intentions to run for president in 2020. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sen.

In an interview with NBC News on Friday, Castro said: "Mine is an immigrant story. The opportunities that made America the america that we love, those opportunities are reaching fewer and fewer people".

Castro added that his grandmother Victoria, who sat on a stage behind him beneath a huge American flag, would surely have been amazed when she arrived from Mexico in 1922, a seven-year-old orphan, had she known that one grandchild would end up in Congress and the other as a presidential candidate.

Castro does not speak fluent Spanish, writing in his 2018 memoir that his mother spoke English at home, like many immigrants at the time, and that he declined to take Spanish classes in school because he spoke it with his grandmother.

Former San Antonio Mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro waves as he arrives with his family to an event where he announced his decision to seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, January 12, 2019, in San Antonio.

Two days after the president visited the border to promote his promised wall, Castro mocked Trump for claiming that the USA faces an "invasion" from its ally to the south.

Castro had harsh words for the president as the nation's government shutdown continues due to conflicts over building a wall along the southern border. "Yeah, we have to have border security, but there is a smart and a humane way to do it". His brother, Joaquin, is a member of the House from Texas.

But Castro told CNN that he believes he can perform well in Iowa and is backing that confidence up, according to a source with knowledge of Castro's operation, by naming Derek Eadon, the former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, to a senior role on his nascent campaign.

Castro's next stop and his first trip as a presidential candidate is to Puerto Rico.

Castro's previous turns in the national political spotlight included delivering the keynote address at Democrats' 2012 national convention and mention in 2016 as a possible vice presidential running mate for Hillary Clinton.

In response to Castro's announcement, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee called Castro one of the "biggest lightweights to ever run for president", saying he was a weak mayor and questioning his tenure as Housing and Urban Development secretary.