2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro speaks with MSNBC’s Mariana Atencio about his $1.5 trillion plan to update the nation’s public education system and why it is a priority for him.
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Good Thursday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.
• After almost two years of subpoenas, indictments and search warrants, the results of Robert Mueller’s investigation will be made public today. The partially redacted report will tell us a lot about Russia’s 2016 election interference, possible contacts between Moscow and the Trump campaign and the still-contested issue of presidential obstruction. Here’s a full guide to what to expect.
SAN ANTONIO, Tex. — President Trump said on Wednesday that migrants pouring across the border with Mexico are dying in great numbers while other gang members arriving from Central America are marauding and threatening American ranchers.
The president used a high-dollar fund-raiser here to call attention to a situation that he said has been ignored in the media: the plight of migrants who cross illegally into the United States and then die of thirst or hunger.
“This never comes out in the fake news,” Mr. Trump said as he recounted the stories about migrants that about a dozen donors told him privately at his first stop in a visit to Texas that will take him to Houston later in the day. At Mr. Trump’s urging, several of the donors described finding the bodies of migrants — including pregnant women and children — in the vast brush of their property.
The president said that he had never heard the stories of migrants dying, even from his top immigration and border patrol officials. In fact, migrant advocates have for years documented the grim fate of some migrants who grow sick and die attempting to make it into the United States. The advocates say Mr. Trump’s policies have made the problem worse by limiting the number of migrants who can legally claim asylum at ports of entry, pushing more migrants to cross at remote areas of the border.
Several of the donors also told of how afraid they have felt when migrants from Central America, dressed in black, turned up at their homes.
“Dangerous people are coming here and the good people are dying,” Mr. Trump said, adding that the donors had all told him that the answer to the problem was to build his wall along the border with Mexico.
The president, who was joined at the round table with donors by Brad Parscale, his 2020 campaign manager, denied that the unscheduled remarks to reporters about the border were part of a campaign message. But moments later, as he attacked Democrats for failing to address border security, Mr. Trump said that immigration would be a tremendous issue for him and other Republicans in the 2020 campaign.
“I think they are going to pay a very big price in 2020,” Mr. Trump said. “I think the border is going to be an incredible issue. They want to have open borders.”
The issue of immigration and border security has been at the center of Mr. Trump’s political life for years. Fifteen days before the 2018 midterm elections, he held a rally in Texas to deliver dire warnings about immigration that helped Ted Cruz, the embattled Republican senator, win his campaign for a second term.
In the five months since he barnstormed the country declaring that an “invasion” of dangerous migrants was imminent, Mr. Trump has intensified his focus on immigration. He and his strategists believe that no issue better fires up his core supporters and proves that he has kept his campaign promises. The issue is certain to be at the center of the president’s case for a second term in the Oval Office.
In the last several days, Mr. Trump has forced out Kirstjen Nielsen, his Homeland Security secretary, and several other top immigration officials for being too timid about shutting down the border and changing asylum rules to deny entry to migrants seeking protection in the United States. A top administration official said Tuesday that the staffing changes were designed to make way for more aggressive immigration actions.
The 2020 presidential election will tell us much about the future political direction of Texas. The nation’s political future runs through our state and the other booming southwestern states that are changing just as speedily.
But ours is a newly softened political battleground, and candidates of all stripes are trying to make uncommon impacts as soon as they can. Last month, President Donald Trump visited El Paso to build support for the proposed border wall in an effort to shore up his support among the more conservative voters of our state. News networks broadcast Trump’s speech on a split screen with former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, who objected vociferously to the president’s plans at a rally across town, all while teasing a presidential run. Since then, he has jumped into the 2020 presidential race. Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro announced his candidacy for president at his home in San Antonio. Howard Schultz, Starbucks founder and a prospective independent candidate for president, spent the whole week in Texas just a few weeks after he participated in a CNN town hall meeting in Houston. Other 2020 presidential candidates such as U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, a Republican, were in Austin to speak at South by Southwest.
Though Texas has given its Electoral College votes to the Republican candidates in every election the past four decades, the convergence of candidates here may not be as surprising as some might think.
The Lone Star State is changing rapidly, and with it, its politics. Our population has surpassed 28 million people — 3 million more than a decade ago — and the Office of the State Demographer predicts the number of Texans will almost double over the next 30 years. These changes highlight our state’s explosive growth in diversity as people from all over the country migrate here. These rapid changes also portend serious challenges that need to be met with consensus leadership. Texas is a place where common-sense politics can prevail. Building…
Julian Castro, the former HUD Secretary now running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President, said that if elected President he will appoint a task force to examine whether the descendants of enslaved people should be paid reparations. He combined this with a critique of a comment by one of his opponents, Senator Bernie Sanders.
In January 1865, as the Civil War was grinding to a close, General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Orders No. 15 a series of orders providing for the confiscation of 400,000 acres of land along the Atlantic coast of the Confederacy, which was to be divided into parcels of up to 40 acres for settling formerly enslaved families and other free blacks in the vicinity of Sherman’s line of March. These orders were never put into effect.
Sherman did not specifically mention mules, though mules of course were integral to the agricultural economy of the day, and Sherman’s order became the basis of the proverb, “forty acres and a mule,” often cited in demands for reparation for former slaves (and, as mortality wore down the number of former slaves, in demands for reparations for their descendants) from that time to our own.
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“So if, under the Constitution, we compensate people because we take their property, why wouldn’t you compensate people who actually were property?” Castro asked.
The war of words between Democratic presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro over their disagreement on proposed reparations for descendants of slaves isn’t showing any signs of letting up.
The independent senator from Vermont’s 2020 presidential campaign manager – in a conference call Monday with reporters – accused Castro of playing politics and doing “a disservice” to Sanders’ lifelong advocacy “for racial and economic justice.”
Castro, the former San Antonio mayor who later served as Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, supports the idea of reparations for the descendants of slaves — which could come in the form of tax credits, subsidized education costs or other ideas. Two other Democratic presidential candidates – Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts – also back reparations.
Sanders rejected the idea of reparations during his 2016 White House bid, and earlier this month once again pushed back against the proposal.
“I think that right now, our job is to address the crises facing the American people and our…
As another South By Southwest festival kicks off, political events have become more commonplace among the film, technology, and music events.
CBS News Political Correspondent Ed O’Keefe says these events are opportunities for candidates and other political hopefuls.
“If there’s anything a presidential candidate needs, it’s to get in front of a crowd, whether it’s an early primary state, or a potential swing state like Texas, so I think they see this as a real opportunity to come, road test some messages,” O’Keefe said.
Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez echoes this. He was among the figures at the DNC’s fundraiser and meet-and-greet Friday evening.
“It’s become an iconic national event, and I wanted…
Senator Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, has joined the crowded field of Democratic candidates for 2020 that includes a historic number of women seeking the presidency.
The three-term senator, who is often characterized as “Minnesota nice” amid the rough-and-tumble of politics, is looking to be a foil to Donald Trump’s brash personality and often vitriolic rhetoric.
She stood outdoors in thick falling snow in Minneapolis on Sunday afternoon to declare: “In our nation’s heartland at a time when we must heal the heart of our democracy … I stand before you … as the first woman elected to the US Senate from Minnesota to announce my candidacy for president of the United States.”
Klobuchar, 59, is the sixth prominent woman to wade into the primary contest, which features a record number of women vying for a major-party nomination. She launched her candidacy at an outdoor event in Minneapolis on Sunday afternoon.
But amid an upbeat launch for the White House, there is a cloud over Klobuchar this weekend in the form of several reports late last week where ex-staffers claim the Minnesota Democrat has a reputation for running a workplace in Washington “controlled by fear, anger, and shame”, according to Buzzfeed.
A report in the Huffington Post said that at least three people withdrew from consideration to lead her forthcoming campaign — in part because of Klobuchar’s history…
The Democratic governor of Virginia apologized for his appearance in a “racist and offensive” costume in his medical school yearbook, but he defied bipartisan calls to step down Friday evening and intends to serve out his term.
“I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now,” said Governor Ralph Northam in a statement.
The photograph shows a person in blackface standing next to a person wearing the white robes and hood of the Ku Klux Klan. It is not apparent which figure is Northam, and the governor’s statement did not clarify that point, stating only that it shows “me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive”.
Other photographs on the yearbook page show a young Northam in a suit, wearing a cowboy hat, and sitting by a car. The page lists his interest as “pediatrics” and includes the following quote: “There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I’ll have another beer.”
The 59-year-old Northam was elected governor of Virginia in 2017, after having served a four-year term as lieutenant governor of the state. He had previously served in the US army, attended Eastern Virginia Medical School, and worked as a pediatric neurologist.
On January 12, 2019, Julián Castro, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, announced that he is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States, joining what already seems certain to be a very crowded field.
From June 2009 until July 2014, Castro was the mayor of San Antonio, Texas. During that period, he was put on the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders, and on Time’s list of “40 under 40,’ that magazine’s scorecard of the rising stars of US politics.
In July 2014, Castro left the Mayor’s office to take a position in the cabinet of President Barack Obama, as Secretary of HUD.
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Castro held his position in the Obama administration for as long as that administration itself continued in office. In his final days on the job, in January 2017, Castro wrote that his successors should realize that HUD is a “vital department” which, like the underlying housing market itself, is “crucial to the continued improvement of the American economy and the security of millions of Americans.”