Julian Castro was likely not well known outside of San Antonio before Tuesday night, but he sure is now.
The eloquent young Democrat electrified a crowd in Charlotte, North Carolina as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, earning him praise and even comparisons to another show-stopping keynote speech of a few years before. Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, has been compared to Barack Obama, who himself used a DNC keynote speech in 2004 to make his introduction to the nation.
The 37-year-old’s words were carefully picked to demonstrate his humble beginnings, being raised by a single mother and grandmother who both emigrated from Mexico. But Julian Castro was also sharp in his criticism of Mitt Romney, painting him as out of touch and his ideas as retreads of already-failed policies Republicans have been pushing for decades.
Castro said (via Fox News):
“Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it. A few months ago he visited a university in Ohio and gave the students there a little entrepreneurial advice. ‘Start a business,’ he said. But how? “‘Borrow money if you have to from your parents,’ he told them. Gee, why didn’t I think of that? Some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn’t determine whether you can pursue your dreams. I don’t think Gov. Romney meant any harm. I think he’s a good guy. He just has no idea how good he’s had it.”
Julian Castro also hit Mitt Romney on the standard Democratic hot button issues, The Huffington Post noted. He criticized Romney for his stances on gay marriage, abortion rights, and even Romney’s own push for universal health care in Massachusetts.
Romney’s camp shot back at Julian Castro’s speech, turning the middle class accusations back at Obama.
“Middle class families understand that they are not better off than they were four years ago because President Obama’s liberal policies have failed to turn around the economy,” spokesman Ryan Williams said.
Julian Castro had already been building up political steam in Texas ahead of the speech, The Huffington Post noted. Now in just a short time, his stature has increased even more, so, instead of just speculating whether he could become governor of Texas, some pundits are wondering if he could become the nations’ first Hispanic president.