The rats are abandoning a sinking ship. Democrat presidential candidate Julian Castro swung big in the last televised Democrat debate and missed. Bigly. Now he has lost an endorser – from Texas, no less.
Rep. Vincente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) was interviewed on CNN’s State of the Union and made a big announcement. The lawmaker said he is ditching Team Castro and is suiting up with Team Biden. Worst of all, Gonzalez didn’t talk to Castro about his decision before he went on and told host Jake Tapper about it. Yikes! He justified his snub by saying he had spoken to Julian’s twin brother, Joaquin, who serves with him in the House.
You can watch the interview HERE.
When asked about what he thought of Castro’s aggressive, condescending dust-up with Biden during the last Democrat debate, Gonzalez brushed the behavior off as “fair game” in a political debate but admitted that Castro’s delivery “could have been better.’ When asked why he decided to make a change in endorsements, Gonzalez said that Biden’s been a statesman.
What struck me during the interview, though, was Gonzalez mentioning more than once that he thinks Biden is mentally sharp and in great health. “He’s sharp.” He also said that he’s met with Biden and he’s met with President Trump and Biden is in better health than the president. Tapper didn’t push him any further on that point. I would have questioned Gonzalez’s assumptions, though, as we see that Trump keeps a full schedule while Biden has taken a slow pace on the campaign trail.
Gonzalez said it isn’t just the polling that compelled him to choose Biden. He noted that candidates have to be able to raise money to go the distance in a campaign.
Biden is polling at the top of the Democratic field, and Castro is trailing well behind. González, in explaining his switch, noted that Castro was “polling in the low single digits.” He said everyone has to face reality. “If you’re polling in the low single digits and you’re not raising resources, it’s clearly a recipe for disaster.” “We need to be cognizant of that as a Democratic Party, wanting to defeat Trump.”
Gonzalez was quite clear that his top priority is to defeat Donald Trump in 2020. This makes him one of the Democrats that looks at Biden as the safe choice. It is his “number one goal.” He isn’t concerned about Biden’s gaffes or less than stellar performances on stage. “It’s easy to get off-track in the heat of a debate.”
The endorsement switch must be particularly painful for Castro – he only had three Congressional endorsements and one was his twin brother.
Gonzalez had been one of three Texas Democrats in Congress to back the former San Antonio mayor and U.S housing secretary, along with Dallas Rep. Colin Allred and the White House hopeful’s twin, San Antonio Rep. Joaquin Castro. He was also a rare backer from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Gonzalez is right, though, the field should be narrowing. At this point, the real possibilities for the nomination are Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. Julian Castro hasn’t captured the imagination of Democrat primary voters. That candidate seems to be Elizabeth Warren. Biden is the safe, familiar choice, and Sanders has his loyal BernieBros from 2016. Warren is the candidate who has risen from the rest of the herd and has even overtaken Bernie in some polls. The candidates like Castro in the race are simply running for vice-president at this point, or maybe a position in the cabinet, if a Democrat wins in 2020.