Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro says it’s time to “disarm hate” and prioritize federal investigations of “white supremacist terrorism.” Castro released his plan this (Friday) morning, then spoke at The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair. Someone in the crowd asked Castro why he wasn’t in El Paso with former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
“I don’t think what they need is more presidential candidates over there. What they need is us expressing our support and what they really need is action,” Castro said, to applause and cheers from the crowd. “They need congress, they need Mitch McConnell to get the Senate back in session and to pass common sense gun safety legislation. That’s what we can do for the people of El Paso and Dayton and everywhere else.” And Castro praised O’Rourke for what O’Rourke has done and said in his hometown of El Paso this past week.
“Let me tell you that Congressman O’Rourke a wonderful job of expressing all the emotion that all of us have about what happened in El Paso,” Castro said. “And our hearts go out to the people of El Paso and to Congressman O’Rourke.” Castro says it’s important to bridge “cultural divides” in America to combat the rise of white nationalism. He also supports “strict background checks” for gun purchases. Castro will be among the 16 candidates who speak Saturday at a gun policy forum in Des Moines.