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Julian Castro targets Trump in Fox News ad: 'You stoked the fire of racists'

Matt Zdun, Austin American-Statesman on

Published in News & Features

AUSTIN, Texas -- Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro is blaming President Donald Trump for last week's mass shooting in El Paso, saying Americans were killed because the president "stoked the fire of racists."

And his message is intended to be delivered in a way that is very personal to the president -- via a new ad that will run Wednesday on a Fox News channel where Trump is vacationing at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J.

"President Trump, you referred to countries as s---holes," Castro says in the 30-second ad, with the expletive bleeped out. "You urged American congresswomen to 'go back to where they came from.' You called immigrants rapists.

"As we saw in El Paso, Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists. Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you. Because they look like me. They look like my family," Castro says.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Castro's campaign paid $2,775 for the ad to run during multiple shows, including "Fox & Friends," a morning show frequently watched by the president.

At the end of the ad, the former U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama says, "Words have consequences" and "Ya basta," a Spanish phrase that means enough.

A spokeswoman for Trump's campaign told the Austin American-Statesman that Castro was "using a tragedy for his own personal political gain" and that "voters will recognize this ad is just another desperate attempt by Castro to garner attention for his struggling presidential campaign."

The other Texan running for president, Beto O'Rourke, also has not shied away from criticizing the president in the wake of the El Paso shooting that left 22 people dead and more than two dozen injured.

 

"When President Donald Trump describes Mexican immigrants as 'rapists' and 'bringing crime,' or refers to undocumented immigrants as individuals who 'infest our country' -- he speaks not as America's president but as an emissary of hate. And his vilification and fear-mongering connect with those who are open to receiving it," O'Rourke said in a CNN op-ed published Tuesday. "As long as the president employs this rhetoric, and as long as it is tolerated or ignored by so many, tragedies like these will continue to tear our country apart."

Last week, Castro's twin brother, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, faced the president's ire when he tweeted out a list of prominent San Antonians who had donated to Trump's campaign, wanting them to "think twice" about funding a president whom the congressman said has made Latinos feel less safe.

Trump tweeted in response: "I don't know who Joaquin Castro is other than the lesser brother of a failed presidential candidate (1%) who makes a fool of himself every time he opens his mouth."

(c)2019 Austin American-Statesman, Texas

Visit Austin American-Statesman, Texas at www.statesman.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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