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Castro Brothers Address Immigration, Trump in Madison Appearance

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Photo by Nicholas Garton

Democratic Presidential candidate Julian Castro and his twin brother, US Congressman Joaquin Castro, hosted a witty, energetic sit-down inside the Shannon Hall at the Memorial Union on Saturday afternoon. The forum was part of Idea Fest, a series of talks and panels put on by the Capital Times on UW Campus this past weekend. 

Julian Castro, who was coming off of a lively Democratic candidate debate in which he exchanged barbs with frontrunner Joe Biden, said that he is running for president because no matter what happens in 2020, America can not afford to have Donald Trump as president any longer. 

“We have to, no matter what happens in 2020, we have to defeat Donald Trump,” Julian Castro told the audience. “I’m fighting for the American people and that’s who I’m gonna continue to fight for. I’m in the debate to win that debate. We need a person who is going to get up there and win against President Trump.”

During the Democratic debate on Thursday night, Castro took Joe Biden to task on Biden’s health care plan. The former Vice President implied that some people would need to “buy in” to have health care. Castro said that no one should have to buy in and that every American should have health insurance coverage. Biden then tried to say he hadn’t actually said the words “buy in”. An audible murmur cascaded through the debate night audience as Castro then asked if Biden couldn’t even remember what he’d said two minutes earlier, a clear shot at the Democratic frontrunner’s age. 

Castro was low key about the debate moment during Idea Fest on Saturday saying that he and the Vice President go way back and have tremendous respect for one another. 

The conversation shifted through a variety of topics including homelessness, immigration and gun control. The moderator for the event was David Maranis,, an acclaimed author who wrote “When Pride Still Mattered”, one of the definative books about the Green Bay Packers during the Vince Lombardi era. 

Joaquin Castro described in detail the situation at the US-Mexico border, where thousands of people are being detained in inhumane conditions. Joaquin said that facilities he visited lacked running water in toilets even. 

“Any American who has visited and seen how people are treated there, I don’t think anyone would be proud of how people are being treated,” Joaquin Castro told the audience. “We’re trying to make sure our government is treating them the right way.”

As for Julian Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is currently trailing behind much of the field according to polls. But Castro remains committed and upbeat and told the audience in Madison that he’s in the race for the long haul and that, by and large, Americans are turned off by the values and behavior of Donald Trump.