Potential Presidential Candidate Julián Castro Visits N.H.

Feb 16, 2018

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro speaking at an event with President Barack Obama in Phoenix, Arizona in 2015.
Credit Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will be in New Hampshire on Friday to speak with young people in the state. He served under President Obama's administration from 2014 to 2017.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Castro about his visit.


(Editor's note: this transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

The NH Young Democrats are holding their Granite Slate Awards dinner this evening. Can you tell us what you plan to talk about in that speech?

Sure, yeah. I'm spending 2018 focusing on supporting young progressive candidates around the country that are running in 2018. So tonight I'm going to commend the NH Young Democrats for being one of the most effective state organizations in terms of young Democrats, and getting folks to run and getting young people to participate. They've seen the number of young candidates just skyrocket this year and they've had a good outreach effort. So I'm going to talk to them about that. I'm also going to share with them what I believe as Democrats, we need to put forward as a blueprint for 21st century opportunity that includes universal pre-k, universal health coverage, raising the minimum wage, making sure that we protect Social Security and Medicare. So it should be a good visit. This will be the first time, in the last couple of years at least, that I've had a chance to get out to Manchester and I appreciate the invitation very much.

I know that you're also planning on making a stop at St. Anselm College for a roundtable with students at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Can you talk about what you're hoping to hear from students and how that conversation might go?

I'm looking forward to a conversation about what's on their minds. You know, I think a lot of time students today wonder about whether job opportunities are going to be there for them in the same way that they were for their older siblings or for their parents. There's a decent amount of anxiety out there. But also they are engaged on issues. What we're watching in Washington, D.C. in terms of the immigration debate, the tax plan that was just passed, I have no doubt that the students there at St. Anselm have been engaged and are up to date on a lot of those issues. And I look forward to talking to them about it.

Let's talk a little bit about why specifically you do want to be in New Hampshire, not only for these invitations, but you know you have in the recent past expressed strong interest in running for president come 2020. Is that still in your plan?

I am. You know I'm thinking about running and I think it's important to be straightforward with folks, but I'm going to spend my time between now and November helping people that are actually on the ballot this year. We have a lot in front of us in terms of trying to take back the House of Representatives and see some measure of accountability against an administration that is out of control in so many ways. So I'm going to focus on that. But by the end of the year, I'll make a decision about my own future and about running in 2020.

Is this trip somewhat of a gauging process?

I have no doubt that I'll get a chance to hear what people are thinking and just get a better sense of the way that the direction that things are going in in 2018 and beyond that. You can't pick up too much from 24 hours in a place. If I do decide to run, I'm sure that I'll be here many more times. But I'm looking forward at least to hearing a little bit of all of that and getting a sense of what people are thinking.

You're 43, yourself. You would be a younger candidate for president, and you have said that come 2020 people are going to be looking for a new wave of Democrats.

Yeah. You know I think that we have a whole range of talented people that are going to likely run in 2020. That's going to be a real blessing to folks I think, because they're going to have a lot of choices, and a lot of people who are talented and have great experience. And whether I'm in that race or not, what I think is going to happen in 2020 is that the American people are going to look for the next generation of leadership. And that's not a knock on folks who have been around for a long time or served for a long time. You have a lot of great folks that have. But what I hear out there is that people are ready for the next generation of leadership. So I think that that's going to happen in 2020.