November 8th, 2012
09:46 AM ET
2 years ago

Julian Castro predicts big change in Texas

(CNN) – San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a Democrat, predicted Thursday Latinos will play an expanding role in the political future of Texas, a reliably red state.

"I think when you have that ground work and when you have the right candidates to excite folks, then you're going to start to see progress and within the next six to eight years, I believe that Texas will at least be a purple state, if not a blue state," Castro said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

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Castro, who gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in September, argued the GOP's "tone on issues like immigration" and Republican positions against the 2010 health care law have turned Latinos away from the party. The new law, he says, will cover nine million more Latinos, which he called a "big deal" for a demographic that largely relies on the emergency room as "their primary care physician."

Latinos represent a growing portion of the national electorate, including 10% in this year's election, according to CNN exit polls. Of those who voted, President Barack Obama won 71% of their support, while Mitt Romney carried 27%. This year marked the first time the Latino electorate reached a double digit figure; in 2008, they represented nine percent of the vote.

Castro said in order to gain more support from Latinos, Republicans have to become a bigger tent party. "They can't tow the line of the tea party and expect they're going to be able to appeal to Latinos and other groups."

While that may be the case on a national level, Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas said the Lone Star State should be considered a model for the GOP in learning how to be more inclusive.
She cited the state's version of the DREAM Act, which allows certain students who came to the country illegally to attend state universities.

She also pointed to the state's next U.S. senator, Ted Cruz, whose family came from Cuba. He's replacing Hutchison following her retirement in January.

"I think Texas is a way forward to show you can be very conservative and talk about the issues that Hispanics…embrace," she said on "Starting Point," adding that many of the state's small business owners are Hispanic. "I think it's doable for sure at a national level if we follow the Texas model."


Filed under: Democrats • Kay Bailey Hutchison • Texas • Republicans • 2012
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F

    Even voter suppression will not prevent Texas from going blue.

    November 8, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. Donkey Party

    Clinton / Castro 2016!!!

    November 8, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. Jessica

    As a native of San Antonio, TX, I can say with absolute conviction that Mayor Castro is correct. The senior political leaders in Texas (e.g., governor and sentors) might be very conservative, but almost every major urban area in Texas is democratic-including San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Brownsville, and El Paso, to name a few. And our state demographics have been growing over the past years, especiall with more folks moving to Texas due to the recession. The growing population of young adults, women, Latinos and other minorities means that Texas is-slowly-moving away from its ultra-conservative roots. And as a native Texan, I couldn't be happier with that.

    P.S., Chuck Norris, please stop saying Texas should leave the union. The Civil War was more than a century ago-it's over with.

    November 8, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. Facts don't Lie

    I live in Texas and I hope he is right and I'm STILL alive when it happens.

    November 8, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. vatoloke

    As a displaced Texan, I certainly hope so. Would love to return but not while the TeaNuts with Goobernor Parry and his gang have the state politics in a stranglehold.

    November 8, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. "NUFFSAID"

    There won' be a democratic party in 6 or 8 years. After this fiasco we are about to witness, I will be a two party system, but the democratic party will not be one of them.
    "NUFFSAID"

    November 8, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. BLKman who votes

    I hope so, it will take some time but go for it.

    November 8, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    That's been my prediction as well Mr. Mayor. We will turn Texas blue. Heck, I may move back to san Antonio to help in that process. Virginia is obviously blue now.

    November 8, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. anonoymous

    As an afro american this saddens me. I always thought our elected officials were suppose to govern the people not try to rally a new base. Why dont the politicians already know who they represent? Seems like they should reaching out to their districts instead of just their supporters. I live in a red state and im a democrat but i have to say I'Ve gotten a lot of surveys and other info from Kevin Yoder. He has held job fares and town hall meetings in our democratic country. The people know who he is and at least he's trying. If the politicans did what they were elected to do all people no matter the ethnicity would support them because they would genuinely care about their needs. This notion of being more appealing to get people to vote for you after they have seen how you really feel wont work. That's why the republicans dont they to whoo us because some of us know how they really feel and we dont trust them.

    November 8, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. fayse

    I am a Texan and I would love to see our State turn to purple, if not blue–once more.

    November 8, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. Liza

    Hillary Clinton for 2016!!!!!!

    November 8, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. Name Pete

    Mr. Castro is in line for the next Democratic President,he's articulate,smart,intelligent and God fearing,we have to lead the young people,and I don't see any one on the Repulican side who can inspire our youth.

    November 8, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. judy

    he is right and the republicans had better listen or their party will go down the tubes. You cannot ignor woman and minorities. They are half the country. We don't want tokens but real people with real ideas. The democratic party understands that. For to long the repos have tried to make it look like anyone with different skin color was on the welfare dole or not as patriotic. Thats wrong and you need to chaned your thinking. We are Americans and we will be heard. Lets work togeather for once Forward

    November 8, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Data Driven

    Yep, and by the time Tejas is purple, AZ will already be blue! The entire Southwest will be a Rhapsody in Blue by 2020!

    November 8, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Big Changes Coming Everywhere

    The country will change based on the results of this election. Blacks, Hispanics, students and single woman overwhelmingly voted to elect the person that would continue providing them with free stuff! From now on, all I care about is what I am personally going to get from the political decisions being made in Washington.. The future generations can just deal with whatever is left from this once great country..

    November 8, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Kef14

    Man would it be sweet if this guys twin was a republican and ran against him.

    November 8, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Latina

    Mr. Castro you are full of it. I am a Latina and there is no weay Texas will change. Half of the Hispanics are in South Texas. Remember,Texas is a Republican State and no way will it change. Romney won Texas big. No way will Texas be like California. What cool aid are you drinking. Just because Mr. Castro is a mayor of San Antonio he can't change Dallas nor Houston or the surrounding towns. Mr. Castro Keep your Hispanic "Butt" in San Antonio.

    November 8, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. fernace

    The GOT-Party as it stands today, can't expect to appeal to Any group that isn't big oil, big biz, big church or independently wealthy! Texas has been in a cut & slash frenzy in areas such as womens healthcare, education, emergency services, aid for elderly & infirm, while the "bigs" enjoy all sorts of subsidies, tax cuts, exemptions & prefered status! The divide between Rich & Poor grows incrementally larger each year, in most red states w/this type of system! It seems to me that the current GOP–T-Party mindset is geared to creating this gap, so they can be a very exclusive group, sans the riffraff! In order for Americans to take them seriously again, they need to tone down their divisive message! If we're not good enough for them to represent us in Washington, we'll support the party that includes All people, or go independent! Whatever their motives are, their divisive agenda will not fly in such a diversified society! Give up y'alls visions of a "ruling class" a la 1912 & join us in the 21st Century!!

    November 8, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. chilly g

    i hope this guy runs for governor of texas and win and i think all he has to do is run and he will win.

    November 8, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    He s simply hoping he can evoke that change with illegal immigration........and he has the total support of the Dems......to win, in any way possible, because all the Dems care about, is POWER!

    November 8, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. Name Independent Thinker

    I agree with Julian Castro. Hopefully besides Texas, we may see a few more of the Southern States turn purple. The mindset of the GOP in the South, borders on ignorance and fear.

    November 8, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Roy

    I really like how some of my fellow Texans think that Ted Cruz represents Hispanics in Texas...apparently they do not know the difference between Cuba (pretty conservative) and Mexico (pretty moderate.) If you think that the majority of Hispanics agree with Ted Cruz and the tea party Republicans, you are sadly mistaken. Julian Castro has it right, and Texas WILL become at least purple...then we will see how the Republicans fare.

    November 8, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. just sayin

    americans are a generous people. so generous that they are giving their country away to illegals that are flooding the country, who then get amnesty. we are idiots. the browning of america is not raising this country up, it is lowering it for everybody already here. let the racist screams begin but it is the truth. soon we'll be another mexico.

    November 8, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Karen

    Red, Blue, Purple, or Green. I just want to live in a state/country where people are expected to take care of themselves..and get up an go to work every morning like I have for the last 40 years..60-70 hours a week..to build my own business. Enough with the free and easy life that all thet democrats are voting for. In Obama's words, the people of this country are too stupid to take care of themselves and he was proven right with this election when they voted for him. When the makers are outnumbered by the takers...and this last election proves that, it is the end of our democracy. History has proven that over and over again. I will never understand why the hispanic population left a country because of the misery they endured there to just come here and do the same thing to this one. ??????????

    November 8, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Patrick

    Castro wants to be the first latino president. He will not do it through Texas. The Senate and Governor route is closed he will lose any statewide election. He is throwing out a trial balloon trying to gauge sentiment for a statewide race. He will lose. The only way for him to garner national attention is to receive a cabinet position. He is stuck. We will defeat him in any statewide race. Bring it on boy Castro you will lose!

    November 8, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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