Following information late final month that the president was planning Texas fundraisers, a Twitter person prompt Julián Castro maintain a rally “simply to flex on [T]rump.” Castro took that recommendation. | Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Photographs
The Texas Democrat appears to be like to jump-start his presidential marketing campaign by holding an occasion in his hometown the identical day the president is there.
Julián Castro hasn’t launched his first-quarter fundraising numbers. He’s polling round 1 % nationally and in early states. However he has a singular alternative for a presidential main breakout second Wednesday, when he’ll maintain a rally in his San Antonio hometown — the identical day Donald Trump might be in Texas for fundraisers in Houston and San Antonio.
The split-screen second labored wonders for former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) in February, when he staged a counter-rally to Trump’s personal MAGA rally in El Paso. Apart from the nationwide media protection of the dueling occasions, O’Rourke acquired a windfall of consideration from Democrats for elevating the president’s ire — Trump derided him as “a younger man who’s acquired little or no going for himself besides he’s acquired a terrific first identify.”
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“Beto’s occasion in El Paso was actually good for Beto — and he wasn’t even within the race but — as a result of it pitted him immediately towards the president,” mentioned Harold Prepare dinner, a Texas Democratic marketing consultant. “I simply actually can’t assist however suppose that this has in all probability acquired to be an excellent tactical transfer for Castro.”
Following information late final month that the president was planning the Texas fundraisers, a Twitter person prompt Castro maintain a rally “simply to flex on [T]rump.” Castro took that recommendation, tweeting inside hours an RSVP hyperlink for a San Antonio rally.
Trump’s newest journey to Texas gained’t supply Castro the identical highlight it did O’Rourke. The president’s fundraisers are non-public occasions, and his cease in San Antonio will happen within the afternoon, earlier than Castro’s Wednesday evening rally.
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Nonetheless, it’s an opportunity for Castro, the mayor of San Antonio for 5 years earlier than serving as President Barack Obama’s Housing and City Growth secretary, to protest Trump’s immigration insurance policies on a giant stage.
San Antonio can be the place Trump’s 2020 marketing campaign supervisor, Brad Parscale, constructed his net advertising enterprise earlier than becoming a member of Trump’s marketing campaign in 2016.
Castro’s “Individuals First” rally will come every week after he launched an immigration plan of the identical identify. In January, Trump falsely claimed to reporters outdoors the White Home that San Antonio had a border wall to assist cut back its crime charge, although the town is roughly 150 miles north of the border and has no such construction.
“It’s a godsend for [Castro’s] marketing campaign,” mentioned Colin Strother, a Texas Democratic strategist who as soon as suggested Castro. “It’s the big-ticket attention-getter that he’s actually been needing.”
Castro’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Texas Democrats anticipate Castro’s occasion will seize the president’s consideration.
“It might shock me if the president didn’t say one thing about it,” Prepare dinner mentioned. “He all the time strikes again any time someone pokes him within the eye. And I don’t suppose when he does so it does something to detract from his critic. What it finally ends up doing is elevating his critic.”
And in a race with 18 candidates and counting, a battle with Trump might immediately drive media protection and supply a fundraising enhance — each of which Castro wants.
Castro has mentioned he hasn’t but met the Democratic Nationwide Committee’s 65,000 donor requirement for the debates this summer time. Between that and his low polling numbers, Castro is at present vulnerable to not assembly the factors for making the stage.
“There’s lots of people on the market, lots of people competing for money and media protection and tweets and volunteers, and it’s gonna be actually vital to interrupt out,” Strother mentioned. “This very effectively may very well be the catalyst that enables him to take action.”
A profitable rally might function a springboard for Castro’s marketing campaign because it segues into his CNN city corridor Thursday evening with Don Lemon. A broadly praised efficiency by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at his CNN city corridor final month gave him a major enhance: He raised $600,000 inside the subsequent 24 hours and completed the primary quarter with a $7 million haul.
Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Celebration, mentioned the previous couple of weeks have in all probability been the perfect two weeks of Castro’s marketing campaign — and the rally will solely assist. Hinojosa expects Castro to current a transparent distinction between him and Trump when he takes the stage.
“What Secretary Castro is doing, he’s acquired a selected plan and it’s detailed and it’s the primary time among the many presidential candidates that you just’ve seen such an in depth plan on in all probability one of the vital talked about points that People are going through immediately,” he mentioned. “As an alternative of getting a merely rah-rah situation to agency up your base like Mr. Trump has performed, Secretary Castro is speaking options that I believe have a broad base of help amongst all People.”
Castro’s rally isn’t with out danger: Turnout will invite comparisons to O’Rourke’s crowd measurement two months in the past.
In an effort to generate curiosity, the marketing campaign has despatched texts to supporters and promoted the occasion closely on-line. Castro himself promoted the rally in native interviews Tuesday evening to unfold consciousness.
“I’m throwing an anti-Trump, Individuals First rally to provide him the welcome he deserves — an awesome exhibiting of opposition,” mentioned one marketing campaign invitation. “I would like Trump to know: If you come into our home and insult our immigrant brothers and sisters — the implications might be dire.”
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