On August 13, the Castro campaign released a televised ad holding Trump responsible for the El Paso terrorist attack and arguing that he “stoked the fire of racists.” 

Mayor of San Antonio and 2020 hopeful Julián Castro posted the ad, which directly confronts Trump, on Twitter. It appeared on FOX News in Bedminster, New Jersey on August 14. 

In the ad, while standing in the middle of an empty warehouse, Castro directly attacks the president, accusing him of being complicit in the El Paso shootings and other instances of racism. 

Castro opens the ad by saying: “President Trump: You referred to countries as shitholes. You urged American Congresswomen to ‘go back to where they came from.’ You called immigrants rapists,” invoking some of the president’s most infamous instances of using racist rhetoric.

 “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,” Castro continues, directly accusing the president of being partially responsible for the devastating shooting. He then refers to his own Latino identity, and how Trump’s racism affects his community: “Because they look like me. They look like my family. Words have consequences. ¡Ya Basta! I’m Julián Castro, and I approve this message.”

“Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric inspired the largest violent attack on the Latinx community in history,” said Castro’s campaign manager Maya Rupert, on the ad. “Yet, even in the wake of this attack his campaign continues to use words like ‘invasion’ to describe immigrants, and attacks two of the most prominent Latino politicians. Julián isn’t afraid of Donald Trump or his bigoted agenda, and will continue to expose his racism and division until he defeats him next November.”

Last week, Julián and his brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), were attacked by Trump on Twitter following Joaquin’s outing of 44 San Antonians as having donated the maximum amount allowable by law to the president’s campaign this year.

“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,” Trump tweeted on August 7. “Joaquin is not the man that his brother is, but his brother, according to most, is not much. Keep fighting Joaquin!” 

Besides being an honest account of the president’s use of rhetoric that empowers white supremacists, the ad is also a response to Trump’s criticism of the brothers and sends the message that Castro refuses to permit the president’s racism to go unchecked.

Sara Shapiro

Sara Shapiro is a Generation Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today. Her interests include congressional investigations, youth social activism, public interest law, environmental justice, and reproductive justice....