Julián Castro, a Democratic candidate for president, plans to release a television ad Wednesday directly addressing President Trump and faulting his incendiary rhetoric for the massacre in El Paso that left 22 dead and dozens more injured.
The ad will also appear in the Bedminster area that morning during “Fox & Friends,” a show the president frequently watches.
Castro — the former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of housing and urban development under President Barack Obama — is the only Latino candidate in the 2020 Democratic field.
In the ad, set at an empty Iowa warehouse, he directly addresses the president.
“President Trump: You referred to countries as shitholes,” Castro says, wearing a blue suit and white shirt, with no tie. “You urged American Congresswomen to ‘go back’ to where they came from. You called immigrants rapists.”
Turning to the recent mass shooting in El Paso, where authorities believe the alleged gunman wrote a document that echoed much of Trump’s language on immigrants and warned of a “Hispanic invasion,” Castro squarely blamed the president.
“As we saw in El Paso, Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists,” Castro says. “Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you. Because they look like me. They look like my family.”
Castro concludes by invoking the ad’s Spanish title, “Ya Basta,” which roughly translates into “Enough!” “Words have consequences,” he says. “Ya basta!”
The ad comes after a recent Twitter attack by Trump on Castro and his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), chairman of the Castro campaign.
“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 several days ago. “Joaquin is not the man that his brother is, but his brother, according to most, is not much. Keep fighting Joaquin!”
Trump seemed to be responding to a controversial tweet by Joaquin Castro in advance of the president’s trip to El Paso last Wednesday, in which the candidate’s brother shared the names of more than three dozen major Trump donors in his San Antonia district, as well as their business interests.
In a statement, Castro’s campaign manager Maya Rupert focused on Trump’s hardline and nativist comments about immigrants, portraying Castro as best equipped to stand up to the president.
“Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric inspired the largest violent attack on the Latinx community in history,” Rupert said. “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.”