Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro didn’t mince words when asked about his feelings on the abrupt ending of California Sen. Kamala Harris’ bid for president.
“To me, they held her to a different standard, a double standard, to other campaigns. And I don’t know if it impacted her decision to withdraw from the race or not, but I’m sure it didn’t help,” Castro told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.
Castro, the only Latino running for president, noted that the standard Harris was held to, which included a scathing report claiming internal bickering inside Harris’ campaign.
“This was a narrative from very early on.…From the earliest critique that she has no black support, the [Congressional Black Caucus] is going other directions. It’s just holding people to different standards,” he said.
“I was disappointed by the treatment her campaign got, especially during the last seven days, when you had the Washington Post, New York Times, and Politico writing very gossipy-sounding big articles trashing the campaign,” Castro said.
Castro told BuzzFeed that just because unhappy campaign staffers are willing to bash their boss doesn’t mean that those stories have to be reported.
“Sourcing in journalism, just because somebody is willing to talk doesn’t mean that reflects a reality or that necessarily gives it front-page coverage in your publication,” he said. “Donald Trump was very willing to talk to journalists in 2015 and ‘16 and because of that, journalists gave him a lot of coverage. There has to be more responsibility in the profession than that.”
Castro’s campaign staff shared a video of Castro talking about Harris’ exit from the 2020 presidential race:
Despite a strong showing of support early in her campaign—which included more than 20,000 people attending her announcement to run for president—and significant debate moments, including her terse exchange with Joe Biden on his position on race and segregation, strict Democratic debate qualifications and reports that the Harris’ campaign was hemorrhaging cash, the once promising campaign was forced to shut its doors.
“My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue,” Harris said in a statement, The Hill reports.
“It’s a damn shame, frankly, that Kamala Harris’ voice is no longer in this race,” New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker told BuzzFeed News’s AM to DM.
“I’ve seen the bile, the anger, from my family members, to people in the Congressional Black Caucus, to leaders of color across this country who just don’t understand how we’ve gotten to a point now where there’s more billionaires in the 2020 race than there are black people,” Booker added.
What may even be more ironic is that Harris had qualified for the next primary debate and Castro and Booker still have not. If the field stays the way it is, then the December debate will be full of white candidates despite starting as one of the most diverse presidential pools in history.
“I hope that the DNC will reevaluate its threshold,” Castro said of the upcoming debates. “What it’s resulting in is a lack of diversity on the debate stage. It’s also clear that some have been able to potentially buy their way on stage. I don’t think that was the original intention with putting thresholds like this in place, but we need to make sure that voters have the opportunity to hear from a range of candidates.”