Democratic Convention

Rep. Joaquín Castro mulling run for Ted Cruz's Senate seat, but won't say for certain

Javier Palomarez talks Hispanic Chamber's unprecedented endorsement

 

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Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas said he is not ruling out a possible run at Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s senate seat in 2018.

Speaking to Fox News Latino after a panel discussion on Latino voting on Tuesday in downtown Philadelphia, Castro neither confirmed nor denied that he planned to take on Cruz in two years.

"I've said before, I'll take a look at all opportunities that come up in 2018," the 41-year-old congressman said.

During the Voto Latino panel, which also included Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts, Castro sidestepped the question as well.

"I don't know if I'll ever be a senator, but I know [Joe] will," Castro said.

Castro's comments to FNL came only hours after an interview aired on "CBS This Morning," in which he hinted at his plans for the senate seat.

The congressman's twin brother, Secretary of Urban and Housing Development Julián Castro, told CBS on Tuesday it wasn't in the brothers' plan to run against Cruz, who "used to be the most popular politician in Texas, and his standing has fallen fairly far." Cruz, who finished second in the Republican primaries to nominee Donald Trump, delivered a controversial speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, refusing to endorse the real estate mogul while all but announcing his candidacy for president in 2020.

"[Julián's] speaking for himself, he's not speaking for me on this one," Joaquin Castro told the network about not running against Cruz. "I'll take a look at that and other opportunities. I've never been somebody that said, 'In two years, I've absolutely got to run for Senate or governor,' but I will take a look at it."

Both Castros were making the rounds at the Democratic National Convention, and of Philadelphia, on Tuesday, stumping for the party's nominee, Hillary Clinton.

The HUD secretary spoke at an event in his honor, and he said that at this time there was no chance of him running for U.S. Senate.

Julián Castro reportedly was in the running to become Clinton's vice presidential running mate. The position, however, went to Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia. Speaking to the press after his speech, Castro downplayed the notion that he was disappointed with not being on the ticket, saying that he is still young and will have other opportunities.

"Tim Kaine is a great choice," Castro said. "He's a wonderful person. He has great experience. He's well prepared. I believe that he's going to add a lot to the ticket."

He added, " I'm 41, and, God willing, I'm going to have a lot of time left."

For his part, Cruz wasn't taking the idea of the either of the popular San Antonio brothers running against him lightly. 

On Twitter he urged supporters to donate money to help him "fight back against the Castro brothers and any attempt by the media or establishment to turn Texas blue!"

According to the San Antonio Express-News, he also sent an e-mail blast that read, "Despite any record of achievement and a liberal ideology out of touch with the majority of Texans, the Castro brothers have the full support of the mainstream media and Washington establishment willing to do everything in their power to turn Texas blue."

Despite the media focus on the brothers' political future, the Castros themselves appeared to not want to take attention away from Clinton’s nomination and her general election battle against Trump.

"I believe that overwhelmingly folks realize the importance of making sure Donald Trump never becomes president of the United States," Julian Castro said.

As for Clinton winning over supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Castro said that there may be some dissenters but he believes they will be in the minority.

"If you're a Bernie supporter, I believe that you see the difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump," he said. "Maybe a few Bernie supporters vote in a different direction, but I believe the vast majority the overwhelming majority of Bernie supporters is going to end up voting for Hillary Clinton, because she's  also a progressive."

Follow Andrew O'Reilly on Twitter @aoreilly84.

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