When people tell U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez that they expect his fellow Texan, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, to make his command performance keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night about Latinos, he tells them he disagrees.
“His story is not just a Latino story, he can’t just take a Latino angle,” said Gonzalez, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, on Tuesday afternoon in an interview with Fox News Latino. “The story about him and his brother Joaquin is an American story, his story has an American angle, not just Latino angle.”
Gonzalez, who is scheduled to be a speaker at the convention, said he lobbied the White House to name Castro the keynote speaker – a role that no Latino ever had at a Democratic national convention.
“We told the White House ‘His is an American story, an inspiration for all Americans,’” Gonzalez said. “They were brought up by a single mother, they went to public schools and went to Ivy League colleges. It’s an inspiration to parents that if you’re dedicated, you can motivate and support your children to achieve great things.”
As Latinos, Gonzalez said, the Castro brothers no doubt encountered obstacles.
“You can do it,” Gonzalez said. “That will be his theme.”
Julian Castro’s brother, Joaquin, said he’s excited about his brother’s speech, which many say could mark his break-out moment – that moment when he can acquire a national glow and buzz about future presidential prospects.
“I’m so excited about him,” Joaquin, his identical brother, said. “I’m going to introduce him. I’m supposed to speak for about a minute and a half.
Does his brother know what he’s going to say, or is he trusting his brother and leaving it to chance?
“Oh, he knows,” Joaquin said, laughing.
It is a proud moment for their family, Joaquin said.
“My mother is here,” he said.
Indeed, Julian Castro pays tribute to his mother every chance he gets.
Rosie Castro, 65, was a staunch activist for Mexican-American rights in the 1970s. She poured the same passion in driving her children to succeed, to dream the impossible.
The brothers, second-generation Mexican Americans, made it to Harvard.
Joaquin is a success in his own right; he is a state representative and was named by Politico.com as one of the key 50 politicians in the country to track.
Delegates from San Antonio, in particular, are ecstatic over the ascension of a favorite local son they’ve seen rise in prominence over the years.
Legendary civil and labor rights leader Linda Chavez-Thompson said that Castro’s selection as keynote speaker makes her especially “proud to be from San Antonio.”
Elizabeth Llorente will be reporting all week from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.