Things That Matter

Julián Castro Is Backing Sen. Elizabeth Warren For President, Now Many Are Wondering If She Will Pick Him As Her VP

Last year, a large number of Democrats came forward to announce they’d be seeking to run for the President of the United States in 2020. Now, a couple of months later, and after several debates, many of the candidates have dropped out. Today, in the New Year, we now have 14 Democrats seeking to unseat President Donald Trump. You’re probably wondering why we still have 14 Democrats running for president when many have dropped out. The reason is more new candidates are jumping in the race, but do we really need so many presidential hopefuls? No. So, one of those that candidates that sadly left the President’s race are supporting a top contender, and here’s why it’s so crucial now. 

Last week, Julián Castro announced he was dropping out of the presidential race. Now, Castro said he is fully endorsing Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Castro posted his endorsement on Twitter, which was accompanied by a video. Castro began his statement by saying that his success can be attributed to the strong women in his life. 

“Elizabeth and I share a vision of America, where everyone counts. An America where people⁠—not the wealthy or well-connected⁠—are put first. I’m proud to join her in the fight for big, structural change,” Castro tweeted. 

He added in his video, “There’s one candidate I see who is unafraid to fight like hell to make sure that America’s promise will be there for everyone. [Sen. Warren] will make sure that no matter where you live in America — or where your family came from in the world, you have a path to opportunity, too.”

His statement comes at a critical time because while 14 candidates are still in the race, so far, only three Democrats prove to be bringing big money through their fundraising efforts. 

Credit: @MoogleSpace / Twitter

As we noted, Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised the most money out of all the Democratic candidates with $34.5 million. In second was former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who raised more than $24.7 million. Former President Joe Biden raised $22.7 million. Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised $21.2 million, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang raised more than $16.5 million. The rest of the candidates, while many, are falling through the wayside, and it’s also the reason Castro had to drop out. 

What Castro lacked in funds, he made up for in support. Many thought his campaign was the first to bring forth actual policy change on immigration, border security, and environmental rights — so his opinion matters much. But his endorsement could leave some confused about which candidate is the right one for them.

Credit: @JeanPodrasky / Twitter

Several politicians have a strong following, and while they are not running for President in 2020, have voiced their support for presidential candidates. People around the country are seeking their opinion as to who the best candidate currently is. 

For example, fans of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know that she is backing Sen. Sanders, as is Rep. Ilhan Omar. As far as Sen. Warren is concerned, besides Castro, Rep. Raúl Grijalva and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, are also supporting her. Biden has the most support from Democrats in Congress. 

Some speculated that Castro’s endorsement came soon after his announcement that he was dropping out because there’s no time like the present. 

“Castro + Warren’s policy teams had mutual affection early in the race, as both ran plan-focused campaigns,” a CNN reporter tweeted. “The candidates praised each other publicly. If there’s any surprise, it’s that he endorsed so quickly after dropping out, but Warren needs energy now.” 

Warren did thank Castro for his endorsement, and who knows, maybe she’ll choose him as her running mate?

Credit: @adamcbest / Twitter

We won’t get our hopes up just yet, but if Warren continues her positive stride toward the Presidential office, choosing Castro to be her VP would get her a lot of brownie points. And, yes, people on social media are already imagining this dream team as Hollywood actors Annette Bening and Oscar Isaac (see tweet above). 

The senator expressed her gratitude over his endorsement on Twitter, saying, “Thank you, @JulianCastro! You’ve been a powerful voice for bold, progressive change, and I’m honored to have your support. Together, we’ll fight to make sure every single family in America has a path to opportunity.”

READ: His Campaign Is Over But Julian Castro Has A Bright Future In The Democratic Party

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Removes Name From Biden’s VP List

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Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Removes Name From Biden’s VP List

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There is a lot of buzz about who Vice President Joe Biden will pick to be his running mate. One thing everyone agrees on is that the running mate should be a woman of color. Senator Amy Klobuchar was reportedly asked to going through the vetting process. Meanwhile, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto came forward to say she has no interest in being a running mate.

Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is officially withdrawing her name from Jo Biden’s list of potential running mates.

Sen. Cortez Masto is the first Latina ever elected to the Senate and her career has been a highlight for the state. However, the serious impact of COVID-19 on Nevada, one of the hardest-hit economies in the U.S., convinced her not to try to earn the position of running mate for Biden.

Sen. Cortez Masto has been engaged in the ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19 in the Silver State.

“I support Joe Biden 100% and will work tirelessly to help get him elected this November,” reads a statement from her campaign. “Nevada’s economy is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis and I will continue to focus on getting Nevadans the support they need to get on back on their feet.”

Nevada’s unemployment rate sits are 28 percent, which is the highest in the country right now. The number is also the highest unemployment number recorded by a state since 1976. Latinos make up 30 percent of the state’s population meaning that Latinos in the state are feeling the crunch.

Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee, praised Sen. Cortez Masto for her work with Nevada.

“I’ve admired Senator Cortez-Masto as long as I have known her because she’s a leader with integrity,” Biden said in a statement. “Nevadans are fortunate to have her fighting for them in Washington and I look forward to seeing her continue to lead in the Senate.”

There is still time for Biden to pick his running mate and women seem to be at the top of the list.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar came under fire recently after it was discovered that she refused to bring charges against fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. In 2006, Chauvin was involved in the deadly shooting of a Black man and Sen. Klobuchar, who was the Hennepin County attorney at the time, declined to bring up charges in the death.

Sen. Klobuchar sent the case to a grand jury and the grand jury found no reason to prosecute. It is a decision that Sen. Klobuchar claims to realize was a lapse of judgment.

“I think that was wrong now,” Klobuchar said in an interview on MSNBC. “I think it would have been much better if I took the responsibility and looked at the cases and made the decision myself.”

READ: We Didn’t Elect The First Woman President, But We Elected The First Latina Senator

Puerto Rico Is Planning To Vote On U.S. Statehood Once Again And Here’s Why So Many Are Against The Idea

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Puerto Rico Is Planning To Vote On U.S. Statehood Once Again And Here’s Why So Many Are Against The Idea

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Puerto Rican’s are no stranger to referendums. Since 1967, they’ve had five chances to make their opinions known on U.S. statehood and each and every time, their voice hasn’t been listened to. Congress has failed to take up the issue after each referendum and local leaders are often guilty of using the referendum simply to drudge up support for their candidates.

But this upcoming referendum is different in that it comes at a crossroads for Puerto Rican politics. The island has been plagued by natural disasters, political scandals, and unprecedented hate crimes. Even Bad Bunny is letting his thoughts out on the referendum and many others have lots to say on the issue.

For the first time in the island’s history, the referendum will ask a single question: Should Puerto Rico be immediately admitted as a U.S. state?

On Saturday, Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood Republican governor, Wanda Vázquez, announced yet another vote on the question (the sixth since 1967 and the third since 2012). It’s a move that comes amid growing frustration with the island’s territorial government and its relationship with the mainland.

However, it’s a question that also outraged the island’s independence supporters and members of the main opposition Popular Democratic Party – which supports the status quo.

But it’s a gamble that members of the governor’s pro-statehood party are confident will pay off given that Puerto Rico has struggled to obtain federal funds for hurricanes Irma and Maria, a string of recent strong earthquakes and the coronavirus pandemic amid growing complaints that the island does not receive fair and equal treatment.

“Our people will have the opportunity once and for all to define our future,” Vázquez said. “It’s never too late to be treated as equals.”

The upcoming referendum is just the recent in a long line of previously failed ones.

In the past, voters have been asked more than one question and presented with various options, including independence or continuing with the current territorial status – but none of them have ever been as direct as the upcoming one scheduled for the November 3 general election.

However, many on the island see the referendum as little more than a political move by the governor’s New Progressive Party to get voters out on Nov 3 – to boost her party’s candidates.

The New Progressive Party has been rattled with scandal after scandal and many are ready for change.

The past few years have not been good for the party – or the island for that matter. A string of devastating hurricanes, a severe debt crisis, ongoing corruption scandals that even forced a pro-statehood governor to resign, earthquakes, and now a global pandemic – have all led to challenging times in Puerto Rico. To some observers, the idea seems to be: Let’s dangle the illusion of a yes or no statehood referendum (nonbinding) that is already dead on arrival?

Many also feel that Gov. Vasquez is not truly authorized to make such a decision since she was never actually elected to the office. Instead, she became governor after Ricardo Rosselló was forced to resign following massive protests.

Meanwhile, the Republican government on the island doesn’t even have the support of the Republican-led federal government. The Trump administration’s blunt response was basically, “The first priority for all Puerto Rico leaders should be getting their financial house in order.”

This coming November, there will be plenty of incentive to vote “no” and punish the Vázquez administration. Even prominent figures such as Bad Bunny are jumping into the fray against her leadership.

What would statehood mean for Puerto Rico?

Statehood would award Puerto Rico two senators and five representatives, but it’s unlikely a Republican-controlled Congress would acknowledge the referendum because Puerto Rico tends to favor Democrats.

Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections. And while the island is exempt from the U.S. federal income tax, it still pays Social Security and Medicare and local taxes and receives less federal funding than U.S. states. Many believe the island’s territorial status has contributed to its struggle to recover from the hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as worsened its economic crisis, largely caused by decades of heavy borrowing and the elimination of federal tax incentives.