In N.H., Julian Castro says he wouldn’t pardon Trump for any misdeeds

  • Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, right, shares a laugh with Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic party, before speaking at Saint Anselm College, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) Mary Schwalm

  • Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, speaks at Saint Anselm College, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) Mary Schwalm

  • Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, speaks to the media at Saint Anselm College, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) Mary Schwalm

  • Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, signs wooden eggs before speaking at Saint Anselm College, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) Mary Schwalm

For the Monitor
Published: 1/16/2019 2:40:32 PM

If he makes it to the White House, Julian Castro says there will be no presidential pardon for Donald Trump.

Castro, who was in the Granite State for the first time since declaring his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Saturday, was asked by a Democratic activist whether he would be guided by former president Gerald Ford’s pardon of former president Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. Ford was criticized at the time, although many Americans felt he made the right move in helping the country move past the crisis.

“I would not be inclined to issue a pardon, because I don’t think that anybody should be above the law,” Castro said to cheers and applause from the Democratic activists gathered at a Somersworth café Tuesday.

Trump has repeatedly denied that there was any collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia to influence the results of the 2016 election, which is the focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The president has also downplayed his role in hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign to multiple women who allege they had affairs with Trump years earlier.

Pointing to possible misdeeds by Trump that could come to light in coming months, Castro said he expects the next president will be in a similar situation to Ford.

“I think that the next president is probably going to have to make a decision like this about the president because one of those investigations, whether it’s the Mueller investigation or it’s in the Southern District of New York, is going to present the issue of punishment,” he said.

Castro, the former San Antonio mayor who later served as housing secretary under former president Barack Obama, arrived in New Hampshire as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York went on late-night TV to announce her formation of an exploratory committee.

Castro acknowledged it will be a crowded field with candidates like Sen. Gillibrand or Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who will out-fundraise him; or potential rivals like former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who have much greater name recognition.

“I’m going to have to work hard,” he said. “We’re going to have to be scrappy as a campaign.”

“I’m under no illusion that I’m a front-runner in this campaign,” he added.

On Wednesday, after headlining “Politics and Eggs” at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics – a must stop for White House hopefuls – Castro praised voters in New Hampshire and Iowa for taking “politics and policy very seriously” and added that “these are relatively small states ... so that you can actually meet people one-on-one and get to know them.”

But he also pointed to the lack of diversity in both states.

“Do I wish that in the first two states, we had more diversity in those states?” Castro said. “Yeah, I do.”

Both in his speech in Somersworth and his “Politics and Eggs” address, Castro spelled out his progressive proposals, which included universal preschool education, Medicare for all, investments in clean water and infrastructure and reforming the nation’s justice system.

Castro said he’d make a push for affordable housing a major part of his campaign, called for investing in the newly proposed Green New Deal and touted that “my first executive order as president will be to recommit the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement.”

Castro said he’d pay for some of those proposals by increasing revenues and shaving costs by “reforming our tax system and also reforming the way we do health care.”

“You’re going to have to reform our tax code so that it’s more fair. So that people at the top pay their fair share, so that wealthy corporations pay their fair share, that you don’t have things like Amazon getting billions of dollars of tax abatements,” he added.

Castro later visited Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region, a recovery center in Laconia for those battling substance misuse.

Castro pointed to optimistic figures regarding the opioid crisis in New Hampshire, which has been particularly hard hit by the epidemic, but stressed it is still an urgent problem.

“We need to invest the resources and be a strong partner with our states to ensure that people have the resources they need to combat the crisis when it comes to treatment, prevention and abuse,” Castro said.

Castro also highlighted the issue of illegal immigration during his trip, taking aim at the president.

“We need to stamp out the narrow-minded fear and paranoia and scapegoating and division that’s been a part of this administration,” he stressed in Somersworth.

“We can have border security, but we need to do it the smart way, investing in personnel, investing in technology. Not building a dumb wall and not putting babies in cages. Donald Trump has violated some of the most sacred values and ideals of this nation,” Castro charged.

And speaking with the Monitor, Castro criticized Trump’s work ethic.

“I wonder how folks feel that this president in a given week often works less than the average part-time worker,” he charged. “You have a president of the United States whose first meeting after watching television all morning is at 11 a.m.”


Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Concord Monitor, recently named the best paper of its size in New England.


Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2019 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy