Castro won’t rule out reparations for slavery

  • 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, meets with Sarah Bass of Boone, after a rally, Saturday, March 9, 2019, at the Iowa state fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney) Matthew Putney

  • FILE- In this Jan. 16, 2019, file photo 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 in Manchester, N.H. Castro isn’t ruling out direct payments to African-Americans for the legacy of slavery, a stand separating him from his 2020 rivals. The former housing secretary says, “If under the Constitution we compensate people because we take their property, why... Mary Schwalm

  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks to local residents Friday, March 8, 2019, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II

  • Sen. Kamala Harris, meets with supporters at Big Mike's Soul Food, Friday, March 8, 2019 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP) Jason Lee

  • U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., takes part in a "Conversations About America's Future" program at ACL Live during the South by Southwest Interactive Festival on Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP) Jack Plunkett

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 file photo, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee sits in front of the state seal as he takes part in a conference call meeting with members of the AARP, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Inslee's proposal for a limited public health care option cleared the state House of Representatives Friday, March 8, 2019, advancing what he has called the most practical option for expanding health coverage — and bringing to his state a national debate over what universal... Ted S. Warren

  • Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, one of the newest Democratic presidential candidates, greets attendees during a visit to the home of Jack Wertzberger in Dubuque, Iowa, on Saturday, March 9, 2019. (Jessica Reilly/Telegraph Herald via AP) JESSICA REILLY

Associated Press
Published: 3/10/2019 6:18:30 PM

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro isn’t ruling out direct payments to African-Americans for the legacy of slavery – a stand separating him from his 2020 rivals.

“If under the Constitution we compensate people because we take their property, why wouldn’t you compensate people who actually were property,” the former Obama-era housing secretary and ex-San Antonio mayor said on Sunday.

Castro was among the last of a pack of 2020 candidates to speak at the South by Southwest Festival in Texas, in what amounted to one of the biggest gatherings of the Democratic field yet.

As Democrats have addressed reparations in the early stages of the race, other candidates are discussing tax credits and other subsidies, rather than direct payments for the labor and legal oppression of slaves and their descendants. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would put resources such as “Medicare for All” and tuition-free college into distressed communities.

Castro tells CNN’s “State of the Union” he doesn’t think that’s the proper argument for reparations if “a big check needs to be written for a whole bunch of other stuff.” Castro stopped short of saying he would push for direct compensation to descendants as president, saying instead that he would appoint a commissioner or task force that would make recommendations.

Sanders was in New Hampshire, while Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was in Dallas, Kamala Harris of California was in Miami and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was in Tampa.

Other highlights from Sunday’s campaigning:

Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee laid down a challenge for his 2020 rivals – join him in calling to abolish the Senate filibuster.

Inslee is a newcomer to the Democratic field and is running a campaign that’s almost singularly focused on climate change. But he was similarly adamant about doing away with the Senate filibuster while speaking to a small audience early Sunday morning at SXSW.

He said the six Democratic senators currently running for the White House shouldn’t think twice.

“Maybe they get religion on this and realize that the filibuster is going to stop us from doing anything from health care to climate change,” Inslee said. “As long as Mitch McConnell has the keys to the car, we’re not going to drive it anywhere.”

He was followed on stage by Castro, who also signaled an openness to the Senate doing away with the filibuster, which is a procedural tool that requires a supermajority of at least 60 votes to pass many big items, instead of a simple majority.

John Hickenlooper

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said he’s not cut out for the Senate – and that he doesn’t see himself switching races if his presidential run fizzles out.

“I don’t see it in my future,” Hickenlooper said.

Democrats have sights on Sen. Cory Gardner’s seat. The Colorado Republican is up for re-election in 2020. Hickenlooper said he’s spoken with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer but says he considers running for president a calling.

Hickenlooper also said decriminalizing prostitution is worth exploring. He brought up the recent Florida crackdown on massage parlor prostitution and investigation into human trafficking, which resulted in New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft being charged with two misdemeanor counts of prostitution. Kraft has pleaded not guilty.

“There are a lot of arguments, and I think they’re worth taking into serious consideration, that legalizing prostitution and regulating where there are norms and protections” to prevent abuse should be looked at, Hickenlooper said.




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