Opinion

You CAN find good Mexican food in Iowa — and more from the Julian Castro interview

When Democratic presidential contender Julian Castro recently visited The State for a candidate interview, he covered so much ground that some interesting stuff didn’t make it into our editorial about the session.

So here are five “outtake” revelations from Castro’s visit:

1. He’s got his mind on his money — and his money on his mind.

On Friday afternoon the Castro campaign announced that it had exceeded its goal to raise at least $800,000 during October.

That news will certainly draw a huge sigh of relief from Castro.

During our candidate interview Castro was openly fretting about the approaching deadline — and the prospect of not bringing in enough cash to overcome his low poll numbers and meet the Democratic Party’s eligibility guidelines to participate in the upcoming debates.

“We need resources to be able to take a shot at getting on the next debate stage and then to go beyond that,” Castro said.

The October haul will keep that shot alive, but it’s clear that “mo’ money, mo’ problems” is a headache Castro can only dream of having right now.

2. If Castro doesn’t get the Democratic nomination, he’s sure to be an enthusiastic campaigner for the candidate who does earn it.

“I’ve said that if I weren’t running and that if I were just a voter,” Castro said, “there are (plenty) of people who are running who are visionary, who are talented and who are honest — which is very important.”

3. While Castro is a Latino candidate, he is clearly basing his hopes on drawing far more African American support than anyone expects him to attract.

“I believe very clearly that people will see that my vision for this country — and the policies I would put forward — will resonate with the African American community,” Castro said.

“I’ve been speaking to these issues of both economic empowerment and racial justice, and fusing them unlike any other candidate.”

At another point Castro proclaimed that “the Democratic primary is going to run through the black community. There’s no two ways about that.”

4. The campaign has opened Castro’s eyes regarding the joys of our country’s culinary greatness.

When asked what’s surprised him the most about being a presidential candidate, Castro laughed,.

“I didn’t realize that you could get good Mexican food in Iowa,” he said, “or even in South Carolina.”

5. While Castro is leery about taking shots at the political or media establishment, he hasn’t forgotten how he was treated after his memorable debate confrontation with one of his rivals, 76-year-old former Vice President Joe Biden.

During a September debate Castro and Biden had a fiery exchange, highlighted by Castro asking Biden whether he had forgotten what he’d just said moments earlier during a discussion about health care.

In the days after that exchange, many establishment D.C. Democrats and old-guard media pundits ripped into Castro; they accused him of harshly attacking Biden in a personal manner and suggested that the 45-year-old took a dig at Biden’s age.

When asked about that intense backlash, Castro chose his words carefully — very carefully.

“It definitely felt like there was an establishment at work there, sure,” Castro said, “including a media establishment among the pundits.”

It was Castro’s shortest answer during the entire interview.

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