Castro says difference between Obama and Romney is inclusion vs. exclusion

CHARLOTTE -- Julian Castro is seen as a rising star of both the Democratic party and the Hispanic community, and tonight during the Democratic National Convention's keynote address, he tried to show the rest of the nation why.

In a speech heavy on policy and light on the personal, he said the choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is a choice between inclusion and exclusion.

"We choose forward. We choose inclusion. We choose growing together. We choose American economic might and muscle, standing strong on the bedrock of the American ideal: a strong, empowered and ever-growing middle class," the 27-year-old San Antonio mayor said.

He called for higher taxes for the rich, lower taxes for working families, a drawdown of overseas troops, an end to "petty political arguments," sustained funding for schools, support for same-sex marriage and increased access to health care.

The last time such a little-known politician delivered a keynote address at this convention, he wound up being propelled into the White House, where he made history as the first black president.

If Mr. Castro's supporters have their way, the mid-sized city mayor could face a similar destiny.

Like President Obama, he was raised by a single mother who struggled financially.

He shared a bedroom with his twin brother and his grandmother, who cleaned other people's houses, who taught herself to read and write in both English and Spanish, and who would have been proud if she'd lived long enough to see one grandson become mayor of her city and the other a congressional candidate.

"Ours is a nation like no other place, a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation. No matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward," Mr. Castro said to a cheering crowd in Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena.

He characterized himself as "a young American, a proud American, of a generation born as the Cold War receded, shaped by the tragedy of 9/11, connected by the digital revolution and determined to re-elect the man who will make the 21st century another American century: Barack Obama."


Washington Bureau Chief Tracie Mauriello: or 703-996-9292. First Published September 5, 2012 2:45 AM


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