Julian Castro argued that the expansion of this week’s “anti-hate” resolution was necessary — particularly because we “have a president who is dividing Americans.”
Speaking with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning, the former Obama Housing and Urban Development secretary explained that he agreed with the resolution as written despite criticisms that it was “watered down.” (RELATED: ‘A Spineless, Watered-Down Shame’: Republicans Blast ‘Sham’ Anti-Hate Resolution)
Democrats were accused of “protecting” Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar by expanding the anti-hate resolution until concern over her anti-Semitic remarks virtually became an afterthought — but Castro, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination — felt like the congresswoman’s apology was really the mitigating factor.
“I was glad that she apologized,” he said. “I don’t believe that she’s, you know, in her heart an anti-Semite, but I do believe that those comments gave life to some old tropes, biases against Jews as having dual loyalties or somehow dominating industries or politics with money. I’m glad she apologized. I’m also glad that the House is condemning bigotry. We have seen a rise in anti-Semitism in the last couple of years, and seen a rise in anti-Muslim hate, and hate directed at others.”
Castro went on to say that he believed Omar’s apology was part of the reason that she was not specifically called out in the final resolution — but also argued that the underlying divisiveness permeating the culture all came back to President Donald Trump.
“My hope is that, you know, apart from this resolution, that we’re going to take action in this country to make sure that anti-Semitism and other types of bigotry are not given sustenance,” he began. “And we have to recognize that we have a president, who is dividing Americans along a lot of these lines. I would like to see us united in trying to offer a more difficult, positive and inclusive vision for this country.”