By Josh Baugh – Updated 7:43 a.m., Wednesday, September 5, 2012
In his leadership at City Hall, Mayor Julián Castro is decidedly nonpartisan. But based on an advance copy of some of the remarks he’ll give in Charlotte, N.C. tonight, San Antonio’s favorite son will show he’s quite comfortable swaying into Democratic Party rhetoric.
Castro is scheduled to present his keynote address at about 9 p.m. local time, marking the first time a Latino — or a San Antonian — has presented the headliner speech at a Democratic National Convention.
During his address, Castro will tell the nation about his family story, one that he says is not unique.
“What’s special is the America that makes our story possible,” he’ll say.
He’ll talk about investing “in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow.” Castro will also use remarks from last week’s Republican National Convention to contrast Democratic Party values.
“Now, like many of you, I watched last week’s Republican Convention. They told a few stories of individual success,” he’ll say. “We all celebrate individual success.”
But, he’ll ask, “How do we multiply that success?
“The answer is President Barack Obama.”
“Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it. A few months ago, he visited a university in Ohio and gave the students there a little entrepreneurial advice,” Castro will note. “‘Start a business,’ he said. But how? ‘Borrow money if you have to from your parents,’ he told them. Gee — why didn’t I think of that?”
Calling on the ubiquitous catchphrase that “freedom isn’t free,” Castro will say that the GOP ticket doesn’t understand that “neither is opportunity.”
“Republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will too. Folks, we’ve heard that before,” his speech reads. “First they called it ‘trickle-down.’ Then ‘supply side.’ Now it’s ‘Romney/Ryan.’ Or is it ‘Ryan/Romney?’ Either way, their theory has been tested. It failed. Our economy failed. The middle class paid the price. Your family paid the price. Mitt Romney just doesn’t get it.”
Castro will also make a hard sell for Obama’s re-election. He’ll paint an image of Obama’s successes over the past four years, despite the shape of the country when he took the reins.
“Four years ago, America stood on the brink of a depression. Despite incredible odds and united Republican opposition, our president took action. And now we’ve seen 4.5 million new jobs,” Castro writes. “He knows better than anyone that there’s more hard work to do. But we’re making progress. And now we need to make a choice. It’s a choice between a country where the middle class pays more, so that millionaires can pay less — or a country where everybody pays their fair share. It’s a choice between a nation that slashes funding for our schools and guts Pell grants, or a nation that invests more in education. It’s a choice between a politician who rewards companies that ship American jobs overseas, or a leader who brings jobs back home.
“This is the choice before us. And to me, to my generation, and for all the generations that will come after us, our choice is clear,” he continues. “Our choice is a man who’s always chosen us — a man who already is our president — Barack Obama.”
After tonight’s speech, Castro will spend his days until Nov. 6 campaigning on two very different fronts. He’ll head to swing states and try to invigorate Latino populations to go to the polls for Obama. And at home, he’ll try to convince fiscal conservatives to approve a 1/8-cent sales tax to fund a pre-kindergarten education initiative, dubbed Pre-K 4 SA, on which he’s staked his entire mayoral tenure.