Beltway Confidential

Battleground Texas: Joaquin Castro says Ted Cruz 'can't be president'

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Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, forecasted a potential 2016 battle while discussing Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who the freshman Democrat believes "can't be president."

"I think what became clear this week is that [Ted Cruz] can't be president," Castro said Friday on Morning Joe."And the reason is, nobody will follow him. Even people within his own party won't follow him. And so, I think in terms of his long term prospects, it was fairly damaging."

That's a pretty blunt assessment from a Texan rumored to have 2016 on his mind. The congressman -- along with his twin brother Julian, the San Antonio mayor who keynoted the 2012 Democratic National Convention -- hopes to turn Texas into a Democratic state.

“Having Joaquin Castro and Julian Castro as marquee spokespeople for [the] next generation and messengers, not just to the Latino community but to the youth in this country, sends a strong message about what the Democratic Party stands for,” Politico quoted Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., in a profile of the Castros. “We're making Texas a priority and I expect to make significant gains.”

Julian retweeted a July poll that suggested he would strengthen the Democratic ticket in 2016 if he were selected as the vice presidential candidate.

“Somebody jokingly asked me a few years ago ‘Who's going to be the Jack Kennedy and who's the Robert Kennedy?'” Joaquin Castro told the Texas Tribune in March. “I said, ‘I'm glad to play the Robert Kennedy.'”

The Tribune noted that "speculation is already mounting that Joaquin Castro could challenge Ted Cruz . . . in 2018."

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