DES MOINES, Iowa -- The weather wasn't kind to Julián Castro, the former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from Texas who is running for president in 2020. Castro, a Democrat, was supposed to hold a campaign event in Ames at 11 a.m. Tuesday. He said he made his flight from Boston just fine, (he had been campaigning in New Hampshire earlier) but his connecting flight to Des Moines from Detroit got delayed because of bad weather.
"Let me begin with an apology for being so tardy," Castro said when he arrived an hour late for the event. It was one of three apologies he offered to people who had waited.
Later, Castro criticized the "case closed" declaration from U.S. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor that Democrats were further politicizing the country by demanding investigations into President Donald Trump, especially after special counsel Robert Mueller's report already found no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.
"These Republicans in Congress are trying to blow past this. They should take it seriously," Castro said as he encouraged Democrats to proceed with impeachment hearings.
Castro also said that he also supported Democrats' threats to hold U.S. Attorney General William Barr in contempt for continuing to refuse to sit down again before Congress for questions related to the Mueller report.
Castro told the crowd that, as president, he would eliminate all of the Trump tax cuts approved in 2017, not just for the rich. "I would reverse these tax cuts which is $2.3 trillion over 10 years," he said.
Afterwards, when asked by Channel 13 how he would sell his proposal to Iowans, since his idea would mean increasing taxes for middle class families, Castro said that he would offer an alternative. "We can make a counter-proposal of what the tax code would look like that would actually benefit the middle class families and the working poor more."
Castro didn't offer a timeline for those details, other than saying that he would release it before people starting voting in the caucuses and primaries. He did say that he would release his education plan on May 13, which would include a plan for student loan debt relief.