From the Floor: Mayor Castro's Keynote Address

Sep 5, 2012

Mayor Castro's remarks put his own personal story about his family’s sacrifice in the spotlight, while at the same time remaining focused on a clear message that separated the Democratic party's views from those of the GOP.

Castro told the story of his late grandmother’s journey from Mexico to San Antonio nearly 100 years ago, and how she had to drop out of school to work to help take care of the family. But he also spent some time defining the differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - presumably with some encouragement by the Obama campaign.

Castro said before the speech some of that portion was written by speech writers working for the campaign, but he put some into his own words.

Proud of San Antonio:

Castro talked about the San Antonio economy and the Pre-K for SA initiative that San Antonio voters will decide in November. He didn’t spend a whole lot of time talking about his city, but finished by saying: “We know that you can’t be pro-business unless you’re pro-education.”

Separating Romney from Obama:

“When it comes to getting the middle class back to work, Mitt Romney says no. When it comes to respecting women’s rights, Mitt Romney says no. When it comes to letting people love who they love and marry who they want to marry. Mitt Romney says no. When it comes to expanding access to good health care, Mitt Romney… (crowd: says no). Actually, Mitt Romney said yes, and now he said no,” joked Castro about Romney's flip-flop on expanding health care.

Post-speech reaction

The speech was well-received, from the pundits to regular people overheard leaving the arena last night. Castro thanked his mom for her sacrifices and encouragement to make him who he is, and he mentioned his 3-year-old daughter. Nearing the end, he even became a little emotional.

Party platform:

Two big differences in the party platforms are getting a lot of attention – The Democrats dropped the word “God,” and unlike 2008, dropped recognition that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

There is mention of faith and religion in the platform, but not “God” as it is mentioned many times in the Republican platform. A Democratic spokesperson defended the change in the Jerusalem issue, saying that it's been the policy of every administration on both sides since 1967.

Romney responded by saying the change is “shameful” distancing the U.S. from Israel as an ally.