Groupie Andrea Mitchell Hopes Julian Castro Brings 'Democratic Revival' in Texas

In an adoring softball interview with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on her Monday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell eagerly wondered if the Democrat was leading the way in turning the solidly red state blue: "Take a look at Texas Monthly, both you and your brother [Congressman Joaquin Castro] and Wendy Davis are on the cover of Texas Monthly. Is there a Democratic revival coming up in Texas?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Castro seized the opportunity to proclaim: "It is an exciting time to be in Texas right now, as a Democrat....And the question is not if Texas is going to become a competitive state, and eventually a blue state, the question really is just when, how long is it going to take?...but it's going to happen. And you can feel that excitement right now in the air."

Mitchell led the friendly exchange by touting San Antonio's robust economy:

While Detroit's bankruptcy dominated headlines on Friday, and all weekend in fact, a big city further south had some good news. San Antonio received a AAA bond rating, a key indicator for businesses that the city is a place to plant a fiscal flag....Mr. Mayor, thank you very much, congratulations on your AAA rating. What is San Antonio doing right?

She later ended the discussion the same way, again emphasizing the contrast with Detroit: "Mayor Castro, thank you very much, from San Antonio. The AAA city, a growing city, and a city, frankly, that doesn't have the infrastructure and pension problems that Detroit faces. But you are certainly making the most of all of your advantages."

Mitchell never thought to suggest that San Antonio's good fortune might be the result of Republican leadership providing a strong statewide economy in Texas.


Here is a full transcript of Mitchell's July 22 interview with Castro:

1:22PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: While Detroit's bankruptcy dominated headlines on Friday, and all weekend in fact, a big city further south had some good news. San Antonio received a AAA bond rating, a key indicator for businesses that the city is a place to plant a fiscal flag. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro joins me now. Mr. Mayor, thank you very much, congratulations on your AAA rating. What is San Antonio doing right?

JULIAN CASTRO: Well, I hope a lot of things, but I think that mostly what San Antonio's doing right is managing its resources well. It also has benefitted from tremendous growth over the last decade or so. It grew by almost 250,000 people over the last decade. We also have seen San Antonio mature into the nation's seventh largest city, with 1.3 million people, and with a very diversified local economy. So, you know, it's managed well, it's growing. And that's what it has going for it right now.

MITCHELL: But of course you are within – within Texas, you are a Democratic minority in the legislature. You've got a lot of social issues, which we've seen with Wendy Davis. Take a look at Texas Monthly, both you and your brother and Wendy Davis are on the cover of Texas Monthly. Is there a Democratic revival coming up in Texas? Or are the Republicans going to continue what has been an electoral lock on all statewide offices?

CASTRO: It is an exciting time to be in Texas right now, as a Democrat. There's a feeling in the air that things are changing. And the question is not if Texas is going to become a competitive state, and eventually a blue state, the question really is just when, how long is it going to take? And there's a significant effort underway right now with Battleground Texas to apply some of the new data analysis and groundwork that has gone into returning states like North Carolina and Virginia blue, into turning Texas blue. It may take a little bit longer here in Texas because it's such a big state, just a ton of people, but it's going to happen. And you can feel that excitement right now in the air.

MITCHELL: We heard from the Speaker about immigration over the weekend, he was on Face the Nation. And we still see no action coming out of the House. The vote in the Senate was a strong vote in favor of a comprehensive immigration bill, but in the House they're talking about taking it step by step. Is border security enough for people to respond to the Republicans on immigration if they do nothing more about a path to citizenship?

CASTRO: You know, I sure hope, and I still hold out hope that the Republican majority in the House will take up what a bipartisan group in the Senate has already passed, in terms of comprehensive immigration reform. Poll after poll has shown that even Republicans, even folks who are going voting in those Republican primaries, are willing to accept a comprehensive immigration reform package as long as it's good on border security. And this one is very strong on border security. In fact, so much so that there are a decent number of folks on the left who are saying that it's gone overboard.

Taking it in a piecemeal fashion really is a slight of hand, because what'll happen is that they will take up the border security part and then never get around to the Dreamers, and much less a pathway to citizenship that is part and parcel of comprehensive immigration reform. And I agree with Jorge Ramos of Univision, who has said that the Hispanic community and all Americans are very closely watching Speaker Boehner and those House Republicans. If immigration reform fails, everyone will know very clearly going into 2014 and 2016 that it was the House Republicans that caused it to fail.

MITCHELL: Mayor Castro, thank you very much, from San Antonio. The AAA city, a growing city, and a city, frankly, that doesn't have the infrastructure and pension problems that Detroit faces. But you are certainly making the most of all of your advantages. Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

CASTRO: Thank you. 

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC