South Texas Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX 15th District), has pulled his endorsement of presidential candidate Julian Castro and is getting behind former Vice President Joe Biden.
In a statement released by the Biden Campaign, Gonzalez said:
"As a young lawyer in South Texas I stood with working families wronged by powerful corporations and took on unscrupulous vendors, recovering millions in school revenues for taxpayers. In Washington, I have continued that fight to ensure that individuals and communities have the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.
At this point in the process, I believe Democrats need to consolidate behind a candidate who is sure to beat Donald Trump. We need someone in the White House who will lead that fight, not only for South Texans, but for all hard working Americans who deserve a fair shot at the American Dream," Gonzalez said.
Donald Trump attacks Latinos, working families, and so many others on a daily basis that some would say it is becoming the norm. We are in a battle for the soul of the nation and we need strong, steady, and stable leadership in the White House. During Thursday's debate in Houston, Vice President Joe Biden demonstrated statesmanship and leadership. He demonstrated the values and characters I know and respect, that voters are looking for in their candidate for President and that they too know and respect. We don't need Donald Trump for a second term, we need someone who can beat him and win. That's why I proudly endorse Joe Biden for President."
Sawyer Hackett, Castro's National Press Secretary added, "Congressman González is entitled to endorse whichever candidate he feels represents his values. Secretary Castro will continue to fight for a better future for all Americans, including a health care system that ensures all Americans have access to quality coverage."
The change in endorsement comes after Castro and Biden tangled over their health care policies during last week's debate in Houston. At one point Castro said to Biden, "Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?"
Castro said after the debate this was not about Biden's age, but his health care policy. But since last Thursday, both Castro's statements, and Biden's age, have been discussed. Fellow Texan and former El Paso representative Beto O’Rourke was asked about Biden on Meet the Press.
"There are some really urgent issues that we have got to be addressing in this country right now. The last thing I care about is Joe Biden's age …" said O'Rourke.
Moving forward, it will be up to primary voters to decide what they thought about the debate. SMU Political Science expert Call Jillson thinks this could hurt Castro.
"The suggestion that Biden is too old to remember what he said two minutes ago, is not where the Democratic primary electorate is. They don't want their front runner knocked off that way, and maybe not by Julian Castro," said Jillson.
Castro does have the support of Dallas Congressman Colin Allred, and his twin brother Joaquin Castro.