HUD Secretary Julian Castro: Hillary Clinton Will Have Strong Support From Hispanics

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Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro talks Hispanic support for Hillary Clinton with NBC's Peter Alexander.

PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS: Mr. Secretary, a recent survey shows -- I think it's 53 percent of Hispanic voters in this country have positive feelings toward Hillary Clinton. How does she grow that number? What does Hillary Clinton need to do to grow her popularity in the Hispanic community, which obviously is going to be such an influential demographic come next year's election?

JULIAN CASTRO, SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Well, the first thing I would say, Peter, is that that's 53 percent right now, I have no doubt that that's going to grow. We might want to look at what some of the other numbers are for Trump, or even for Bush or Rubio, which are much lower. The reason that Secretary Clinton has strong support already, the strongest support of any candidate in the Hispanic community, is that she has, throughout her entire career, been supportive of Hispanic community, she also has led efforts to make the right kind of investments so that aspiring communities like the Latino community are able to get a good education, to afford college and then be able to enter the middle class by working hard. So she has a long track record of supporting the issues that Hispanics and everyday Americans care about.

ALEXANDER: I just want to ask you specifically about the Latino community. Among the Republicans, Marco Rubio, of course, is in the running. He, too, would be a historic -- he would be a historic candidate, the first Hispanic presidential candidate. Why is he not fit?

CASTRO: Well, you know, to the credit of the Hispanic community, it's not just about your last name or where you come from. It's the positions that you take on the issues. The Hispanic community, Latino community, is just as savvy as any other community.

What they see in these Republican candidates are folks who are scapegoating immigrants, folks who don't support comprehensive immigration reform, don't support a pathway to citizenship, would repeal the Affordable Care Act when Hispanics have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act. They don't want to invest in great education. They don't believe in making the right investments so that folks who may not have a lot now but that are hard-working, folks of modest means, can get into the middle class.

So the challenge that the Republicans have is not really about personality. They have the personality, they have the folks that will go out there and say a few words in Spanish. Their problem is the policy and that's a very big problem for them in this cycle.


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