Joaquin Castro, a Democratic congressman from Texas and chairman of the presidential campaign of his twin brother, Julián, fired back on Tuesday after being castigated on social media for tweeting the names and occupations of his constituents who’d maxed out their donations to President Donald Trump.
His tweet contained a graphic titled “Who’s funding Trump?” and listed the names of 44 people who purportedly contributed the maximum amount allowed by campaign finance laws. Their occupations, which, like donor names, are public record, were also listed. Close to a dozen of the donors shown are retirees.
“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump,” Castro wrote, naming local businesses whose owners were on the list. “Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”
The graphic, which Castro indicated had originated with a Democratic activist group, was blasted out to the more than 27,000 followers of his congressional campaign account on Tuesday afternoon. It came as politicians’ loaded rhetoric has come under closer scrutiny after a mass shooting over the weekend in El Paso that killed 22 and wounded dozens of others. Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, which mirrored language used by the suspected shooter in a racist manifesto, has loomed over the tragedy in the days since.
Several GOP congressional leaders rebuked their colleague on Tuesday.
“Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous. What happened to ‘when they go low, we go high?’” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted, referring to former first lady Michelle Obama’s viral mantra. “Or does that no longer matter when your brother is polling at 1%? Americans deserve better.”
Steve Scalise, the House minority whip, who was gravely wounded two years ago when a gunman targeting Republicans opened fire on GOP lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game, said he knows personally how dangerous such moves could be.
“People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period,” he tweeted. “This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake.”
He added: “I know this firsthand.”
Castro was pummeled by some on social media, like the Trump 2020 campaign’s communications director, Tim Murtaugh, who said there is a double standard and Castro’s naming and shaming would invite harassment or, worse, violence against private citizens. Murtaugh accused Castro of blasting out a “target list.”
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, whom Castro had once been rumored to challenge for his seat, called the tweet “grossly inappropriate” and assailed what he called a dangerous “win-at-all-costs mentality.” The move is “not what Texans have a right to expect from their members of Congress,” he wrote.
Castro responded with a flurry of defensive tweets to Murtaugh and journalists who had criticized him.
The graphic didn’t contain “private or personal info — no addresses or phone #, etc," he wrote. "It’s publicly reported info printed in newspapers routinely from the @nyt to the @dcexaminer. You know that.”
He also doubled down on the initial sentiment, saying the Trump campaign “has stoked fear of brown-skinned immigrants.” Castro also pointed out that the campaign had used donor money to pay for more than 2,000 ads on Facebook echoing the anti-immigrant language used by the El Paso suspect.
“That is truly dangerous for millions,” Castro added. “Will you commit not to run another ad like that?”
Pathetic attempt at intimidation by a 5th rate wannabe banana republic dictator.
What a piece of shit. He is basically sanctioning left-wing violence against Trump supporters by doing this. Just isn’t right.
He only tweeted what is publicly available information anyway, not personal info/data.
What is the point of this action other than to incite retribution against the people he doxxed? This is the left and their call to violence in plain sight.
Many of them are local business owners that might be boycotted.
Are you supporting a hypocritical and partisan double standard? Democrats like Joaquin Castro (and his brother Julian Castro) think that people who cross into our country illegally should face zero consequences, but American citizens who donate to a political candidate they don’t like should have their livelihoods destroyed.
How are names and addresses not "personal info’?
Names, Addresses, and Employer. He also omitted all Hispanics from his list who were also top donors to Trump, which makes his action racist.
How did you distill that from my true comment?
Sounds like you are supportive, or at a minimum are giving a pass.
I’m just responding to info in the op which claims that he didn’t reveal any information not already regularly reported in other media. I do think it’s funny that Trump’s communication director considered it “shaming” them…
None of that information was being reported by the press prior to his stunt.
If not an attempt to shame and intimidate them what was the purpose?
No, it’s just funny that being a Trump supporter is considered shameful…
Let’s see, democrats spend more than 2 years painting trump and all his supporters as racists, misogynists, xenophobes, and just about every other derisive term they can think up so what else could their intent be other than to shame and intimidate?
The problem isn’t with the information in general, it’s how the information is being used. The left has said that it’s perfectly acceptable to assault Trump supporters or pressure their companies to fire them. If these people get fired or assaulted because the outrage mob demands it, would you find that funny?
It’s not shameful. The left is deranged and violent.
They want us engaged in an all out war with each other. It’s really heating up and pretty soon we are going to hit the point of no return.