In a tweet published late Monday night, Castro — who sits as the chairman of his brother Julián Castro’s (D-Texas) presidential bid — said that it was “sad to see so many” people from San Antonio listed as “maximum donors” to Trump’s re-election campaign before
A graphic accompanying the tweet included the names and workplaces of 44 people who purportedly donated the maximum amount legally allowed to a presidential campaign under campaign finance laws.
“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump — the owner of [Bill Miller BarBQ], owner of the [Historic Pearl], realtor Phyllis Browning, etc.,” tweeted the Texas congressman. “Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”
Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’ pic.twitter.com/YT85IBF19u
— Joaquin Castro (@Castro4Congress) August 6, 2019
While this information is publically available, it is not commonly disseminated online — especially by a sitting member of Congress — and many view this kind of action as a violation of someone’s privacy.
Many people were not happy about it.
One user blasted the tweet as “dangerous and unethical” and accused Castro of “trying to send a mob after individuals to punish them for their political speech.”
This is dangerous and unethical.
A member of Congress is trying to send a mob after private individuals to punish them for their political speech. This will not end well. https://t.co/LYtZhDPqR7
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) August 6, 2019
Politico White House Reporter Gabby Orr told people to imagine if Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale “publicized the names of retirees who contributed to Biden/Warren/Harris [and] shamed them for their contributions” and said that the tweet “seems ill-advised for any campaign to do.”
Imagine if Brad Parscale publicized the names of retirees who contributed to Biden/Warren/Harris & shamed them for their contributions. Furthermore, imagine if a single one of those donors was then targeted by some crazy right-winger. This seems ill-advised for any campaign to do https://t.co/jtRAEHzGNc
— Gabby Orr (@GabbyOrr_) August 6, 2019
Kayleigh McEnany, the national press secretary for the president’s re-election campaign, blasted the move as “completely unacceptable” and called on the 2020 Castro presidential campaign to “answer” for the tweet published by its chairman.
Joaquin Castro, Congressman & Chairman of Julian Castro’s 2020 presidential campaign, posts a list of @realDonaldTrump donors and private info about where they work.
The Castro campaign should answer for this unacceptable behavior! pic.twitter.com/4Cm0sQqIFu
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) August 6, 2019
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel claimed that “Democrat leaders hate [Trump’s] supporters so much they’re now doxxing them.”
Democrat leaders hate @realDonaldTrump’s supporters so much they’re now doxxing them.
Imagine the media outrage if Republicans did this.https://t.co/YaCDTYT8ZV
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) August 6, 2019
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) torched his colleague’s move as “dangerous,” pointing out that “this isn’t a game.”
“People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period,” wrote Scalise. “This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake. I know this firsthand.”
People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period. This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake. I know this firsthand. https://t.co/PbxUMIOhae
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) August 6, 2019
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) proclaimed that “Americans deserve better” and that “targeting and harassing” people over their “political beliefs is shameful and dangerous.”
“Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous. What happened to ‘when they go low, we go high?'” tweeted McCarthy. “Or does that no longer matter when your brother is polling at 1%? Americans deserve better.”
Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous. What happened to “when they go low, we go high?” Or does that no longer matter when your brother is polling at 1%? Americans deserve better. https://t.co/PiFcifpxc1
— Kevin McCarthy (@kevinomccarthy) August 6, 2019
Even the co-anchor of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Willie Geist gave Castro his licks on-air during an interview, pushing back on the Texas Democrat’s assertations that he did not “want anyone harassed” by saying that “they will be because [Castro] put their names in public.”
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 7, 2019
Check out some of the other reactions:
Nice business you got here, be a shame if something happened to it… https://t.co/hiaQw87FkH
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) August 6, 2019
What are you trying to accomplish here, Rep. Castro? https://t.co/wVMZpNPOb2
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) August 6, 2019
The campaign of a member of congress targeting individual donors, and their businesses, to another campaign (and not famous billionaires) is a terrible and dangerous precedent to set.
Also, this isn't even Joaquin Castro's opponent.
Not that it would be ok if it were.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 6, 2019
“This is public information. What’s the problem?” – the same people yelling at a headline 12 hours ago for failing to spell out the subtext.
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) August 6, 2019
This is hateful and vindictive… It also has no place in our political discourse. Hello? Where is the outrage from the mainstream media? The silence is pathetic! https://t.co/5MDs780zWA
— Kimberly Guilfoyle (@kimguilfoyle) August 6, 2019
How low have Dems sunk?
This is Joaquin Castro, Congressman & chair of his brother's campaign.
Naming private citizens & their employers, targeting them for political views and exercising 1st Amendment rights.
Should delete & apologize. Castro campaign should disavow. pic.twitter.com/5MSJPBBaF0
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) August 6, 2019
Raise your hand if you agree Joaquin Castro should step down from Congress after doxxing law-abiding moms and retirees who don’t vote the way he wants in the wake of two mass shootings
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 7, 2019
Democratic rep Joaquin Castro (Julian Castro's brother) is painting a target on the backs of Trump donors, releasing a list of names including homemakers and retirees and falsely painting them as dangerous racists.
He is basically sanctioning violence. https://t.co/ebtzYqhGPv
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 6, 2019
I just dedicated my donation to Donald Trump in Joaquin Castro's name
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 7, 2019
If Trump published the names & employers of donors of his political opponents, it would be headlines on WaPo, NYT, CNN and MSNBC for at least a month and he'd be called a fascist dictator who rules with fear and bullying.
When Joaquin Castro does it, the left thinks it's great.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 7, 2019
Haven’t we have seen enough lives lost and unimaginable suffering caused by madmen with political vendettas and “target lists”? @JoaquinCastrotx, try debating and stop demonizing.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) August 7, 2019
Not surprised a Castro would go after political dissidents like this… https://t.co/dy2TqFdyNZ
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) August 6, 2019
Castro doubled-down on his tweet Tuesday in response to McCarthy, claiming that no one on the list of 44 donors he published was “targeted or harassed” in his original tweet and that the info is “routinely published.”
He also claimed that the House Minority Leader was “trying to distract” people from “the racism that has overtaken the GOP” and that Trump “spends donor money on thousands of ads about Hispanics ‘invading’ America.”
“Donald Trump has put a target on the back of millions. And you’re too cowardly or agreeable to say anything about it,” continued Castro. “How about I stop mentioning Trump’s public campaign donors and he stops using their money for ads that fuel hate?”
Donald Trump has put a target on the back of millions. And you’re too cowardly or agreeable to say anything about it.
How about I stop mentioning Trump’s public campaign donors and he stops using their money for ads that fuel hate?
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) August 7, 2019
The Texas Democrat found some support in the form of freshman firebrand Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — who once called the president’s supporters “crazy” while being noisily thrown out of a Trump campaign event in 2016 — who said that “the public needs to know who funds racism.”
Chairman Castro, They don't like it when you name their donors. The public needs to know who funds racism. https://t.co/7qfg1RT79y
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 7, 2019
The move may prove to be challenging for Castro’s brother’s presidential campaign, who is seeing a less than one percent polling average in the field of 24 Democratic primary candidates.