DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Democratic Presidential candidate Julian Castro said Thursday he believes he deserves more media attention following the first debate Wednesday night in Miami.
“I think I’ve earned more attention from the media. My hope is that I’m going to get it,” said Castro.
Various political analysts CBS 11 spoke with Thursday said Castro is among the debate winners, if not the winner.
The former San Antonio Mayor and HUD Secretary finds himself in the media spotlight after clashing with fellow Texan and former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke over immigration policy.
Castro took O’Rourke to task for not wanting to “decriminalize desperation” when people cross the border illegally. “Some like Congressman O’Rourke have not, and I want to challenge all of the candidates to do that. I just think it’s a mistake Beto.”
As for O’Rourke, he gave his debate performance good marks. “I’d give myself an A.”
He said he did what he set out to do: lay out his policies and describe why he’s running. “Others had a different strategy, one involved attacking other candidates. I’ll leave it to pundits to judge performance and the best tactics we can take.”
Nancy Bocskor, Director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at Texas Woman’s University said O’Rourke “didn’t bring his A-game.”
O’Rourke is averaging 3% percent in the Real Clear Politics national polls this month, while Castro has been below 1%.
Bocskor says she believes Castro’s fundraising and poll numbers will now get a boost. “Now I think Castro really stepped up to become the leading Texas candidate last night. He took on O’Rourke and really strategically positioned himself well. There’s some other guy in town in Texas and it’s me.”
She says Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren also performed well in Wednesday night’s debate.
No one mentioned former Vice President Joe Biden during the first debate, but as the frontrunner, Bocskor says he will likely be criticized by his fellow Democrats in Thursday night’s debate.
Biden is ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by 15 points in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.
When Sanders campaigned in Fort Worth in April, he said he and Biden disagree on many major issues and that he looked forward to debating those differences.
So Sanders, California Senator Kamala Harris, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg will likely attack Biden’s past positions.
Bocskor says Biden should deflect any criticism and bring up electability. “Biden is the guy I think that ultimately would have the best chance to take on Trump if he can figure out to, I don’t want to say fix his past, but address it like, let’s look at the end game here, and the end game is defeating Donald Trump.”
Bocskor says Biden not only needs to project that, but that he and all of the candidates on stage need to tell their own stories and show credibility as Presidential candidates so that Democrats can believe and ultimately support them.