Julian Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, gave Vice President Mike Pence a gold star for today’s visit to hurricane ravaged areas of Texas.
Immediately after landing in Corpus Christi, Pence headed to Rockport to address a crowd at the damaged First Baptist Church, saying, “We promise you, we’re going to stay with you every step until we bring Southeast Texas back bigger and better than ever before.”
Pence delivered a a message he’d been instructed to send by President Donald Trump. “Just tell ’em we love Texas,” he relayed.
“We love Trump!” shouted back someone in the crowd.
“You’ve inspired the nation by your resilience and by your courage,” Pence said, returning the compliment.
Pence then turned the microphone over to his wife Karen, so she could pray. After that, Pence, in blue jeans, was photographed pitching in to clear hurricane debris.
After that photo op, Castro appeared on CNN and said Pence is more comfortable in that environment than is President Trump, who had visited the state earlier in the week.
Pence, having served as governor of Indiana, “knows there is a human touch” needed, Castro explained. In addition to making sure the federal government is deploying assets correctly to get done the job of rescue and recovery, “also, you need to be Consoler-in-Chief.”
“And we’ve seen now, on several occasions, whether it’s this or Charlottesville, President Trump just cannot find it within himself to be centered around others, to be a true public servant. It’s always about him,” Castro said.
Trump had traveled to Corpus Christi and Austin earlier this week, where he boasted about crowd size and joked to the state’s governor about not congratulating themselves yet on a job well done.
“The mistake [Trump] made the other day was showing up and talking about the size of the crowd that was there for him, not mentioning any of the victims that have passed away because of the storm, and then saying he had seen [hurricane damage] firsthand when clearly he hasn’t,” Castro said. “I’m glad the Vice President is there, because he’s doing a little bit of a better job in that role.”