Latino congressman-elect hoping to work with a more moderate GOP

Updated
Photo: Getty Images/Alex Wong
Photo: Getty Images/Alex Wong
Alex Wong

With the 2012 elections behind them, can Democrats and Republicans work together? Congressman-elect Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, believes compromise is possible.

“I think this election was a clear signal from the American people that they want both parties to cooperate … to try to reach agreement on the major things,” Castro told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Castro promises to take his experience in the Texas legislature, where he worked with a bipartisan committee, to D.C.

“For me it’s going to being able to work with Republicans in an earnest way and I think you can do that without compromising your principles, what you stand for, and what you believe,” Castro said.

Castro warned Congress to use their time wisely and to try to reach a timely agreement on the fiscal cliff. He doesn’t want Congress to “do anything in haste or something that hurts our nation unnecessarily.”

Mitchell also spoke briefly about the Republican’s demographic problem, especially with Latinos. According to exit polls by the Pew Hispanic Center, 71% of Latinos voted for President Barack Obama compared to the 27% who supported Mitt Romney.

Castro told Mitchell that the Republican Party needs a “real gut check,” especially on issues such as immigration reform and the DREAM Act.

“The fact is that Latinos are part of the American family and oftentimes these [GOP] policies make Latinos feel as though they are not accepted,” Castro said. “The Latino electorate continues to grow, it will continue to grow and so I hope that they find a solution to it and that they’re able to be more accommodating-– not only in tone, but actually in substance.”

Castro warned the GOP that “it’s not about what you say, but also the kinds of laws you pass.” He expressed hope that some prominent Latinos in the Republican Party, such as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., may be able to moderate the GOP.

Latino congressman-elect hoping to work with a more moderate GOP

Updated