Julian Castro Tells Democrats to 'Grow Up' After Dropping Out of 2020 Race: You'd Think 'Republicans Designed the Iowa Caucus'

After dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, former Housing Secretary Julian Castro appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show on Thursday, where he said the process used in the Iowa caucus "doesn't make any sense" and that Democrats need to "grow up."

"It's time for us to grow up as Democrats and to be willing to look at our own house," Castro said about how voting is accomplished in the caucuses. "We have to complain and take action and file suit when Republicans trample on voting rights but we can't stop there. We actually have to improve how we do things as well or else there's a little bit of hypocrisy there."

Castro also described some of the voting restrictions enacted at the Iowa caucus.

"If you didn't know anything about the Iowa caucus," Castro said, "and I said to you, 'Okay, look. Here's how we're going to start this process. You can only vote on one day at 7:00 in the evening, there's no early voting, there's no secret ballot, so you can't have a secret ballot about how you're voting. You have to declare in front of everybody how you're voting. People would think that Republicans designed the Iowa caucus."

"I very much see this as in keeping with our push in the Democratic party for greater ballot access and voting rights that we change the way that we do our presidential nominating process," Castro added. "I don't believe that we should have these caucuses."

julian castro
Former presidential candidate Julian Castro told Rachel Maddow Thursday that the presidential nomination process should not begin in "two states that are some of the whitest states that lack people of color." Chris Carlson/Pool/AFP/Getty

"Are you saying that the caucus process itself is sort of small 'c' conservative or that the caucus process is inherently unfair to specific types of candidates or types of campaigns?" Maddow asked.

"I think all of the above," Castro replied, before citing the lack of accessibility at the Iowas caucus as a source of complaint by voters with disabilities. People who work and cannot make a night time vote have allegedly asked for early voting or mail-in ballots.

"That doesn't exist," Castro said. "In addition to that, the fact that you start your nominating process in two states that are some of the whitest states, that lack people of color."

"It is very ironic that we keep telling black women, 'You're our saviors,'" Castro continued. "'You helped us win Alabama. You helped the governor win reelection in Louisiana. You're our key to 2020.' And we see what happened in 2016 that Trump won because African-American turnout fell from 66 percent four years earlier to 59.5 percent, including in places like Philadelphia, in Detroit, in Milwaukee, which are important in those three states, those states that we always obsess about. And at the same time, you start your nominating in two states that hardly have any black women, any black people at all. It doesn't make any sense."

Castro announced his departure from the Democratic race on Thursday in a video posted to Twitter.

"We've shaped the conversation on so many important issues in this race, stood up for the most vulnerable people, and have given a voice to those who are often forgotten," Castro said in the clip. "But with only a month until the Iowa caucuses and given the circumstances of this campaign season, I've determined that it simply isn't our time. So today it's with a heavy heart and profound gratitude that I will suspend my campaign for president."

Castro ran for president on what he called the "People First" policy, which included such plans as ending food insecurity in America, strengthening the rights of workers in regards to labor unions and a commitment for the U.S. to reach non-zero carbon emissions by 2045.

It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today.

I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts—I hope you’ll join me in that fight. pic.twitter.com/jXQLJa3AdC

— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 2, 2020