JuliŠn Castro, one of the Democratic Party's rising stars, portrayed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney - one of the wealthiest candidates in American political history - as being incapable of relating to Americans who have struggled financially over the last several years.
Is Castro right?
"Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn't get it," Castro said on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, being held in Charlotte, N.C. "A few months ago he visited a university in Ohio and gave the students there a little entrepreneurial advice. 'Start a business,' he said. But how? 'Borrow money if you have to from your parents,' he told them.
"Gee, why didn't I think of that? Some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams," Castro continued. "I don't think Gov. Romney meant any harm. I think he's a good guy. He just has no idea how good he's had it."
Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, struck a theme that is common among Democrats seeking to re-elect Presidential Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the 2012 election: Romney, as the son of privilege, does not understand that it is the middle class, with help from the government, that drives the nation's economy.
"Of all the fictions we heard last week in Tampa, the one I find most troubling is this: If we all just go our own way, our nation will be stronger for it. Because if we sever the threads that connect us, the only people who will go far are those who are already ahead," Castro said. "We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and (Republican vice presidential nominee Paul) Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
"Republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will too. Folks, we've heard that before. First they called it 'trickle-down.' Then 'supply-side.' Now it's 'Romney-Ryan.' Or is it 'Ryan-Romney'? Either way, their theory has been tested. It failed. Our economy failed. The middle class paid the price. Your family paid the price."
So who is Castro, and where did the man many have described as a "Latino Obama" †come from? Here's a bio of the first Hispanic American to deliver the keynote address at a national convention. And here's a transcript of Castro's remarks on Tuesday night.
[Photo: San Antonio Mayor JuliŠn Castro speaks at the opening night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Joe Raedle/Getty Images News]