NORTH LIBERTY — A Texan who intends to make an announcement this weekend about his White House intentions stopped by a house party in eastern Iowa Monday night to visit with Iowa Democratic Party activists.

Julian Castro told the crowd at the Johnson County “Potluck Insurgency” in North Liberty that the current president is determined to divide rather than unite the country. “What I see in our country today is that for the first time in a long time, we’re going backward,” Castro said.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette recorded Castro’s brief speech. Castro said his goals were to have America be the “smartest, the healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation in the world.” “What we really need in order to prosper is a vision, a direction,” Castro said.

Castro, a 44-year-old whose twin is a member of congress, is the former mayor of San Antonio. He served in the Obama Administration as head of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development. Castro formed an “exploratory committee” on December 12th, the first step toward entering the 2020 presidential race.