Julián Castro: No one can ‘out-gutter’ Trump

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said he would not try to “out-gutter” President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE in the 2020 campaign.

“I’m convinced that we’re not going to beat Donald Trump by trying to be Donald Trump,” Castro said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“All of us who I think are running can stand up to Donald Trump, but you’re never going to out-gutter Donald Trump. And so I can tell folks right now that what I want to do is I want to give people something to believe in.” 

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“I’ll stand up to Donald Trump and of course I’m going to point out where I think he’s fallen short, but I’m not going to try to out-gutter Donald Trump. And I don’t think that’s what the American people want either in a presidential candidate or more importantly in a president.” 

A debate over how hard to fight back against Trump has simmered since he defeated a number of more experienced political opponents in the 2016 GOP primary. 

Trump frequently employed belittling nicknames and personal insults against his opponents, prompting a speech at the Democratic National Convention by former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Hill's Morning Report — Category 5 Mueller storm to hit today Warren praises Ocasio-Cortez in Time 100 Beyoncé in 'Time 100' profile: Michelle Obama empowers black Americans MORE, who urged her party to go high when "they go low."

Some Democrats have argued Obama's message isn't the right one to follow, and that Trump needs to be treated with some of his own medicine.

Castro, a former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary and San Antonio mayor, announced Saturday he will launch a bid for the White House in 2020.

"There is a crisis today, it's a crisis of leadership. Donald Trump has failed to uphold the values of our great nation," he said in his announcement speech.