The New York Times seems to believe that presidential hopeful Julian Castro won Wednesday night’s primary debates, and it appears CNN’s Van Jones adamantly agrees with that assessment.

According to Mediaite, Wednesday evening, following the first 2020 Democratic debate, Jones gave Castro a glowing review for his strong answers, nuanced views on immigration policy and quick rebuttals.

“It was Castro that came out of nowhere,” Jones beamed, visibly impressed. “Nobody was talking about Castro. He did the Texas takedown. Turned around, clocked Beto.”

READ MORE: Did Cory Booker side-eye Beto O’Rourke for upstaging him by speaking Spanish first?

Many viewers were in agreement, applauding Castro for his pointed “do your homework” rebuttal to fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke.

Despite being the former mayor of San Antonio, serving as HUD Secretary under President Barack Obama, and doing incredible well when fielding questions on shows like The View, up until this week Castro’s polling numbers were abysmal and only in the single digits. But during the debates her quickly began trending on Twitter.

“I mean, you never saw it coming,” Jones continued.  “The thing about these debates, you never know who is going to have a moment. Castro is winning the Google primary right now. He went up 3,000% in terms of people searching for the guy. He bought himself a lifeline tonight and that’s why I love these debates.”

READ MORE: Barack Obama praises Beto O’Rourke ‘Impressive young man who ran a terrific race in Texas’


“Coming into the debate, it was clear that I had to introduce myself to the American people,” Castro told reporters Thursday morning. “There were a lot of voters who didn’t know who I was, what I’d like to do if I’m elected president. And I accomplished my goal for the debate.”

While speaking to the press, Castro, 44, also took the opportunity to reiterate calls to repeal Section 1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act that would decriminalize illegal border crossings, and challenged other Democrats to support it.

“Nobody is calling for open borders,” he said. “We have 654 miles of fence. We have thousands and thousands of personnel at the border. We have planes, helicopters, boats. We have security cameras. All involved in border security. We can maintain a secure border, but we can also treat people with basic respect and compassion and commons sense.”