1954 (age 58–59)
|Occupation||Political consultant, political commentator|
Alejandro "Alex" Castellanos (born 1954) is a Cuban-American Republican political commentator and political media consultant who specializes in television advertising. He was a top media adviser to George W. Bush's 2004 presidential campaign and Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign.
He is a partner in National Media, Inc. and has served as a media consultant in numerous presidential, senatorial, and gubernatorial elections both for campaigns and for outside political committees. In late 2008, he teamed with veteran Democratic Party strategist Steve McMahon to form Purple Strategies, a bipartisan public affairs firm. Castellanos has also worked on issue advocacy campaigns for corporations and national associations. He has been a frequent guest on political shows.
Personal background 
Castellanos, a native of Havana, Cuba, is fluent in Spanish and English. His parents Jose and Olga fled Fidel Castro’s Cuba as refugees in 1961, came to the U.S. with one suitcase, two children and eleven dollars. He spent the remainder of his childhood growing up with his parents and his younger sister Laura Castellanos in the small town of Coats, North Carolina. A former National Merit Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Castellanos speaks frequently about politics and is a guest commentator on CNN. He has also been a guest on Meet the Press, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Crossfire as well as at numerous Universities including the United States Army Communication School. In 2008, Castellanos served as a Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics in the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Castellanos served as a key creative member to the Bush-Cheney 2004 election, producing many spots, such as the “Wolves” commercial that acquired much media attention. He has helped elect 9 U.S. Senators, 6 Governors, and has over two decades of political consulting experience, both in the United States and abroad.
Castellanos has served as media consultant to seven U.S. Presidential campaigns, including serving as a volunteer on the John McCain for President Ad Council during his run for President. He has been credited with the discovery of the political "soccer mom" and called "father of the attack ad.”
1990 "White Hands" advertisement 
Near the end of the 1990 U.S. Senate race in North Carolina, Castellanos produced an advertisement for incumbent Republican Senator Jesse Helms, who was then trailing Democratic challenger and Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, an African-American. The ad shows the hands of a white man crumpling a job application rejection notice as a narrator intones, "You needed that job. But they had to give it to a minority." The ad then references Gantt's supposed support for racial quotas and Helms's opposition. No other part of the actor's body is shown.
2000 "Rats" advertisement 
During the heated 2000 U.S. presidential campaign season, Castellanos produced an ad for the Republican National Committee attempting to discredit the prescription drug plan policy offered by U.S. Democratic Party presidential nominee and then-Vice President Al Gore. Alongside images of Gore, the ad showed the word "RATS" for a split second, before the complete word "bureaucrats" appeared on-screen. During the ensuing uproar, Castellanos claimed that the inclusion was "purely accidental."
2008 Romney campaign 
In late February 2007, the Boston Globe obtained a leaked copy of an internal Romney campaign document describing the campaign's plan to win the Republican nomination. That document, purportedly produced by Castellanos, advised Romney to create distance between himself and President George W. Bush by focusing on the separating factor of "intelligence."
2010 BP campaign 
In June 2010 Purple Strategies was reported to have been behind a television campaign for BP with the tagline "We will get this done. We will make this right" in which BP Chairman Tony Hayward apologizes for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and promises to take corrective action. The campaign reportedly had a $50 million budget.
2012 appearance on Meet the Press 
Castellano claimed that there is no "War on Women" by the Republican Party on Meet the Press, in response to questions by Rachel Maddow, and stated that there is no gender gap in pay between men and women in the United States.
- Scott Helman, Document shows Romney's strategies, Boston Globe, February 27, 2007[dead link]
- "The Hotline On Call: Alex Castellanos's Cheap Shot". National Journal. February 27, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- University of Virginia Center for Politics, American Democracy Conference 2002, Panelist biographies
- Egan, John (September 13, 2000). "RATS ad: Subliminal conspiracy?". BBC News. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- "Purple Strategies". Purple Strategies. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- "The 50 Most Powerful People in D.C.: 29. Alex Castellanos". GQ. August 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- Hands, The :30 Second Candidate, Public Broadcasting System (2001)
- Geraghty, Jim (April 5, 2007). "Thompson Bid May Fill a Void for the GOP Base". New York Sun. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- Smith, Aaron (June 3, 2010). "BP's television ad blitz". CNN Money. Retrieved May 1, 2012.