Flap with Marco Rubio causes six GOP candidates to boycott Univision debate in January

posted at 7:25 pm on October 5, 2011 by Tina Korbe

After the Spanish-language TV network Univision reportedly tried to coerce Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) into an interview, six GOP presidential candidates say they will boycott Univision’s proposed presidential debate in January if the network doesn’t apologize.

Apparently, Univision planned to air a story about the decades-old drug-trafficking conviction of Rubio’s brother-in-law, but offered to soften or scrap the story entirely if Rubio would agree to appear on a Univision program that had been courting the senator for an interview for months. When Rubio refused, Univision aired the story about his brother-in-law.

Several of Rubio’s friends in the Florida state legislature then called for a Republican boycott of Univision’s planned debate — and Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich responded, saying they won’t appear on the network until an apology is proffered.

But it doesn’t look like one is forthcoming: Univision executive Isaac Lee continues to deny the allegations of coercion.

The Atlantic calls the Univision boycott — and the defense of Rubio’s honor it implies — the GOP’s “way to woo Latinos without angering the Tea Party,” pointing out that Tea Party darling Rubio won his Senate seat in 2010 with 55 percent of the Latino vote. The Atlantic even goes so far as to offer this hint: “Of course, there’s another benefit to boycotting the Univision debate. The current crop of contenders won’t have to answer some potentially tricky questions about immigration.”

But boycotting the debate is what’s politically risky for the Republicans. Univision is the largest Spanish-language network in the nation and the proposed debate would have offered the candidates the opportunity to speak directly to Spanish-speaking audiences and a portion of the electorate many Republican strategists say the GOP needs to win.

That suggests the candidates decided to boycott not so much out of any grand strategy to win votes, but because they genuinely believe Rubio’s version of the story. Good reason exists to pick Rubio’s side: The Miami Herald, which broke the story, was first approached by sources within Univision, not by the Rubio camp.

Rubio supporters are also assiduously seeking an apology from Univision — and have even suggested Lee should be fired. Those demands also suggest Rubio’s aides are telling the truth: Calling more attention to the story would make no sense if more attention might mean his aides could be caught in a fib.

“At the very least, Isaac Lee needs to acknowledge and apologize that that type of extortion doesn’t belong in journalism,” Rubio’s good friend and ally Carlos Lopez-Cantera (one of the three Florida state representatives who called for the boycott) said today on Fox News.

In the meantime, the Republican candidates will have the opportunity to pitch their message to the Spanish-speaking community at a different debate hosted by NBC and Telemundo, Univision’s top rival.


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Univision is SO in-the-tank liberal, it’s ridiculous. On the plus side, I do like their novelas.

LiquidH2O on October 5, 2011 at 7:31 PM

After their attempt at blackmail why would any Republican candidate have anything to do with them, apology or not?

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:31 PM

GOP finally shows some smarts.

ex Dem from Miami on October 5, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Cutting off the nose to spite the face.

mythicknight on October 5, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Let them appeal to English speakers…most of us have had ENOUGH with this pandering to those who don’t want to speak English or assimilate.

Far as I’m concerned…if you’re still here in America and don’t speak English yet…you must be illegal.

Twana on October 5, 2011 at 7:32 PM

In the meantime, the Republican candidates will have the opportunity to pitch their message to the Spanish-speaking community at a different debate hosted by NBC and Telemundo, Univision’s top rival.

What about the German speaking “community” or the Italian speaking community? Oh, that’s right … …

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:33 PM

It’s all risk, and no reward. They’re smart to skip it. Nice that Univision gave them a handy excuse.

RBMN on October 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

pointing out that Tea Party darling Rubio won his Senate seat in 2010 with 55 percent of the Latino vote

Do you honestly think that translates nationwide? He’s Cuban… running in Florida…

The idea that Republicans can every consistently get more than 30% of the Latino vote no matter what is a pipe dream. These people are poor and will vote their interests which include affirmative action. As long as there are many “racial preferences” including affir/mative act/ion, the GOP has no chance of getting more than 30% of the latino vote.

BTW, whomever put affir/mative act/ion on a banned words list that automatically puts comments in the spam filter should be slapped hard.

ninjapirate on October 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

F Mexico.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

pointing out that Tea Party darling Rubio won his Senate seat in 2010 with 55 percent of the Latino vote

Do you honestly think that translates nationwide? He’s Cuban… running in Florida…

The idea that Republicans can every consistently get more than 30% of the Latino vote no matter what is a pipe dream. These people are poor and will vote their interests which include affir/mative act/ion. As long as there are many “racial preferences” including affir/mative act/ion, the GOP has no chance of getting more than 30% of the latino vote.

BTW, whomever put affir/mative act/ion on a banned words list that automatically puts comments in the spam filter should be slapped hard.

ninjapirate on October 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Republicans had a chance at the Hispanic vote?

Never happen.

portlandon on October 5, 2011 at 7:35 PM

What about the Pig Latin speaking “community”? Mexico is a Pig Sty so close enough I suppose.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Good to see them sticking together, they should speak with one voice against the Washington Post and their race card as well.

Daemonocracy on October 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

I bet you Rick Perry dove for the freaking phone to call anyone who cared to tell them he would boycott the debate.

thphilli on October 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

I am sure glad I am not Mexican or I would have to sue my ancestors.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

If Rubio’s story is true, then why would anyone agree to attend the Univision event for any reason? Extortion/blackmail is OK if you apologize when caught?

Forget the apology. This is beyond politics and isn’t a game. Blacklist the network and advertise why. Loudly and repeatedly.

AnonymousDrivel on October 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Mexicans hate Cubans as they think that the Cubans think they are better than Mexicans and they probably are.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:38 PM

How about they agree to go on Univision if Univsion agrees to run a hard hitting story about Fast and Furious?

Scrappy on October 5, 2011 at 7:39 PM

If Rubio’s story is true, then why would anyone agree to attend the Univision event for any reason? Extortion/blackmail is OK if you apologize when caught?

AnonymousDrivel on October 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

To the most pandering politicians, apparently so.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Let them appeal to English speakers…most of us have had ENOUGH with this pandering to those who don’t want to speak English or assimilate.

Far as I’m concerned…if you’re still here in America and don’t speak English yet…you must be illegal.

Twana on October 5, 2011 at 7:32 PM

My mom is fluent in English as an American immigrant from honduras. She watches a lot of Spanish language television (Univision and Telemundo). She also works 2 jobs as a LPN and is an American citizen. I agree that immigrants should learn english but Univision and Telemundo also exist for those who want a little variety in entertainment (I watch Sabado Gigante infrequently cuz it’s funny and I barely speak any spanish).

That being said. Boycott Univision and do a debate on Telemundo!!!! You try a dirty trick like blackmailing Rubio you won’t last long among the many conservative hispanics.

Dumbcollegekid on October 5, 2011 at 7:40 PM

My guess is that while Sen. Rubio will denounce the networks blackmail, he will encourage his fellow Republicans to continue with the debate that will be viewed by an important part of the country.

Cindy Munford on October 5, 2011 at 7:41 PM

ninjapirate on October 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

I think you’re wrong. Hispanics, for all intents and purposes, SHOULD be voting with the GOP the MAJORITY of the time, because the GOP shares their values (i.e. faith, family). That they don’t is simply because of effective “marketing” on the other side, not because Hispanics are block voters the way the majority of African-American’s are.

Btw, I believe Bush won with over 30% of the hispanic vote in both his election and re-election (I don’t know the numbers for sure, so I could be mistaken).

Also…not every hispanic is “Mexican” and its ignorant to assume so. As is the believe that all hispanics are FOR illegal immigration. LEGAL hispanics in this country DO NOT support illegal immigration.

LiquidH2O on October 5, 2011 at 7:41 PM

This is a really good idea. Solidarity with Marco Rubio is better than pandering to La Raza’s house organ.

KingGold on October 5, 2011 at 7:41 PM

How about they agree to go on Univision if Univsion agrees to run a hard hitting story about Fast and Furious?

Scrappy on October 5, 2011 at 7:39 PM

<3 this. Put Eric Holder's photo next to this chart http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/FF_p93_chart.pdf and call it a night.

Dumbcollegekid on October 5, 2011 at 7:45 PM

I guess Steve Jobs has died according to Apple…

sandee on October 5, 2011 at 7:46 PM

If the pandering Republicans end up going on any Mexican speaking TV, they should talk about nothing but Obama and Holder murdering hundreds of Mexicans.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:47 PM

I guess Steve Jobs has died according to Apple…

sandee on October 5, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Freeman and Jackson blame Tea Party racism.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Good. We should not be letting any of the liberal networks run our debates. They hate Republicans and want us to die, why should we help their businesses?

slickwillie2001 on October 5, 2011 at 7:50 PM

I guess Steve Jobs has died according to Apple…

sandee on October 5, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Obama and Buffet say he committed suicide because he felt guilty about not paying his fair share of taxes.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Obama and Buffet say he committed suicide because he felt guilty about not paying his fair share of taxes.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:50 PM

You are an idiot…

right2bright on October 5, 2011 at 7:53 PM

If the pandering Republicans end up going on any Mexican speaking TV, they should talk about nothing but Obama and Holder murdering hundreds of Mexicans.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:47 PM

I do like the idea of the candidates bringing up F & F during any debate on Univision or Telemundo. They could explain what has happened to many innocent Mexicans and how the O Administration is complicit in it.

Red State State of Mind on October 5, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Gingrich/Rubio 2012

mike_NC9 on October 5, 2011 at 7:56 PM

right2bright on October 5, 2011 at 7:53 PM

And ignorant to boot if he/she thinks the spanish language is “Mexican speak”.

LiquidH2O on October 5, 2011 at 7:57 PM

You are an idiot…

right2bright on October 5, 2011 at 7:53 PM

And you are a total bore and a jackass ma’am. I am so sick of your bickering and whining.

Sorry.

mike_NC9 on October 5, 2011 at 7:58 PM

So does this mean the Univision audience is stuck watching a Rick Santorum/Ron Paul debate? Yikes!

change is for suckers on October 5, 2011 at 7:58 PM

You are an idiot…

right2bright on October 5, 2011 at 7:53 PM

You are a silly goose.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:59 PM

If the pandering Republicans end up going on any Mexican speaking TV, they should talk about nothing but Obama and Holder murdering hundreds of Mexicans.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Don’t forget the many Hispanic farmers who got screwed in the California Delta water wars. Hell, Paul Rodriguez went Republican because of this!

I actually have some hope for the Hispanic vote in 2012. They have a shot at voting for their own self-interest instead of letting Dem policies do to them what they did to the African American community.

SittingDeadRed on October 5, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Rubio has power.

petunia on October 5, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Univision responds to Rubio’s allegations
********************************************

Below is Univision’s official statement regarding the recent allegations made by Sen. Marco Rubio’s office. The statement was drafted by Univision’s General Counsel and was released on Monday night.

Official response from Univision
*********************************

http://univisionnews.tumblr.com/post/11064780331/univision-responds-to-rubios-allegations

canopfor on October 5, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Meh, I’m not a big fan of boycotts. The GOP field should attend the debate and everyone of them should, in their opening remarks, trash Univision for what they did to Rubio. On TV, and in front of the debate audience. Then again, that would take stones, and this is the GOP. Never mind.

joejm65 on October 5, 2011 at 8:05 PM

What about the German speaking “community” or the Italian speaking community? Oh, that’s right … …

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:33 PM

As soon as they can figure out a way to wade across the Atlantic in vast numbers we’ll set up the pander machine….

BigWyo on October 5, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Why aren’t they boycotting it anyways?

SouthernGent on October 5, 2011 at 8:11 PM

What about the German speaking “community” or the Italian speaking community? Oh, that’s right … …

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Germans currently are currently the largest ethnic group in the United States… and German was widely spoken in America… especially in schools and churches. Then WWI happened.

ninjapirate on October 5, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Boycott Univision, rub their extortion attempt in their faces, then appear on a rival network.

Sounds like a win-win to me.

GarandFan on October 5, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Univision has gotten a bad rap lately (deservedly so).

A little while ago they were accused of discrimination. They got rid of all the older people on their networks and replaced them with younger people (anchors and TV shows like Cristina).

They were going to axe a guy, Don Francisco, who has had the “Sabado Gigante” show for like 30 years, but they backed off after the discrimination lawsuits were filed.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2008/07/29/Myriam%20Ayala.pdf

El_Terrible on October 5, 2011 at 8:13 PM

What about the German speaking “community” or the Italian speaking community? Oh, that’s right … …

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 5, 2011 at 7:33 PM

I knew a family of German immigrants. They learned to speak English. They had accents but were easy to understand.
And I know an Italian couple (deceased now) who emigrated here after WW2. They learned English! It was broken, accented English, but they did their best.
My dry cleaners are a Korean family. They’ve learned English. It is broken, accented English, but they do their best.
I’ve noticed a pattern amongst most successful immigrants I know. They learn our National language and they strive to be part of our communities. They’re proud of their cultural heritage, but equally proud of their adopted culture. They may speak their native tounge to one another, but when dealing with English speakers, they all try their best to communicate, rather than expecting the country that welcomed them to learn ‘theirs’.

Red State State of Mind on October 5, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Germans currently are currently the largest ethnic group in the United States… and German was widely spoken in America… especially in schools and churches. Then WWI happened.

ninjapirate on October 5, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Are you sure of your facts? German was widely spoken in colonial days and the early years of the USA. Are you saying that German was still widely spoken in 1914 when WW1 broke out? I’d guess that the children of German immigrants grow up speaking English, and if they know many words in their parents’ native language, it’s usually the cuss words. That’s been my experience with friends and clients throughout my life. Most children of immigrants grow up speaking English, while their parents learn some English but aren’t as fluent in it as their kids.

Red State State of Mind on October 5, 2011 at 8:18 PM

A lot of things can happen before January. 3 of the 6 will have dropped out and maybe 1 more will get in (small tear about one that not on that list)

Occupy wall street will have won and the world as we know it may be over. And they are worried about some hit piece story. There is not even one set in the whole GOP field because it they are boycotting they will have to boycott the whole MSM because now that they know what stones to turn. Everyone will have several hit piece that are decades old and have no resemblance to the truth.

tjexcite on October 5, 2011 at 8:21 PM

I don’t recall the media being particularly concerned about drug dealer Roger Clinton, who was pardoned by his brother on his last day in office, but that was different, of course.

molonlabe28 on October 5, 2011 at 8:22 PM

There goes the beaner vote.

darwin-t on October 5, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Just have the debate but broadcast it on a different Spanish language network.

OxyCon on October 5, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Does this mean that Santorum and Paul were in favor of the squeeze put on Rubio?

Kermit on October 5, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Do you honestly think that translates nationwide? He’s Cuban… running in Florida…

The idea that Republicans can every consistently get more than 30% of the Latino vote no matter what is a pipe dream. These people are poor and will vote their interests which include affirmative action. As long as there are many “racial preferences” including affir/mative act/ion, the GOP has no chance of getting more than 30% of the latino vote.

BTW, whomever put affir/mative act/ion on a banned words list that automatically puts comments in the spam filter should be slapped hard.

ninjapirate on October 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Yup, we are all CubanJewishdumbseniorcondocommandos here.
Hey, azzwipe, the last 5 houses I sold were to working class Hispanics from El Salvadorand Guatemala.
People who came here legally and want the American Dream for their children. Guess how they vote?

katy the mean old lady on October 5, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Marco Rubio is showing the Republicans how to handle the liberal press, don’t kowtow to them, under any circumstances. I certainly hope the Republicans are smart enough to put Rubio in charge of messaging because the people they have doing in now are terrible.

I’m glad Marco will not accept the VP slot also, it would be a waste for the man who will be President some day.

bflat879 on October 5, 2011 at 10:07 PM

No need to pander to liberal media.

40% of Hispanics want strict law enforcement, anyway.

Seeing as how Republicans get only maybe 20 to 30% of that demographic, why chase the 60% who don’t want the laws enforced??

If a Rep. gets 40% of Hispanics, that should be plenty to win the general. And help ensure high turnout from conservatives and independents tired of Democratic demographic demagoguing.

fred5678 on October 5, 2011 at 10:32 PM


to speak directly to Spanish-speaking audiences

American citizens of spanish descent don’t speak english? They don’t have any other cable stations but univision? They don’t pay attention to anything going on in their country unless it pops up on univision? They only thing that is important to these American citizens of spanish descent is that illegal aliens get welfare and ultimately amnesty? It may be true that just as with the black community, the community of American citizens of spanish descent have been programmed to believe that government is there only to take from other citizens and give to them but if thats the case they won’t be voting republican anyway and I am not convinced that the demographics would prove that univision is the only place to reach them.

And what kind of spanish name is issac lee?

peacenprosperity on October 6, 2011 at 9:04 AM

I’d guess that the children of German immigrants grow up speaking English

Correct. Lou Gehrig didn’t speak german because his parents wanted him to be an American.

peacenprosperity on October 6, 2011 at 9:07 AM

If the events were as described, I wouldn’t go on Univision either.

The Latino community has to decide if they are Americans first, or willing slaves to their specific collective. Should the latter be the case, I’ll help them pack a bag and drive them to the airport, seaport, or to the bus station that has service back to the border.

And yes, I am a meanie.

itzWicks on October 6, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Cutting off the nose to spite the face.

mythicknight on October 5, 2011 at 7:32 PM

How very mainstream-media liberal of you. I think it’s a good move, and one step higher would be even better — no politician should go on that station until the people who used extortion to try and gain an interview are all fired. Party has nothing to do with it, but of course the Democraps lack the moral compass required to see this.

Meanwhile, GOP candidates could twist the knife in Univision by agreeing to appear on a competing Spanish-language news station, if a credible one exists.

Jaibones on October 6, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Just have the debate but broadcast it on a different Spanish language network.

OxyCon on October 5, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Bing.

Jaibones on October 6, 2011 at 9:48 AM

he Atlantic calls the Univision boycott — and the defense of Rubio’s honor it implies — the GOP’s “way to woo Latinos without angering the Tea Party,” pointing out that Tea Party darling Rubio won his Senate seat in 2010 with 55 percent of the Latino vote.

I guess what’s foreign to leftist garbage everywhere, that despite the differences and arguments, those not of leftist garbage lineage sometimes do things, just because it’s the right thing to do.

This is the right thing to do. Which is every candidate is doing it.

Maybe the better question for J-Tards that can’t quite comprehend such is why Isaac Lee won’t just man up, and admit what he’s done. Why be such a pu$$y, Isaac. Is being a leftist piece of trash, that shame worthy, Isaac?

MNHawk on October 6, 2011 at 11:10 AM