Washington Post's Greg Sargent: GOP Is Shooting Itself In The Foot By Cancelling NBC-Telemundo Debate
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The Washington Post's Greg Sargent wrote that "Republicans [are shooting] themselves in [the] foot with Latinos, again" after the Republican National Committee (RNC) suspended its debate partnership with its only scheduled Spanish-language network. The debate, originally scheduled to be hosted by NBC and NBC-owned Telemundo, was canceled by the RNC following the fallout from the CNBC debate.
In the aftermath of the October 28 CNBC Republican presidential primary debate, conservatives reacted with outrage, and charged that the network demonstrated liberal media bias. The RNC responded by suspending NBC and Telemundo's future presidential debate, a move that political journalists criticized as a "harsh" response to "crisis mode," pointing out that the cancelled debate was the GOP's only scheduled debate that would have aired on a Spanish-language TV network.
Sargent's November 2 article titled "Republicans shoot themselves in foot with Latinos, again," noted that the Democratic National Committee is now in talks with Telemundo to possibly host a candidate forum. Accordingly "one consequence of this decision could be that Republicans end up holding no debate aired on a Spanish-language network," while Democrats may "be able to argue that they are far more interested in communicating with Latino voters than Republicans." Sargent also noted that "All this comes after GOP establishment types went into full-scale panic earlier this fall over the damage Trump -- with his call for mass deportations and suggestion that Mexican immigrants are rapists -- may already be doing to the GOP brand among Latinos":
Republicans are pulling out of their only scheduled debate that would be aired on a Spanish-language TV network. So Democrats may respond by holding a second gathering aired on one.
The Spanish-language network Telemundo is in talks with the Democratic National Committee about possibly scheduling a new candidate forum with the Dem presidential candidates, after the Republican National Committee canceled its debate on NBC News and the NBC-owned Telemundo to protest CNBC's handling of last week's gathering, sources familiar with ongoing discussions tell me.
If this comes to fruition, Democrats would effectively be moving into the breach created by the RNC's decision. It would mean Democrats end up holding two debate-style events on Spanish-language networks, since they are already set to hold a Univision debate in March.
But you'd think it would be a good idea for Democrats to try to make this happen. The RNC is claiming there will be another debate scheduled to replace the cancelled one on NBC and Telemundo. But RNC chair Reince Priebus has declined to say whether Telemundo would be included in the replacement debate. Obviously the RNC did not cancel this debate because of the Spanish-language network's participation; it had many other reasons for doing so. But one consequence of this decision could be that Republicans end up holding no debate aired on a Spanish-language network. If Democrats do add a second such gathering, they would then be able to argue that they are far more interested in communicating with Latino voters than Republicans are, which is a good message for the general election.
Indeed, one of the GOP campaigns -- that of Jeb Bush -- is actually protesting the decision to cancel the NBC/Telemundo debate, and demanding that Telemundo be reinstated, presumably because Latino outreach would be good not just for Jeb Bush, but for the GOP overall. Guess which GOP candidate isopposing a reinstatement of Telemundo? Yep: Donald Trump. All this comes after GOP establishment types went into full-scale panic earlier this fall over the damage Trump -- with his call for mass deportations and suggestion that Mexican immigrants are rapists -- may already be doing to the GOP brand among Latinos. And it comes as incoming House Speaker Paul Ryan is renewing his pledge not to act on immigration reform while Obama is president.