It is clear that the Florida GOP's call for a boycott of Univsion due to alleged claims that the country's fourth largest network had planned to spike a story about Florida Senator Marco Rubio's brother-in-law in return for an appearance on Al Punto has now misguided Republican candidates Rick Perry and John Hunstman.
The Miami Herald reported today that both Perry and Hunstman will not participate in Univision's January 2012 debate. As the article states:
“Governor Perry will not consider participating in the January 29, 2012, Univision debate until your network addresses this ethical breach and takes action to correct it,” Perry’s communications director, Ray Sullivan, wrote Univision on Tuesday.
“With NBC and Telemundo also hosting a debate the same weekend in January 2012, we will have ample opportunity to engage with Spanish-speaking Americans,” Perry wrote.
Huntsman’s campaign manager, Matt David, was more measured in his letter to Univision. But he said the candidate stands firm.
“Unless Univision resolves this issue in a timely and satisfactory manner, Governor Huntsman will not give consideration to your network’s debate currently proposed for January, 2012,” he wrote. “We ask the other Republican candidates to join us in this decision and will work with them to identify another forum to debate issues that are important to Americans of Hispanic descent in Florida and across our nation.”
All we can say is wow.
The short-sighted decisions by both Perry and Huntsman just prove that they don't get it. Univision is the country's fastest-growing television network, with a greater reach to US Latinos than other similar networks. By refusing to participate in the debate because of politics and a false sense of faith that Rubio has national appeal among US Latinos outside of Florida is a bad bad move.
The Republican Party is taking a very risky bet, thinking that US Latinos will actually agree with them when it comes to Univision. Like we said before, don't mess with our Sábado Gigante! We will not be surprised if this one will bite both Perry and Huntsman in their culitos. Guess Senator Rubio is the Latino Savior that Non-Latinos Love but the Vast Majority of US Latinos Do Not.
Who wins in this game of political ignorance? The President of the United States. President Obama was getting worried that US Latinos would be looking at other candidates, but it looks like they will come back, especially if the President makes some more Univision appearances.