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Republicans no hablan español.

If the GOP is the party that doesn’t “get” the internet, are they also the party that doesn’t “get” Hispanic voters? When only John McCain committed to attending a Spanish language debate in Miami, it was indefinitely postponed:

Univisión planned to air the first presidential debates in Spanish on Sept. 9 and 16, one for Democrats, the other for Republicans, trumpeting a national coming-out party for Hispanic voters.

Except Republican candidates aren’t coming. Only Ariz. Sen. John McCain agreed to participate in the event at the University of Miami.

So much for Sept. 16.

”That date is off the table,” university spokeswoman Bárbara Gutiérrez said Wednesday.

She said a GOP debate hasn’t been ruled out for later in the fall.

”We’re thinking that everyone wants to see how the Democratic one goes before they commit,” she said.

All eight Democratic candidates are slated to show up Sept. 9, and party leaders plan to highlight the contrast. The New Democratic Network, a nationwide political group, is planning news conferences and inviting Hispanic leaders, including Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, former Cabinet member Henry Cisneros and U.S. Rep. Luís Gutiérrez of Illinois.

Most of the Republican field also ignored invitations to attend Hispanic-oriented conferences in Florida organized by the National Association of Latin Elected Officials and the National Council of La Raza.

That doesn’t mean they’re not courting Hispanic votes. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigned in Hialeah in June and July.

On Wednesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced endorsements from Hispanic leaders around the country.

”This is all part of a continuous effort to reach out to the Hispanic community,” said Romney spokesman Alex Burgos. “We had a conflict with the debate, but we continue to be in contact with them about potential opportunities in the future.”

So, the message the Republicans are sending: we want Hispanic votes but aren’t willing to put in the legwork to get them. It’s such an unbelievably bad decision to decline to attend this debate. I just can’t imagine what these campaigns think they’re doing. I’m sure they declined due to scheduling conflicts, but that’s not exactly the same thing as wanting to see how the Democrats do before they commit, which is the only reason this article mentions. I hope the Dems really let them have it over this.

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  1. kevin whited says:

    So, the message the Republicans are sending: we want Hispanic votes but aren’t willing to put in the legwork to get them.

    I wish that were the case. I don’t get the feeling from the GOP that they even want those votes any longer.

    So shortsighted.

    Dems ought to be celebrating.

  2. Charles Hixon says:

    no matter. i have scheduling conflicts listening to the republicans too.