The Telemundo GOP Debate That Wasn’t
Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 7, 2015
As Charles mentioned last week, the three remaining major Democratic candidates (Linc Chafee and having bailed, and Jim Webb probably preparing for a third-party run from the right to try to do to Hillary Clinton in the general what he couldn’t in the primary) met on Telemundo for a forum, using the time slot that was supposed to be filled by the third Republican presidential debate. (Univision is carrying one of the Democratic debates in March, which is probably why the Telemundo Democratic event became a forum instead of a debate.)
Greg Sargent has a nice article explaining how the GOP shot itself in the foot with Latinos as the entire party strove to see who could out-Trump Trump in showing their hatred for immigrants:
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.
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.
Looks like Jeb’s finally realized that he shouldn’t have let himself get panicked by the base’s craving Trump’s blatant expressions of bigotry. The key for him, as it always has been, is to sit back and let Trump suck up all the oxygen to Jeb’s right, killing off all of Jeb’s rivals on the right; then, when Trump fails to advance past Super Tuesday, be ready to pick up Trump’s crestfallen supporters as the last man standing – and, more importantly, a man who won’t scare off moderate voters in the general election. The question for Jeb is if he has any backers left who are going to be patient enough for this strategy to work.
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