Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann to Boycott Univision Debate Due to Extortion Allegations
Five Republican presidential candidates are skipping a Univision debate after the network was accused of threatening to embarrass potential VP candidate Marco Rubio when he wouldn't sit down for an interview with the Spanish-language network.
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Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann issued separate statements this week that they would not attend the Jan. 31 debate, according to the Miami Herald.
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Univision is accused of recently devoting two days of coverage to Rubio's brother-in-law Orlando Cicilia's 1987 drug arrest -- in retaliation for Rubio declining to be interviewed by the network's Al Punto show, which reflects liberal views on immigration.
“This attempt at extorting a respected Republican elected official like Senator Rubio, who is also a proud American of Hispanic descent, is offensive and unacceptable,” wrote U.S. Rep. David Rivera, state House leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera, and Miami-Dade Republican Chairman Erik Fresen in a joint statement.
Univision calls the allegations "absurd" and said they reported the 24-year-old story in fairness.
Said Perry in his statement: "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."