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President Obama, Mitt Romney to Participate in Univision Forums

Barack Obama Mitt Romney National Conventions - H 2012
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President Obama, left, and Mitt Romney

Rejected as presidential debate moderators, president and GOP nominee will participate in separate "Meet the Candidates" events anchored by Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas.

Univision’s anchors were rejected as presidential debate moderators. But the network has nevertheless corralled President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney for “Meet the Candidates” events next week at the University of Miami.

Veteran newscasters Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas will moderate separate conversations with Romney (Sept. 19) and Obama (Sept. 20) that will be streamed live on Facebook in English and air at 10 p.m. on Univision.

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The conversations will focus on education and other issues important to Latino constituencies. Obama, who has supported the DREAM Act, has a wide lead on Romney among Latino voters, many of whom were alienated by the challenger’s “self-deport” rhetoric during the GOP primaries. According to a recent poll conducted by Latino Decisions and impreMedia, Romney trails Obama by nearly 40 points among registered Latino voters. And while the Hispanic community is aligned with the rest of the country in concerns about jobs and the economy, Latino voters ranked immigration and the DREAM Act second on the list of “most important” issues facing their community.

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“Hispanics will play a key role in electing the next president of the United States, and these events will help address key issues so that the more than 20 million Hispanics expected to vote this year can make an informed decision,” Univision Networks president Cesar Conde said in a statement. “We are pleased that both President Obama and Gov. Romney understand the importance of sharing their vision with Hispanic Americans, a group that is younger and more active in social media than the average citizen and whose influence in U.S. politics continues to grow.

"By partnering with Facebook and the University of Miami," he added, "we are further bringing access to these candidates to an incredibly important segment of the population.”

Email: Marisa.Guthrie@thr.com
Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie