Sure, because not many are going to vote Republican, but is such disrespect really necessary. After all but McCain refused to participate in a Latino-focused debate hosted by Univision, now nearly all of them are refusing to participate in a debate at an Historically Black College. Republicans not afraid of minorities, aren't so happy:
Key Republican leaders are encouraging the party's presidential
candidates to rethink their decision to skip presidential debates
focusing on issues important to minorities, fearing a backlash that
could further erode the party's standing with black and Latino voters.
The leading contenders for the Republican nomination have indicated
they will not attend the “All American Presidential Forum” organized by
black talk show host Tavis Smiley, scheduled for Sept. 27 at Morgan State University in Baltimore and airing on PBS. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) all cited scheduling conflicts in forgoing the debate. The top Democratic contenders attended a similar event in June at Howard University.
“We sound like we don't want immigration; we sound like we don't want black people to vote for us,” said former congressman Jack Kemp (N.Y.), who was the GOP
vice presidential nominee in 1996. “What are we going to do — meet in
a country club in the suburbs one day? If we're going to be competitive
with people of color, we've got to ask them for their vote.”
Making matters worse, some Republicans believe, is that the decision to
bypass the Morgan State forum comes after all top GOP candidates save
McCain declined invitations this month to a debate on Univision, the
most-watched Hispanic television network in the United States. The
event was eventually postponed.
“For Republicans to consistently refuse to engage in front of an
African American or Latino audience is an enormous error,” said former
House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), who has not yet ruled out a White House
run himself. “I hope they will reverse their decision and change their
schedules. I see no excuse — this thing has been planned for months,
these candidates have known about it for months. It's just
fundamentally wrong. Any of them who give you that scheduling-conflict
answer are disingenuous. That's baloney.”
Not often I agree with Newt, but he's right on this one. What strikes me as incredibly pathetic is that they obviously fear that participating in the Univision debate will make them look pro-illegal immigrant. This would clearly seem to demonstrate the xenophobia and racism that is at the heart of so much of the anti-immigration sentiment among the Republican base.