Univision presidential forums stocked with partisans
September 20th, 2012
01:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Univision presidential forums stocked with partisans

(CNN) – Television audiences for the two presidential candidate forums hosted this week by Univision, a Spanish language network, could be excused for coming away with the impression that Latinos are wild about their positions on Latino issues.

But what the viewers might not realize is the Wednesday night program with Mitt Romney and another Thursday night with President Barack Obama at the University of Miami forum are stocked with ringers.

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As first reported in The Hurricane, the University of Miami student newspaper, the university said they received 380 of the total 750 tickets to join the audience watching Romney take questions Wednesday night - but only with the stipulation from the Romney camp that they go to members of the campus Republican groups.

The Obama campaign asked that a smaller portion of the tickets they gave the University of Miami go to student groups supporting Democrats and the rest be distributed by lottery. The process of ticket distribution is not unusual for campaign rallies hosted at institutions but is notable for an event represented as a nonpartisan question and answer format.

Perhaps ironically, Univision decided to hold the forums because the Commission of Presidential debates chose no moderators of Latino ethnicity and the television network felt that their issues would be misrepresented.

Univision and the university both confirmed that the 300 tickets that didn't go to partisan students would be distributed by the campaigns themselves to their local supporters. That means the only audience members who were not supporters of the campaigns were the 75 chosen by Univision.

Univision broadcast the Romney event on its television stations around the country, which reach audiences well into the millions. Those audiences had no way of knowing that the folks sitting in the chairs at University of Miami were chosen mostly by the Romney campaign unless they watched other Univision reports or saw the broadcast made available by the co-host, Facebook, where a Univision commentator warned viewers of the partisan audience.

In a statement, the University of Miami said: "Because of rules imposed by the campaigns, the University had to give preference to politically affiliated student organizations and student leaders. The University got roughly half of the tickets for each event."

The university had originally planned on distributing the tickets through a lottery, but according to the Miami Hurricane and campus officials, the Romney campaign objected, followed by a similar request by the Obama campaign. The partisan audience cheered wildly to every answer Romney gave at last night's event, interrupting Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas, the Univision anchors who already had trouble getting in pointed follow up questions because of the simultaneous translation.

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- Letterman: No hard feelings toward Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Latinos • Mitt Romney
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    You think ?

    90% Cuban , 10% from other latin communities !

    September 20, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Malory Archer

    They weren't "Latinos" – they were Miami Cubans. Big, BIG difference.

    September 20, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney/Ryan didn't get the message, President Obama is more likeable than the two of them, yet they have spent their entire media time with hate speeches against Obama and now with less than 50 days to go they realize they haven't changed voters minds. In fact they missed their target and went after 47% of America's voters by calling us "victims" and then doubled down without an apology.

    September 20, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. C Anderson

    Romneys campaign is dead in the water. People are withholding money, leaving the campaign. Who wants to go down with a sinking ship, or throw there money away. The republican party is scary.

    September 20, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. cali girl

    any and all Latinos from all around the world are not stupid in any shape or form. They can see right through Robmey. And don't think for a minute they were not listening and watching the "video" with his crack that America is in real trouble due to the Latinos.

    September 20, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Drinking game based on whenever Mittens says "Castro" or "Cuba"?

    September 20, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    It's less than two weeks to early voting in some places.

    romney has lied for 6 years, and he will continue to lie for the rest of his life.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 20, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |

    How does Willard poll with Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Mexicans? Latin Floridians are primarily Cuban.

    September 20, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romney's secret tapes revealed that he believes in dividing America into "makers" and "takers".

    Have you noticed that the supposed "engine" behiind trickle down economics is one that is based upon redistribution of wealth? That the job creators will benevolently create opportunities for the middle class and poor. That is the idea that has been sold for decades. Yet, you hear Mitt Romney standing up in front of audience blastiing the 47% for expecting trickle down economics to work. Expressing severe disdain for those who do take personal responsibility. What hypocrisy!

    September 20, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. jsmoulder

    Obama never faces an audience that is not stacked with nothing but ringers, except when he talks to congress.

    September 20, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    There's no equivalency here.
    The Romney camp asked that ALL of the tickets allocated to Univesity students be given to Republican students, and the Obama camp only asked that SOME of the tickets allocated to the students be given to those that are Democrats, the rest of the tickets were disposed of via a lottery.
    So the Romney interview was comprised SOLELY of Republican students, whereas Obama's interview today while having some Democrat students is quite willing to take it's chances with whomever shows up Dem, Rep, Ind or Couldn't Care Less.
    Obama 2012. Period.

    September 20, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Quiet Please

    There should be a crawl at the bottom of the screen stating who the people are asking the questions. Also, were the questions pre-approved.

    September 20, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. myviewis

    The Latinos I speak with are not happy with Obama and the high unemployment in the Latino communities and they are ready to give someone else a chance, if Obama couldn't do it in 4 years he won't do it in the next 4 years.

    September 20, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. Emma in Baltimore

    Why is Romney so orange?

    September 20, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. GeneK

    Why allow either side to pack the audience, to any extent? 100% of the seats should have gone out by lottery.

    September 20, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Moreover, why is no one reporting on the fact that Mitt the Twit, in his half-hearted pursuit of the Latino vote, had the nerve to look Jorge square in the eye and swear that he had never met with Kansas Secretary of State Kim Kobach (sp.) who is renowned in and out of the Latino community for his extremist stances on immigration.
    Maybe Romney thinks that we Latinos fall for his b.s. as easily as some of our American counterparts.
    We read. We Google. We think, and WE REMEMBER.
    This all spells "Bye-bye Mittens".
    Unidos con Obama 2012.

    September 20, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. jane

    What I'm amazed by is the fact that Romney's flop sweat didn't streak his phony tan makeup. Either Romney really sank so low as to try to look 'more hispanic' or his makeup person is a closet Democrat!!!

    September 20, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. mike

    is no one noticing the great lengths the romney team went to making romney look latino? Look at how brown his face is!!!! Holy Cow

    September 20, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Griff.

    "Quote: Revived auto industry gives Obama advantage in Michigan Unquote. "
    " Sixteen Trillion people don't work fot the Auto Industry, and that's how much you're in Debt!"

    September 20, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. us_1776

    Miami Cubans do not represent Latinos.


    September 20, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Al

    What UNIVISION being biased really who would have thought that. After all the station was and has always been left sided, and since they are provided special favors if they ask the other side the proper questions. You should hear their reporting in Miami, it's better than a comedy club.

    September 20, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Wanna talk ringers?

    Ask the miners in Ohio at Murray Energy about being told by management that attendance at a Mittens event was MANDATORY....and they lost he day's pay for attending it anyway! Hello civil rights and federal employment laws?

    September 20, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Republican Class Warfare

    Maybe Mitt Romney would have a better chance to win as a Latino, but not as a Republican and not with his disgusting policies!

    September 20, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine


    The Latinos I speak with are not happy with Obama and the high unemployment in the Latino communities and they are ready to give someone else a chance, if Obama couldn't do it in 4 years he won't do it in the next 4 years.
    You either live in Miami, or don't know many Latinos. Quit trying to display non-existant insights.

    September 20, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. jaxmanjoe

    Is it just me or does Romney look like he 'tanned' for this event? He almost looks orange. He's REALLY trying to get the Latino vote 🙂

    September 20, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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