WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) released an official statement following the Republican National Committee's (RNC) decision to suspend its 2016 primary debate partnership with NBC News and Telemundo:
"We are extremely disappointed with the Republican National Committee's (RNC) decision to suspend ties with the party's only Spanish-Language network partner for the 2016 presidential primary debates. As the nation's second largest population group, it is vital for candidates vying for the White House to directly address the issues and concerns of most importance to Latinos in both English and Spanish-Language network aired debates.
"Given the recent inflammatory rhetoric around immigration in this country, now it is not the time for the Republican Party to choose political expediency over an opportunity to engage with millions of Spanish-Language network viewing Latinos in advance of Election 2016.
"President George W. Bush made history in 2004, garnering 44 percent of the Latino vote that year. If the Republican presidential candidates hope to secure a critical level of support from this increasingly influential electorate, they will need to demonstrate a good faith effort to reach the Latino community during the primary election season.
"The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has already scheduled a 2016 primary debate with a major Spanish-Language network on March 9, 2016 in Miami. We strongly urge the RNC and Republican presidential candidates to do the same by reconsidering the decision to suspend ties with their only Spanish-Language network partner in the 2016 primary debate season.
"Failure to air a 2016 Republican primary debate on a Spanish-Language network will ultimately be a failure in reaching a key segment of Latino voters in Election 2016. With more than 28 million Latino voters eligible to cast ballots next year, failing to engage this rapidly growing electorate is not something the RNC or Republican presidential candidates can afford to do."
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials is the leadership organization of the nation's more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials.
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SOURCE National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)