Telemundo to host Republican primary debate

Primetime Vegas event moderated by Spanish net's Diaz-Balart

NBCU’S Telemundo is reaping the benefits of the Republican Party’s boycott of market leader Univision by hosting its first Primary Republican presidential debate in early December.

The primetime debate will be broadcast live in Spanish from Las Vegas with Telemundo news anchor Jose Diaz-Balart moderating.

Debate will focus on key issues relevant to the Hispanic community including jobs, health, education and immigration. The names of participating GOP candidates are still to be determined.

Telemundo has simulcast political debates with NBC News in the past but this is the first time it will produce and broadcast it solo, using its own talent and with a sharper emphasis on Hispanic issues.

The GOP candidates, led by Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann, are boycotting Univision’s January 2012 debate in solidarity with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla).

In a Miami Herald report in early October, Rubio alleged that Univision offered to tone down or scrap a July 11 report about his brother-in-law, who was convicted of peddling drugs in 1989, if the senator appeared on its Sunday news program “Al Punto.”

Univision denies this and is standing behind its news prexy Isaac Lee, after some GOP members demanded that he be fired.

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