Univision/WaPo/Facebook Debate Centers On Key Issues For Hispanic Voters

Last night’s bilingual Univision/Washington Post and Facebook debate pressed the Democratic candidates on issues central to Hispanic-American voters, particularly immigration, jobs and education.

Worthy of note was the intense questioning from moderators Maria Elena Salinas, Karen Tumulty and Jorge Ramos, all consistently insisted on getting an answer to the question asked.

The questions themselves were some of the most scathing and blunt seen on the debate stage thus far. They ranged from, “Is Donald Trump a racist,” to a video of the mother of a serviceman killed in Benghazi accusing Hillary Clinton of lying to her. The moderators asking the Secretary point-blank whether she lied.

A discussion of deportation highlighted the complete disconnect between the Republican and Democratic positions.

Both Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton asserted that they would not deport children here illegally. Clinton had a bit of a harder time than Sanders when asked whether she would also end deportations of non-criminal illegal immigrants.



Nicholas Confessore, part of the team offering live analysis of debates at The New York Times, pointed out: “The Republicans have slid toward the Trump position of mass deportation. The consensus Democratic position is now virtually no deportation.”

Hispanic voters will surely feel troubled with the chasm between the two positions, as uncertainty in these issues is stressful.

Immigration also served as the most touching moment of the evening. Asking the question in Spanish, a mother whose husband was deported queried the candidates on what they would do to reunite her family.

Both candidates responded effectively, as an additional moderator in the audience translated for the questioner in a whisper. Clinton and Sanders would do their utmost to reunite families separated by deportation.

The differences between Clinton and Sanders are further crystallizing.

Sanders wants to paint his opponent as an agent of the corporate class, bringing up the Secretary’s paid speeches once again.

Conversely, Clinton positions herself as the positive candidate who will bring people together and bridge divides by “break[ing] down all the barriers that stand in the way of people living up to their own potential.”

Jorge Ramos, in a move that should be imitated in future debates, closed out the night appealing to the Spanish-speaking audience to vote on the 15th, when Florida goes to the polls to pick their nominees. Ramos, whose daughter is working in the Clinton campaign, noted the importance of the Latino vote this cycle.

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