Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos says that after years of criticizing President Barack Obama on immigration, he is redirecting his fire on the issue to the president's political opponents.
"Now is the turn for Republicans," Ramos told The New York Times
in an interview published on Friday.
The comment from a prominent news anchor dubbed the Hispanic Walter Cronkite — because of his huge viewership in Spanish-speaking and bilingual America — comes as Republicans look for help from Hispanic voters to win the White House in 2016.
The Times article declared that Ramos' vow to scrutinize Republicans "sends a shiver" through the GOP.
But when the party announced its calendar for 2016 presidential primary debates
last week, Univision and Fusion — its companion English-language news venture with ABC News — were noticeably absent from the list of organizations sponsoring debates.
Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer told the Times that Ramos, while "influential," is "now taken with a grain of salt" because he has become "more of an advocate than a journalist" on the issue of immigration.
The comment echoed remarks by Spicer's boss, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who told BuzzFeed News,
"It's highly questionable whether we're treated fairly on Univision."
has sparred with Ramos in televised interviews, including a Jan. 14 discussion of immigration — two days before Univision was left off the primary debate calendar.
Relations between the GOP and Univision's news division have been testy since the 2012 presidential campaign, when three Republican candidates — Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and John Huntsman — boycotted Univision's efforts to host a debate.
The three were protesting an alleged attempt by Univision
to get Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on the air in exchange for dropping a story about a relative's drug conviction. Univision denied the charge.
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