Murphy-Rubio Univision debate: Si o no? No!

Republican Marco Rubio, Democrat Patrick Murphy

Republican Marco Rubio, Democrat Patrick Murphy

A Univision debate between Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Patrick Murphy was scrapped Friday because the two contenders couldn’t agree on a common language for the contest.

The bilingual Rubio wanted to speak in Spanish, while Murphy’s comments would be translated into Spanish for the audience. Murphy, who is already struggling to win over Hispanic voters, wouldn’t go along with Rubio’s plan.

“The goal of a debate is to allow the voters the opportunity to see a vibrant exchange of ideas between the candidates, but that will not be possible if the candidates are not speaking the same language,” said Murphy campaign manager Josh Wolf.

“In 2010, Marco Rubio agreed to the exact parameters we are requesting, debating Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek in English on Univision, so we were shocked that he no longer thinks that arrangement is reasonable,” he added.

Rubio’s camp saw it differently.

“Maybe he’s pulling out because he just doesn’t understand Florida’s Hispanics, a community he completely ignored until weeks before the election,” said Olivia Perez-Cubas, a Rubio spokeswoman.

“This is just the latest example in Murphy’s long history of lying and ducking debates, compared to Marco’s record of achievement on behalf of all Floridians,” she added.

The pair have been scrapping over debates since the day after the August primary and Rubio proposed six contests with Murphy. The Democrat came back with his own menu of options, and no agreement was ever reached.

Murphy, who has been trying to woo Hispanic voters to his side — lately featuring President Obama in a Spanish-language TV ad — last week came around to the Univision debate. But he wanted the exchange to be conducted in English and translated for the audience.

Instead, Wednesday’s scheduled TV debate at Broward College in Davie is looking like the second and last Senate debate before the Nov. 8 election.

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