CBS reports four, but Herman Cain has also joined the boycott, raising it to five and including all of the top-tier candidates:
Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman are threatening to boycott a Univision-sponsored presidential debate in January in light of allegations of a dust-up between the Spanish-language news network and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
The debate is currently slated to take place January 29, and will be one of two scheduled within the week before the Florida primary on January 31. (Another, hosted by CNN and the Republican Party of Florida, will take place in Jacksonville between January 22 and January 31.)
But after allegations, as originally reported in the Miami Herald, that Univision offered to soften an embarrassing story related to Rubio’s brother-in-law in exchange for an appearance by the senator on the show “Al Punto,” some Republicans are saying they’ll abstain from attending in protest.
In a Tuesday letter from Rick Perry communications director Ray Sullivan to Univision, Sullivan says that Perry’s team “just learned of Univision’s attempt to unethically pressure a prominent Republican elected official to provide access to the station in return for Univision spiking or softening a story about a relative.”
As a result, he says, “Governor Perry will not consider participating in the January 29, 2012, Univision debate until your network addresses this ethical breach and takes action to correct it.”
Read the rest. None of these candidates is taking this decision lightly. Univision positions itself as the gateway to the Spanish-speaking Hispanic population, with some justification. But the story Univision was set to unleash on Rubio was not news and had no purpose other than to embarrass him. They would never have pulled such a stunt on any Democrat. The GOP candidates’ boycott is justified and the show of unity with Sen. Rubio is very heartening.