Host of leading Spanish-language radio show endorses Obama

Sen. John McCain was scheduled to appear on KBNO’s, La Voz del Pueblo, yesterday, two days after the radio show’s host, Fernando Sergio, endorsed Barack Obama for president.

Sergio told me yesterday that, despite his endorsement, anyone from the Republican Party is still welcome on his show.

“We are more than happy to talk,” he said, but Sergio, who didn’t make an endorsement in the last presidential contest, doesn’t sound like he’s going to change his own mind on Obama.

“Credibility is extremely important in this election,” says Sergio. “Who’s more credible? Who comes across as more caring? Who are you willing to trust? Obama comes out ahead. Ultimately I ask myself, am I willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt with the challenges he faced and this country one step away from the Great Depression? Overall, I think he’s a better choice.”

Obama was a guest on Sergio’s show in May, in what was likely the first appearance by a sitting president on Spanish-language radio in Colorado.

Romney declined repeated invitations to appear, but a parade of Romney backers talked to Sergio over the past six months including: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Sununu, John McCain, Carlos Gutierrez, Craig Romney, and Ed Gillespie.

The interviews were wide ranging, Sergio told me, but in the case of Craig Romney, the Romney Campaign “asked us to make it more personal, not political.” This is in keeping with Craig Romney’s preference to tell family stories instead of policy details, even though the Spanish-Speaking Craig Romney has become Romney’s ambassador to the Hispanic community.

Asked why he thought Romney didn’t accept his invitation to chat on his show, Sergio said:

“When you look at the economy and education and other issues important to Hispanic community, like immigration, Romney doesn’t have an answer. So he’d rather let Marco Rubio do his bidding. We would have been happy to host him, and we would have been respectful. I would have challenged him on his position on the Dream Act [providing a path to citizenship for high-achieving undocumented students] and on his statement that the Arizona law could have been a model for rest of nation. I still remember the primary debate when Romney chastised Rick Perry for allowing undocumented students to go to college in Texas. Those things come back to haunt you.”

In 2008, Sergio told listeners there were “two good candidates, and they should choose the best one for them.”

Sergio says that until the election, he’ll emphasize voting.

“I’ll stress importance of voting, the importance of Latino vote,” he says. “If you want Barack Obama to continue to be our President, you have to go out and vote. There is no way he wins the state of Colorado, without the Latino vote.”

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