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Martinez: GOP'ers not snubbing blacks, Hispanics

The GOP presidential contenders have been hammered for skipping forums aimed at Hispanic and black voters, but national GOP chief and Florida Sen. Mel Martinez suggests it's a question of scheduling.

"We need to work out a time when they can be there," Martinez, who doubles as the general chair of the national Republican party said during an appearance on MSNBC. "I think there'll be no question before this campaign season ends that the Republican nominee is going to speak to these issues and is going to speak to these communities."

Martinez, who earlier this year criticized two of the leading candidates for hammering the Senate immigration legislation, said he wasn't going to "run their calendars.

"I can assure you the Republican nominee is going to identify themselves with these communities, is going to speak to the issues that matter to them," he said.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has said the GOP'ers were making a mistake by skipping tomorrow's forum in Baltimore, to be moderated by talk show host Tavis Smiley.

"I'm puzzled by their decision, I can't speak for them. I think it's a mistake," Gingrich said on ABC's Good Morning America.

The Democratic candidates earlier this month participated in the first Spanish debate at the University of Miami. A GOP debate has been "postponed" because only Sen. John McCain agreed to take part.

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