Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador is joining Mitt Romney at a critical moment in Romney's outreach to Hispanic voters, which also offers an opportunity to turn the page on this week's 47-percent flap.
Labrador has said Romney needs to boost John McCain's 31 percent share of the vote by 5 percent to 10 percent to win swing states including Florida, Colorado and Nevada, all locales where Labrador is lending Romney his credibility as an Hispanic elected official.
When Romney appears on Univision at 8 p.m. MDT, he'll appear on the nation's No. 5 network, which reaches 95 percent of the 48 million Hispanics in the U.S. President Obama will appear at the same time Thursday.
Labrador has experience with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, with whom he clashed in a live interview during Labrador's winning 2010 campaign. At the time of his October appearance, incumbent Democrat Walt Minnick was running a negative ad about Labrador's practicing immigration law.
Labrador told Ramos that an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally should return to their countries of origin before being eligible to re-enter legally. That's the same position held by Romney, who is likely to be asked about the issue tonight.
Univision scheduled the "Meet the Candidates" for both major presidential candidates after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced an all-white lineup for the debates and rebuffed a Univision request for an additional debate focused on Hispanic issues.
In 2010, Labrador counter-punched in the Spanish he learned growing up in Puerto Rico.
"I think they all have to go back to their country," said Labrador.
Replied Ramos: "If I understood you correctly, you are suggesting that 11 million individuals return to their country of origin? How would you do that? How would you do that?"
Said Labrador: "If we give them incentives so that they know that if they return to their country, we will give them the opportunity to legalize and to apply to come back as workers, I think the majority of those individuals would be willing to do that."
The forums will air in Spanish and be translated into English in real time on Univision's Facebook page.
Labrador told me his duties include working reporters after the forum. "There will be the spin room and all that stuff that happens at these events," he said.
"Meet the Candidates" will be followed by a "Juntos con Romney" campaign rally. Labrador is a leader in the group, which translates as "Together with Romney."
Labrador, who decided to campaign for Romney despite having to miss consideration of 27 bills on the House calendar today, says he'll be back on Capitol Hill in time for votes Thursday.
You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.