Romney Keeps Touting Dad's Mexican Birth

But leaves out crucial detail that could upset evangelicals
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2012 1:23 PM CST
Romney Keeps Touting Dad's Mexican Birth
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney takes questions from reporters at his campaign office in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 31, 2012, during Florida's primary election day.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

In an effort to win over Florida's wealth of Hispanic voters, Mitt Romney trotted out a little-mentioned piece of family history more than once this week. "My dad was born in Mexico," he often said, expressing sympathy for immigrants. "I wish I could claim that I'm Hispanic, and that would help me in the Latino community," he told Fox News yesterday. But he's not—his parents were born to Americans living in Mexico—but Romney said he was "very proud" of his father's story.

Indeed, the Boston Globe suspects Cuban Americans would empathize with the tale of George Romney, who left everything behind to flee Mexico's revolution in 1912 and enter the US. But there's probably a reason Romney hasn't delved too deeply into it: His father was born in a Mormon colony that Mitt's great-grandfather founded to escape US laws against polygamy. The colony, where Mitt's great-grandfather lived with his four wives, still exists. And though Romney has never visited, he has family there. "I am glad to hear that he is at least mentioning a bit of his Mexican roots," one cousin says. (More Mitt Romney stories.)

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