Earlier this year in an interview with Univision, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talked about how he felt it would be "disingenuous" of him to claim Mexican heritage, although his father and grandfather were born in Mexico as descendants of Mormons who migrated from the United States. But as polls show how badly Romney needs Latino voter support, no more.
In a new Spanish-language TV ad addressing immigration, his son Craig Romney, a fluent Spanish speaker, talks about how his father values "that we are a nation of immigrants" and says: "My grandfather George was born in Mexico."
It's not the proverbial hair net that comic George Lopez invoked during his recent standup tirade, in which he accused Romney of not wanting to admit to being Latino. But it's significant.
From a transcript of the Univision interview in January, here’s how Mitt Romney explained his position on his ethnic identity:
On yesterday's Patt Morrison show on KPCC, cartoonist and funny man Lalo Alcaraz revealed - sort of - that's he's "a hundred percent" behind the Mitt Romney twitter parody, @Mexican Mitt.
That meaning a hundred percent behind "Mexican Mitt" as a supporter, of course.
"I think we had a misunderstanding, Patt," Alcaraz joked. "When I said I was the man behind Mexican Mitt, I meant I am behind him a hundred percent, as (are) all Latinos."
Alcaraz, who recently relaunched the Pocho.com political satire site, was cagey about @Mexican Mitt when I asked him about it recently, too. But on air, his "Ajuua!!" does sound suspiciously like that of the charro suit-clad Romney parody, who has more than 3,000 followers.
For those not familiar with @MexicanMitt, the humor revolves around Republican presidential candidate Romney's family roots in Mexico, something he's only recently begun talking about on the campaign trail. He's the descendant of Mormons who moved to Mexico from the U.S. in the late 1800s to avoid anti-polygamy laws. His grandfather and father were born in the northern state of Chihuahua. His father came to the U.S. with his parents at age five.
Photo by halans/Flickr (Creative Commons)
First it was @ElBloombito, now it's @MexicanMitt. AJUA!
The Twitter meme has been gaining followers since it launched last night, featuring an image of a sombrero-wearing Mitt Romney and promising updates from "Most Mexican Man in The World!© Follow me as I run for Presidente of the United Estates! Ajua!"
It's a hilarious, if frequently expletive-laced, take on the GOP presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts governor's by now well-reported Mexican roots. Romney's father was born in the state of Chihuahua, a descendant of Mormons who moved to Mexico to pursue religious freedom in the wake of U.S. anti-polygamy laws in the 19th century. There are still Romneys living in Chihuahua, some of whom were recently interviewed in this MSNBC video.
A few of the printable standouts from @MexicanMitt: