Romney’s Mexican family

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has officially invoked his father’s Mexican roots. It came during campaigning for the New Hampshire primary. And no sooner had he invoked his Latino cred, Univision sent reporter Edgar Munoz to Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, which some 50 of Romney’s cousins call home. In this English language version of the video, one relative says of Romney’ connection to the family in Mexico “I don’t think he feels… attached.”

Univision reporter Jordan Fabian reports on when Romney opened up about his Mexican family during a packed rally at the Rochester Opera House:

Romney spoke about his family’s history, in particular his father’s rags-to-riches tale. He briefly referenced the fact that his father, George, was born in Mexico and came to the United States at age five.

Despite not graduating college, George Romney went on to become an auto executive, governor of Michigan and a Republican presidential candidate in the 1970s. Romney suggested that his father’s tale is similar to those of immigrants to came to the U.S. who are searching for economic opportunity.

“We became a nation that attracted the innovators of the world,” Romney said, wrapping up his riff. “It’s in our DNA, it’s who we are.”

But Romney hardly ever mentions his father’s roots in Mexico or the fact that he still has many distant relatives living in the country and it’s not surprising the subject does not come up more often. His family’s history there is controversial. Romney’s great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, fled the U.S. to Mexico with a group of Mormons in 1885 to avoid anti-polygamy laws in America. And a Washington Post piece published in July detailed how his relatives have more open views on immigration than the former Massachusetts governor.

Both his Mormon faith and immigration position are seen as potential vulnerabilities Romney could have with voters during the general election, should he win the nomination.

Still, it was a revealing moment for a candidate trying to erase the notion that he struggles to connect with voters on a personal level.

From Colorlines:

During a campaign stop in New Hampshire last week, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney casually mentioned his father was born in Mexico, a part of his life that he wasn’t really discussing until he realized it was time to get the Latino vote.

Romney’s grandfather fled to Mexico to avoid anti-polygamy laws and that’s one of the complaints from Mexicans to Romney: Mexico opened it’s doors to your ancestors but you oppose immigration reform in the United States?

Watch the video and meet Romney’s primos.

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