Mitt Romney, Mexican

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 25 2012 2:49 PM

Mitt Romney, Mexican

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Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is checked by security before boarding his campaign plane in Orlando, Florida, on January 25, 2012. Florida will hold its Republican primary on January 31, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Mitt Romney didn't use his Univision sit-down with Jorge Ramos to criticize Newt Gingrich. Not really. He explained what he meant by "self-deportation" -- it was an assumption that fewer people would stick around, not some good samaritan program -- and cooked up more answers about how opposing the DREAM Act wasn't necessarily crushing the hopes of wide-eyed young immigrants. ("There are a lot of colleges," he said. "Some are less expensive.")

He did his best, too, with an oddball moment. Interview Jorge Ramos, who has one of the best lisps on TV, asked Romney if he'd be the first Mexican president. George Romney was born in Mexico, after all!

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"I don’t think people would think I was being honest with them if I said I was Mexican-American," said Romney. "I'd love to be able to convince people of that in a Florida primary!" Cue: Romneylaughter.

But is Romney actually eligible for Mexican citizenship? I don't see it. According to Mexican law, which is incredibly generous, anyone born in Mexico is a citizen, if he wants it. Anyone born to a Mexican national, anywhere, is a citizen. But George Romney never became a Mexican citizen. Good luck with this one, birthers.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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