The Hard Luck Life of Willard Mitt Romney

The Hard Luck Life of Willard Mitt Romney

The Hard Luck Life of Willard Mitt Romney

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 28 2012 9:10 AM

The Hard Luck Life of Willard Mitt Romney

ORLANDO, Fla. --  It was a quick, tested line in Thursday night's presidential debate, a way for Mitt Romney to shame Newt Gingrich out of his claim that Romney was "the most anti-immigrant" candidate running.

"I'm not anti-immigrant," said Romney. "My father was born in Mexico. My wife's father was born in Wales."

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True: George Romney was born Mexico, in a Mormon colony in the state of Chihuahua. His mother and father were anglos from Utah. But the time George's son Mitt was born, in 1947, George was a successful automotive industry spokesman; by the time Mitt graduated from college, George was a former American Motors Executive working for the Nixon administration. The Mexico genesis was sort of a fluke.

It's still awfully resonant. After Romney spoke here, I met Bill Wilton, 64, an exterminator and Vietnam veteran who was squarely for Romney. One reason: "He came up from nothing. His father immigrated here from Mexico."

That's not what Romney was saying. But it's not a problem if people believe it...

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.