Univision host suggests Romney could claim Mexican roots

August 29, 2012

TAMPA — Things got a little heated at an event focusing on the Latino vote Wednesday morning.

Univision's Jorge Ramos, whose organization sponsored the event along with National Journal, asked Republican consultant Ana Navarro why Mitt Romney doesn't identify as Mexican, given that that's where his family is from.

Ramos reasoned that Jeb Bush's son, George P. Bush, and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson identify as Latino because they each have a Mexican parent.

Romney's dad was born in Mexico, where his family established a Mormon commune to escape anti-polygamy laws in the United States (more on that here). 

Navarro disagreed with the line of questioning.

"I think that's an unfair question," she said. "He wasn't raised Mexican, and we know that it was very particular circumstances of a Mormon colony that moved to Mexico.

"John McCain was born in Panama, but he's not Panamanian. And guess what: I was born in Nicaragua. I want to be a Cuban-American-Nicaraguan-Mexican from Miami."

That last line earned a big laugh from the crowd at the University Club, and Ramos didn't press the issue any further.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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