Department of Preening Editorials (1): Mitt Romney's "Immigration Incoherence"

By Stanley Renshon and Stanley Renshon on October 1, 2012

Editor's Note: View a listing of the entire series

The Washington Post is out with a tendentious and inaccurate editorial decrying Mitt Romney's "immigration incoherence".

The Post's editorial begins with what it believes is a putdown, but which actually turns out to make a point in Mr. Romney's favor that it didn't intend. It brings up Mr. Romney's joke before a group of contributors: "'I say that jokingly,' said the Republican presidential nominee, who plainly wasn’t joking at all, 'but it would be helpful to be Latino.'"


The Post goes on, "So in search of some street cred that might lift his chances in Colorado, Nevada, or Virginia, Mr. Romney has cited what passes for his Hispanic roots — the fact that his father, George, was born (to American parents) in Mexico — and has deployed his son Craig, who speaks Spanish, in ads on Spanish-language media."

Actually Mr. Romney, jokes aside, has specifically disavowed any claim to an ethnic heritage that might benefit him, in spite for the fact that others, like Elizabeth Warren, have done so on the basis of "family lore".

He was asked about this very fact during his recent Univision interview:




Jorge Ramos:
Your father was born in Mexico. Are you sure you're not Hispanic?

Mitt Romney:
 I think for political purposes that might have helped me here at the University of Miami today. But the truth is, as you know my, dad was born of American parents living in Mexico. But he came back to this country at age 5 or 6 and was helped to get on his feet, and recognized this was the land of opportunity. And he's been the role model and inspiration throughout my life.


Mr. Romney has never identified himself or his life as anything but American. He is a walking embodiment of an identity that makes his American nationality more primary that any racial or ethnic heritage.

But that tendentious and inaccurate snarky snippet is only the warm up for the Post's real complaint about Mr. Romney and his immigration views.

Next: Department of Preening Editorials (2): The Issue of Specificity