Check out this new attack ad in which the Mitt Romney campaign hits at Texas Gov. Rick Perry for supporting a move to let the children of undocumented immigrants attend state universities in Texas by paying in-state tuition.
The ad is interesting on several levels. For one, it allows former Mexican President Vicente Fox to speak at length in praise of Perry. Romney's PR people seem to be playing on a belief of some Americans that anything that Mexicans like Fox may praise is no good. In other words, if it's good for Mexicans, it must be bad for Americans.
It starts off showing photos of Obama, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- all clearly lacking in patriotism for part of the GOP base -- then casts them as agreeing with Fox, who heads a sovereign nation that is not the United States. So the ad also plays off patriotism and loyalty-to-the-country feelings.
Then there's the matter of Romney's ancestry and the way that Mexico opened its doors to his Mormon relatives who fled U.S. territory so they could continue to practice polygamy. There was a great Washington Post story on this a few weeks back. The attack ad was posted at New York magazine's website, and drew the following post from a reader:
... the entire Romney family might at one time have been considered "illegal." See, Romney's great (or great-great, or even great-great-great) grandfathers made a run for the border with his wives and kids in tow when polygamy was made illegal here in the U.S. At least one generation of Romneys, if not more, were born, raised and settled in Mexico. Then another grandfather (great?) headed back across the border, where the family fortune -- and runs for political office by various and sundry Romneys through the years -- was made. I believe Vicente Fox did say at one time that Romney DOES qualify for dual U.S./Mexican citizenship. Fascinating how this whole immigration thing works, isn't it?
This may come back to haunt Romney in a general election (if he is the Republican candidate) as he tries to rally Latino voters, many of whom are of Mexican origin. We'll monitor what other ways Mexico arises as a theme in the campaign.