Photo: The Washington Post
If he ends up running against Mitt Romney in 2012, Barack Obama would not be the only presidential candidate whose father was born outside of the United States, according to a Washington Post report.Miles Park Romney, Mitt’s great-grandfather fled to Mexico in 1885 to avoid U.S. anti-polygamy laws. With his four wives and 30 children, Romney settled in Colonia Juarez on the banks of the Piedras Verdes River.
George Romney, Miles’ grandson and Mitt’s father, fled his native Mexico for the United States when he was just five years old. He went on to become CEO of the American Motors Corporation and was later elected Governor of Michigan. He ran unsuccesfully for president in 1968, raising questions about his eligibility for the office under the “natural-born citizen” clause of the American constitution.
Unlike George Romney, many other Romneys remained behind in Mexico, and continue to live south of the border today, though they gave up polygamy decades ago.
In recent years, the Romneys of Ciudad Juarez have, like all Mexicans, faced increasing threats from drug traffickers. Several farm managers have been kidnapped, and one of Mitt Romney’s cousins, a 70-year old rancher named Meredith Romney, was kidnapped two years ago and tied up in a cave.
The Mexican part of the family—mostly the former Massachusetts governor’s second-cousins—say they have never met their famous American relative. They largely agree with his conservative stances, except on immigration.
“The Hispanic vote is becoming powerful in the U.S., and I don’t think Mitt understands the causes of illegal immigration,” said Kelly Romney, one of Mitt’s cousins.
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