On NBC's Rock Center on Monday, correspondent Mike Taibbi led the broadcast with a report on Mitt Romney's family roots in Mexico: "It's a little known fact that there's a whole branch of Mitt's family living right here in Mexico, including his second cousin, Layton Romney." [Audio available here]
Following the report, host Brian Williams used the story to discuss Mitt Romney's stance on illegal immigration, observing: "And couldn't you make the case the family tree is an aspect of the Dream Act?" Taibbi agreed: "Absolutely. I mean, his father [George Romney] could be the poster boy for the Dream Act." [View video after the jump]
During his report, Taibbi explained that George Romney was born in Mexico: "Down one branch [of the Romney family tree], mitt's grandfather Gaskell and Mitt's Mexican-born father George, later a two-term Michigan governor who ran for president in 1968 and asserted that because both his parents were American-born, his birthplace didn't matter."
Talking to Williams, Taibbi highlighted how Romney's Mexican cousins split with the presidential candidate on the issue of immigration: "I mean, he's in opposition to the Dream Act, obviously. He supports a border fence, and his cousins down there say that doesn't make any sense at all....they don't think their cousin has the right point of view."
Here is a transcript of the January 9 exchange between Williams and Taibbi:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Mike, it's a fascinating story. And aside from the political science angle, George Romney's citizenship status and whether that would have survived a challenge, the issue just lying out there, we're in an election year, is immigration.
MIKE TAIBBI: Yeah, it's going to happen. Obviously, they have a different point of view on that than does candidate Mitt right now. I mean, he's in opposition to the Dream Act, obviously. He supports a border fence, and his cousins down there say that doesn't make any sense at all. There has to be a way because it's important for people to find a way to work, to get a path, to let them work temporarily at least. And they don't think their cousin has the right point of view. That would be a big issue for them to discuss.
WILLIAMS: And couldn't you make the case the family tree is an aspect of the Dream Act?
TAIBBI: Absolutely. I mean, his father could be the poster boy for the Dream Act.
WILLIAMS: Mike, great piece of reporting, thank you.