Patt Morrison Asks: Pocho pundit Lalo Alcaraz
Cartoonist and artist Lalo Alcaraz is the creator of the first nationally-syndicated, politically-themed Latino daily comic strip, "La Cucaracha." (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)
He [is] Mitt Romney's alter ego who somehow exists in the same dimension as Mitt Romney. People tweet Mexican Mitt every day and ask questions. They'll say, “I saw you on the news!” They say, “Why did you deny your Mexican heritage again today?”
Romney has been running for four years. Where has Mexican Mitt been all this time?
Most of the time he's been sequestered [at] his campaign headquarters, which is a sprawling goat ranch somewhere in Chihuahua, but apparently he's been on the move [too]. He live tweets the debates while he's onstage and not — and people just accept this.
I would love to do shots with Mexican Mitt as he barbecues a goat for me on his ranch. He's living the Mexi-Mormon dream.
OK now: Romney is eligible for dual U.S.-Mexican citizenship because his father was born in Mexico. And Mormons have been known to baptize the dead by proxy, in order to be united in the afterlife with those who died before the advent of Mormonism. So, maybe Mexican Mitt could apply for Mexican citizenship for Romney by proxy?
That is the first thing Mexican Mitt is going to do as soon as this column is out! He did baptize Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera the other day.
Are Mexican Mitt's politics different from the real Mitt's?
Mexican Mitt gets tweets from people who say, “I love you so much but I can't stand what you say.” He's against the Dream Act; he thinks undocumented students should only dream of him. He loves firing people; he goes to Home Depot and hires undocumented workers just to fire them.
How's his Spanish?
Pretty good, although people get nitpicky and they start quizzing him: What's the Mexican national cheese? And Mexican Mitt says: Goat! Mexican Mitt, he's redefining what it means to be Mexican.
His Twitter mantra is “I am the most Mexican man in the world! Follow me as I run for president of the United Estates.” What are some of his best tweets?
Well, of course, “I am the Juan percent.” That's a classic. And “I am a yob creator.” There's a lot of them. Oh, and his tax plan is the Juan Juan Juan Plan: 1% tax on the 1% rich 1 time only.
What does Mexican Mitt ultimately want out of this campaign?
He's in it to win it. He wants to go all the way and paint the White House brown.
Some years ago, Americans began spending more on salsa than on catsup. And Newt Gingrich is studying Spanish. Isn't that noteworthy?
It's a slow-moving ship of American pop culture. [And] the Republicans are simultaneously bashing Latinos with the pinata stick in one hand and a bag of candy in the other.
Come on, you can tell me: Aren't you really Mexican Mitt?
I am really really behind Mexican Mitt 100%.
This interview was edited and excerpted from a longer taped transcript. Interview archive: latimes.com/pattasks.