Does Mitt Romney have a death wish?

If not, what explanation could there be for him seeking the endorsement of Pete Wilson, the long-forgotten former Republican governor of California, who is universally despised by Latinos, the fastest growing voting block in the country?

While governor, Wilson did everything in his power to enact Proposition 187, the infamous 1994 California ballot measure that would have cut off many public services to undocumented immigrants and was a precursor to anti-immigration laws of Arizona, Alabama and other states. His support for Proposition 187 didn't work out too well for the GOP, provoking a massive flight of Latino voters to the Democratic party.

"Pete Wilson is the best organizer of Latino voters I've ever known," said Eliseo Medina, international secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union. "He has done more to motivate Latinos to become citizens, to register to vote, and to actually turnout on Election Day than anyone before or since."

Wilson has now joined the ranks of a growing group of extremists - people like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the leading architect of the Alabama and Arizona laws - who have flocked to the Romney camp in the belief he is the only one among the wacky field of GOP presidential wannabes with a chance of defeating President Obama.

Some people think that Romney, who has taken every extreme anti-immigrant position possible, seems intent on committing political suicide. But is he?


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Not according to New York political analyst Angelo Falcón, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy.

"Listen, we all are sick and tired of the primaries, and people think it is over, but Romney still has a long way to go," he said. "He is doing this to gain support from the base one way or the other."

Because of the Tea Party, Falcón said, no compromise is possible on the immigration issue, so Romney, a consummate flip-flopper, is doing what he thinks he has to do to persuade them he is a true conservative.

"We are in two different planets - liberals and most Latinos, and the Tea Party," Falcón added. "Romney wants to win, so basically he needs to have a foot in each planet."

For the general election, if he becomes the nominee, Romney will have to find a way to take a moderate position, Falcón said,

"It's going to be very difficult," he added. "I don't know if he will be able to do it."

Something is certain: Romney's extreme positions on immigration and the notoriety of some of the people he has surrounded himself with are not helping him win the hearts and minds of Latino voters.

"Because he attracted such lightning rod figures (Wilson and Kobach) Latinos are going to take a hard look before voting for Romney," said Patrick Young, a writer for the New York Immigration Action Fund website. "He has moved so far to the right compared to McCain and George W. Bush, that next to him, even Gingrich sounds moderate.

"His anti-immigrant stance is going to hurt him and is going to hurt the GOP," Young concluded.

Death wish or not Romney may end up committing political suicide. Tea Party types never trusted him to begin with and even if he becomes the GOP candidate, he will never get the roughly 40% of the Latino vote he needs to win.

As Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) stated: "There's a saying in Spanish that says it all: Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres. Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are. We now know who Mitt Romney is."