Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist Joel Stein had an interesting idea for a column: Take an anti-immigration politician to a Mexican restaurant.
So he met up with dark horse Republican candidate Tom Tancredo for a Mexican meal while on the Iowa campaign trail. The original plan? Have dinner at Mami’s Authentic Mexican Food in the town of Muscatine, IA. Yup, we never heard of it either. But it turns out that one of the restaurant’s owners marched in the massive Day Without an Immigrant in 2006.
Instead, they went to a restaurant named (yup) Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe. We’ll let Stein take it from here:
Carlos O’Kelly’s makes the finest Mexican food with an Irish flair of any chain restaurant in Iowa. The enchiladas came with a sort of hollandaise sauce that constituted a greater insult to Mexicans than anything Tancredo has ever said. Tancredo, who is a very likable, polite man, gave the food a very generous C+. “I was sick we couldn’t go to Mami’s. I heard it was good,” he said. “But if they’re going to boycott America, I’m going to boycott Mami’s.” Looking at my enchiladas, he sighed. “For all I know, this place is owned by a big liberal.” A big liberal who hates food.
Before we left, I asked Tancredo: Instead of struggling with the problems that stem from illegal immigration, why don’t we just let more people in legally? “Just so I can have a good Mexican restaurant?” he asked. How a man who ate the same meal as me can even ask that question is beyond my understanding.
My taco with Tancredo [Los Angeles Times]