November 16th, 2012
04:54 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney's Hispanic chairman to create new immigration reform super PAC

(CNN) – After Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans failed to garner the support of the nation's fastest growing minority group in November's election, Carlos Gutierrez, the man who led Romney's outreach to Hispanic voters, said he and Republicans advocating for immigration reform are creating a super PAC in hopes of repairing the party's image among the pivotal voting block.

In an interview set to air in full Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley, Gutierrez also sharply criticized Romney's remarks made on a call Wednesday with donors following his loss in last week's election. Romney explained his loss in part by pointing to "gifts" President Barack Obama gave to certain groups that turned out in high numbers.

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Gutierrez, the former secretary of commerce, said he was "shocked" by Romney's comments.

"I think we lost the election because the far right of this party has taken the party to a place that it doesn't belong," he said. "We are the party of prosperity, of growth, of tolerance. I mean these immigrants who come across and what they do wrong is they risk their lives, they come here and they work because they want to be part of the American Dream."

The super PAC - Republicans for Immigration Reform - will be created with Charlie Spies, who worked for Romney in 2008 and was a co-founder of the largest super PAC backing Romney this election, Restore Our Future.

Gutierrez's super PAC, he said, extends to immigrants beyond just the Latino community and hopes to create a path to legalization for undocumented workers.

"First they have to be legalized and then you have to find a way to get into a line for the green card, but first some sort of legalization for the workers who are here. There'll be requirements and we'll have to negotiate some sort of requirements," he said.

During his campaign, Romney sought to bridge positions that appealed to both Hispanic supporters and the base of the Republican Party. Initially Romney said he would veto the DREAM Act, advocating for a path to residency, not citizenship, for undocumented immigrants serving in the military. Later he gave a more detailed version of his stance, telling supporters at a fund-raiser in Florida that Republicans needed to offer their own version of the DREAM Act.

Admitting his candidate said a lot of things that were seen as anti-Latino, Gutierrez said he didn't know if Romney "understood that he was saying something that was insulting."

He added: "Perhaps it's just a lack of knowledge, a lack of intimacy with the community, but it bothers me when I hear someone use the term 'illegal alien.' I understand it's a legal term, but when a Latino hears that it is just, they cringe at that."

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Latinos • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. freedom

    Didn't Obama promise amnesty? That's a complicated issue – and it was presented like a gift. There needs to be a reasonable solution to the problem addressing all the issues – how about all the immigrants from all over the world who are waiting in line to become citizens? Do they get moved to the back of the line? We're an inclusive country, but we have limitations like any other country in the world. And the border states have some real issues with crime, etc. It's not as easy as Mr. Gutierrez says – and basically, he didn't do such a great job reaching out. So, I think he should hold his harsh criticism.

    November 16, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. BillSD33

    "We are the party of prosperity, of growth, of tolerance."

    Maybe in the 1860's but not today. We will see how far they come when the 2014 primaries roll around. If they stick to the right wing conservatives who care nothing for anyone but themselves, you can all join the other side!

    November 16, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    THis makes perfect sense, seeing as how this guy must've been deeply involved in Mittens' failed Hispanic outreach and was a supporter of Mittens, about whom Jennifer Rubin of WaPo just wrote:

    "Frankly there have been whispers at the Republican National Committee and elsewhere that Romney has used even more grotesque language, suggesting that the loss is due to Hispanic voters who have become enamored with Obamacare."

    She was one of his biggest poltiical groupies when he was running and now says that? Clearly, the guy who supported Mittens and did his Hispanic outreach as chairman...he's definitely the guy to fix it all for the GOP/Teatrolls though, eh?

    November 16, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Data Driven

    Yeah! Those illegal aliens are taking all the good jobs we want! Picking lettuce! Cleaning the bedsheets in motels!

    Look, I wish Guitierrez well, but racism is a human trait, like opposable thumbs, and those who have that trait in abundance have chosen the GOP.

    November 16, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    Gifts. The new Fox word of the week.
    P.A.T.H.E.T.I.C.

    November 16, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Jim Hahn

    I wish them luck. They have to change more than how the GOP is viewed by Hispanics. They have to change the party itself and that's a very tall order.

    November 16, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. it must be said

    nobody opposes immigration reform, just as long as it is done after the southern border is secured. otherwise we will go through this fiasco for a thrid, fourth, fifth, sixth...... time. don't play the american people for fools again. no other country on the planet leaves its borders wide open for an invasion by tens of millions of people.

    November 16, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. just sayin

    I guess when the next huge terrorist attack on the usa comes from people walking our our unsecured border with mexico, only then will we take border security seriously. why are we strip searching grandma and he kids at airports but think and unsecured 1800 mile southern border is acceptable? will it take 100, 1000, 10,000, 100,000, deaths???? what will be the price? decide america. how many lives are you willing to risk? and are some of your families included in that count?

    November 16, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. 1twinsfan

    Here's a tip or two – quit treating all Hispanics as immigrants, legal or otherwise. Stop acting as if Hispanics are new to America, that they can only be first generation at best. You know, remember the Alamo?

    November 16, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. PJ

    All of a sudden the Republicans have a new love for latinos. Not because they "feel their pain", but because
    they need their votes. He will form another Super-PAC with Charlie Spies, co-founder of Restore Our Future??
    That's all you need to know to understand their motivation.
    This guy was "shocked" by Romney's "gifts" comment, but apparently, not bothered by his "47%" comment?
    Gutierrez should have walked away from Romney a long time ago. Since he didn't, he can't be taken
    seriously now.

    November 16, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    Not a done deal. The GOP/Tea Party has nurtured a culture of hate and intolerance for so long that change will come slowly.

    November 16, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. Romneyhood is Psycho

    NO!!!! YOU don't get to be shocked, my friend. YOU sold out. EVERYBODY told you (and the GOP) what willard was about. YOU are the "agent X" of the hispanic community! If YOU don't know what that means, do a little research and then, make your peace with the American people. But, claiming to be "shocked" ain't gonna get it!! Don't think we're so naive as to believe YOU aren't "shocked" because your pocket book depends on it. We ain't buying what you're selling. Go hang out with willard....if he sees you as anything other than "the help"!!!

    November 16, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Jack

    Just what we need. More superpacs.

    November 16, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. The Situation

    Now you fools in the middle within the GOP just realize that the far right, the Cheney's, Palin's, Bachman's and all those Tea baggers run the party. Romney is just a sore loser. He is just an arrogant fool that really thought he would win. His flip flopping and consistent lies is what killed his chances of ever being President. Romney doesn't have the back bone to stand up to the far right. Thank God he and his ultra arrogant wife and kids won't be seen now and hopefully forever!

    November 16, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. Karen

    "it must be said" stated it perfectly. No other country on the planet leaves it borders wide open for an invasion by tens of millions of people. Passing immigration reform is great once the borders are SECURED. This country belongs to US citizens. It should not be deemed "politically incorrect" to be frustrated and angry watching your country morph and melt away in record time, fueled by law-breakers. And, again, Immigration was meant to refer to people coming from ALL countries with whom we had an immigration agreement, not just Mexico. That Immigration and MEXICO are always in the same discussion, sentence, thought indicates a HUGE problem. There are others in other countries wanting to come here too. Enough is enough. My parents were very respectful of other people and cultures. We traveled all over the world. We respected each country we visited and it's traditions. If they came back to life today and saw the US as it is now, they would be shocked.

    November 16, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. dagaslani

    mister freedom you dont know what u say I think so u look all so like mit rommy:) this people heen in usa more than 10 some off them 15 and 20 yiirs they have kids usa citizen do u understand ? I dont think so you guys understand nothink I am very sure i feel I am writing sometimes ston hearth people :)

    November 16, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  17. W.G.

    Don´t worry Senior Gutierrez , I will always be there to remind Latinos where the republicans really stand
    on the subject of Latinos . You can lie all you want but the fact is republicans are racists ! The GOP dinosaurs
    should find a nice soft sandy bank on a river and bury themselves in it and hurry up and become the Fossils
    they really are !

    November 16, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  18. MS Lopez

    The Republicans the party of hell no can't be trusted. Remember people talk is cheap. The Republicans need to step up and do something for the minorities in this country. Until then no way my vote goes to a Republican.

    November 16, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. Thomas

    He did a lot of good for Romney ?

    "Perhaps it's just a lack of knowledge" ,

    So if Mitt Romney is better , how is Ann Romney ?

    November 16, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  20. jayce12341

    You have to love these comments. What is not mentioned is that all this was started with the poor leadership of G. W. Bush. It set the table for Obama four years ago and the complete destruction of the Romney candidacy. I don't see how attracting the Latino vote is going to help them get elected. Their principles and the hot heads of the party will destroy them.

    November 16, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. joe

    don't trust this lier. He is mittens man. You see the repos out there saying the want to suceed and wanting to impeach the president. The conspirecy theries. The terribel remarks about susan rice. Don;t trust any of them . They are a party of racist liers.

    November 16, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. clarity6

    Get rid of the Tea Party, include diverse people, and maybe the Republican party will bounce back.

    November 16, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  23. marc

    This guy had no problem with anti-immigrant Romney. Romney's loses the election, this guy is looking for his next meal ticket via super pacs.

    November 16, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  24. Alfred E. Neuman

    Cubans will never get it!

    November 16, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  25. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Gutierrez is no friend to Hispanics. He is another outsourcer of American jobs just like Mitt Romney. Gutierrez outsourced Hispanic workers jobs along with those of other ethnic groups as well. He is a typical modern day republican, focused only on the wealthy, and lining his on pockets at the expense of workers.

    November 17, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
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