Romney Taps Gutierrez To Lead Hispanic Leadership Team

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

(CNN) – Carlos Gutierrez, the former secretary of Commerce, will lead Mitt Romney's Hispanic Steering Committee, the presumptive Republican nominee announced Wednesday.

The new leadership team, which Romney's campaign is calling "Juntos Con Romney," also includes Jose Fuentes, the former attorney general of Puerto Rico, and Hector Barreto, the former administrator of the Small Business Administration.

"The Hispanic community has been especially hard-hit by President Obama's policies," Gutierrez said in a statement. "Instead of spurring economic growth and creating jobs, President Obama has only expanded government and hurt job-creation. We need a leader who will bring back jobs, help small businesses, and ensure that the American Dream remains for future generations. Mitt Romney has a proven record of creating jobs both in the private sector and as governor."

Gutierrez will appear Wednesday on CNN's "John King, USA" at 6 p.m. ET.

Romney included several other prominent names on his new Hispanic council, naming four top backers as honorary chairmen. Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were all named to Romney's committee, which the campaign said would "help guide the campaign on important Hispanic initiatives and outreach."

Latino voters are considered key to winning the 2012 presidential election since they make up an increasing large chunk of the American electorate. They also represent a significant part of the population in several important swing states, including Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

Romney faces a large deficit among Hispanic voters, who overwhelming went for President Barack Obama in 2008. The latest survey, from Gallup, showed Romney with the backing from 26% of registered Hispanic voters, compared to 67% who back Obama.


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