Romney Picks Gutierrez to Woo Hispanic Vote
GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney hopes high-profile Hispanic appointments will overcome poor polling results
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 6/6/2012, 8:14 PM
GOP challenger Mitt Romney appointed former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez to head his hispanic Steering Committee on Wednesday.
"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," he added.
The new leadership team, dubbed "Juntos Con Romney," also includes former Attorney General of Peurto Rico Jose Fuentes, and former administrator the Small Business Administration Hector Barreto.
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 will "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 growing 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.
Analysts say such a large deficit would likely cost Romney the election.