President George W. Bush’s onetime commerce secretary announced he would back Hillary Clinton instead of Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“I’m not thinking about [it as] a Republican, I’m thinking about [it as] a US citizen,” Carlos Gutierrez said on CNN’s “State of Union” on Sunday. “I think at some point, you have to put the party aside and say what’s best for the country? I don’t want to live in a society that I think Donald Trump will create.”
Gutierrez, who served as commerce secretary from 2005 to 2009, also said he had concerns about Trump’s economic plans.
“His plan, I love the tax cuts, I’m a Republican, but then he has this sort of import substitution strategy, which is a strategy like an underdeveloped country, very poor countries think that way,” he said. “[The idea] that we have to substitute our imports. That would be a disaster.”
Gutierrez is currently chairman of the Albright Stoneridge Group, which is co-chaired by former President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. He was the CEO of the Kellogg Company when Bush tapped him as commerce secretary for his second presidential term.
Gutierrez, whose family emigrated from Cuba when he was a child, also helped create the super PAC Republicans for Immigration Reform. He was Mitt Romney’s Hispanic outreach director in 2012, though he later expressed concern about some of Romney’s rhetoric during the campaign.
Gutierrez donated $2,150 to the super PAC in 2013 around the time when the initial push for immigration reform was being debated in the Senate. He also donated $25,000 to Right to Rise USA, a super PAC supportive of the presidential campaign of Bush’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.