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Remarks on the Nomination of Carlos M. Gutierrez To Be Secretary of Commerce

November 29, 2004

The President. Thank you all. I am proud to announce my nomination of Carlos Gutierrez to be America's next Secretary of Commerce. Carlos Gutierrez is one of America's most respected business leaders. He is a great American success story.

As CEO of the Kellogg Company, he has been an effective, visionary executive. He understands the world of business from the first rung on the ladder to the very top. He knows exactly what it takes to help American businesses grow and create jobs. I look forward to having his creativity and expertise in my Cabinet.

Carlos's family came to America from Cuba when he was a boy. He learned English from a bellhop in a Miami hotel and later became an American citizen. When his family eventually settled in Mexico City, Carlos took his first job for Kellogg as a truck driver, delivering Frosted Flakes to local stores. Ten years after he started, he was running the Mexican business, and 15 years after that, he was running the entire company. At every stage of this remarkable story, Carlos motivated others with his energy and optimism and impressed others with his decency.

In his career, Carlos has been sustained by the values taught by his parents, Pedro and Olga, and by the love of his wife, Edi, and his children, Carlos, Erika, and Karina. I know Olga Gutierrez, who lives in Florida, is proud to see the boy she took from Cuba chosen to help strengthen the world's greatest and finest economy.

Carlos will carry on the work of a distinguished leader, Secretary Don Evans. During the past 4 years, our economy has overcome a recession, terrorist attack, corporate scandals, and the uncertainty that comes with war. In all these challenges, Don has been a strong and steady advocate for America's businesses and workers and entrepreneurs. Don has also been my friend for over three decades. I've counted on his wisdom and optimism and character at every step on my journey to the White House. Now Don's own journey leads him back to Texas, where we were young men together. Don is one of the finest people I have ever known. I will miss having him in Washington, and Laura and I wish him and Susie well.

When he's confirmed by the Senate, Carlos Gutierrez will take office at a time of historic opportunity for our changing economy. With Carlos's leadership, we'll help more Americans, especially minorities and women, to start and grow their own small business. We'll reduce the burden of junk lawsuits and regulations on our entrepreneurs. We'll reform our outdated Tax Code to eliminate needless paperwork and encourage savings, investment, and growth. We'll continue our commitment to free and fair trade. Carlos and I know that America's workers can compete with anybody in the world. And in all these policies, we will ensure that the American economy keeps creating jobs and remains dynamic and flexible far into the future.

In Carlos Gutierrez, the Department of Commerce will have an experienced manager and an innovative leader. He will be a strong, principled voice for American business and an inspiration to millions of men and women who dream of a better life in our country. I ask the Senate to confirm this fine nominee as quickly as possible. I look forward to welcoming him into my Cabinet.


[At this point, Secretary-designate Gutierrez made brief remarks.]

The President. Great job. Thank you. Congratulations.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:10 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Susan Evans, wife of Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of Secretary-designate Gutierrez. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks.

George W. Bush, Remarks on the Nomination of Carlos M. Gutierrez To Be Secretary of Commerce Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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