Bush nominated Carlos Gutierrez, chief executive officer
of the Kellogg Company, for the Cabinet post of secretary
of commerce on November 29.
In a joint appearance at the White House,
Bush said that Gutierrez -- once confirmed by the Senate
-- will take office at a time of "historic opportunity"
for the changing U.S. economy. With Gutierrez's leadership,
Bush said, he wants to see more Americans, particularly
minorities and women, start their own businesses, while
the federal government works to reduce the burdens of frivolous
lawsuits and excessive regulation. Bush said he also wants
to reform the U.S. Tax Code to encourage savings and investment,
maintain the U.S. commitment to free and fair trade, and
assure that the U.S. economy keeps creating jobs and remains
dynamic and flexible.
Bush took note of Gutierrez's family's roots
as Cuban refugees who arrived in the United States in 1960
when Gutierrez was 6 years old. Gutierrez started working
for Kellogg in 1975 in Mexico City, where his family had
settled, and became chief executive officer (CEO) 15 years
later. Gutierrez "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,"
Gutierrez said he believes "passionately"
in Bush's call for a "vibrant, growing entrepreneurial
society, where everyone has the opportunity to experience
the joy and the pride of ownership, where everyone can contribute,
and where everyone can benefit."
If confirmed, Gutierrez, CEO of the food
products company since April 1999, would succeed Don Evans,
who held the cabinet position during President Bush's first
term in office. Evans submitted his resignation on November
Following is the transcript of remarks by President Bush
and Secretary of Commerce nominee Carlos Gutierrez:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
November 29, 2004
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY OF
COMMERCE NOMINEE CARLOS GUTIERREZ
The Roosevelt Room
11:10 A.M. EST
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
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 four 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. Congratulations.
MR. GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Mr. President.
I'm, needless to say, humbled, I'm honored, I'm very grateful
to be here. And should the United States Senate confirm
me, I look forward to working with you on your team, helping
you achieve the plans that you've laid out, the bold plans
for our economy.
And I'll be especially honored, if confirmed,
to walk in the footsteps of Secretary Evans, who has served
with great honor and distinction. And I realize those are
big, big shoes to fill. And I'm also grateful for the President
to have chosen me to succeed someone of the stature and
the caliber of Secretary Evans.
Mr. President, I believe passionately in
your vision of a 21st century where America is the best
country in the world with which to do business; we have
the best people, we have the training, we have the workers,
we have the culture. And I believe that the 21st century
is really and truly the American century, as the President
does. I believe passionately in your leadership and the
direction you've set. I believe in your call for a vibrant,
growing entrepreneurial society, where everyone has the
opportunity to experience the joy and the pride of ownership,
where everyone can contribute, and where everyone can benefit.
I have had the opportunity to live that
American Dream, so I know that the President's vision is
noble, I know it's real and I know it's tangible. I left
Cuba to come to this great country in 1960 as a political
refugee. I left with my parents and my brother and we started,
essentially, from scratch at that time. Almost 30 years
later, I joined the Kellogg Company and started selling
cereal out of a van in Mexico City.
I recall saying to someone the other day
that one of my big accomplishments in life was to obtain
citizenship for my son and my wife, because of where people
were born -- born in different places; they were not naturalized
citizens upon birth, especially my son. So 14 years ago,
they became U.S. citizens. I was walking out of the courthouse
and I told my son, you know, if I get hit by a truck today,
I'll feel a lot better because you are a citizen of the
So we never imagined, Mr. President, never
imagined that this country would give me this great opportunity
and that you would have the confidence in me, sir.
Mr. President, I'd like to recognize those
who have been with me every step of the way, who have supported
me and with whom I would not be here: my wife of 25 years,
Edi, who has given me all the support and has become a big
part of the success that I have had; Carlos, my son; my
daughter Erika, and my daughter Karina. They've been with
me throughout this -- throughout this journey. I would also
be remiss here if I didn't mention the 25,000 people who
work at the Kellogg Company, the board of directors for
their support throughout the years. I would be nowhere near
here without their support.
If confirmed by the Senate, I will be honored
to serve President Bush, I will be honored to serve my country,
honored to serve the Department of Commerce and play a role
in advancing the President's great and bold agenda for our
Thank you. Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Great job, thank you. Congratulations.
11:20 A.M. EST