Carly Fiorina

By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Jun. 27, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

In a bid to reach out to Latino voters, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina campaigned in Sacramento on Saturday with former Bush administration Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, a well-known advocate of creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

But Fiorina declined to say whether she agrees with Gutierrez on the issue.

“There is no point in talking about anything else until we get these first things done,” the former Hewlett-Packard CEO said. “When we secure the border, and when we have a temporary worker program that works, then you come ask me that question.”

Fiorina and Gutierrez also disagree on Arizona’s tough new anti-immigration law: She supports it and he opposes it.

“We’ve got the best law enforcement officials going after gardeners and parking lot attendants and people who clean hotel rooms,” Gutierrez said of the Arizona law. “And they’re not the enemy. The enemy are the people who are bringing in drugs and are killing people.”

Fiorina is looking to bite into Democrats’ traditional advantage with Latino voters, who made up 19 percent of the California electorate in 2008.

Fiorina, facing Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in November, on Saturday also launched a Spanish-language website, “Amigos de Carly.”

While in President George W. Bush’s administration, the Cuban-born Gutierrez, former CEO of Kellogg Co., urged Congress to adopt a path to citizenship and to create a temporary worker program.

Gutierrez said that for 15 years he has been a friend of Fiorina, who sat on the Kellogg board that appointed him CEO. He called her “a common-sense Republican, and because of her experience in business, she tends to do what works, what is right and what is good for the country.”

Gutierrez said he does not know if Fiorina supports a path to citizenship. He said he will ask her.

Fiorina’s appearance at the Texas Mexican Restaurant was billed as a town hall. Most of the people who sat in about 25 chairs and stood around them at the downtown restaurant were affiliated with the campaign or active in Republican politics.

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