Romney supporters starting pro-immigration reform super PAC
Republican Presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) 29th Annual Conference on June 21, 2012 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Romney spoke about immigration reform as he continues to battle U.S. President Barack Obama for votes. / Getty Images/Gerardo Mora
Updated 12:30 p.m. ET
Just weeks after Mitt Romney lost the Hispanic vote by more than any Republican presidential candidate since Bob Dole in 1996, two of Romney's supporters announced a new super PAC to appeal to Hispanic voters.
Carlos Gutierrez, former Commerce Secretary to President George W. Bush and adviser to Romney's 2012 presidential run, is teaming up with Charlie Spies, a Washington attorney who ran the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future this past election cycle. The new super PAC, Republicans for Immigration Reform, is an attempt to increase Republican appeal to Hispanic voters on an issue - immigration reform - that is close to millions of immigrants.
Spies called the election close, but he offered a warning sign for Republicans. He said that if the demographic breakdown in four years is the same as it was in 2012, with President Obama winning 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, the impact on the Republican Party would be "devastating."
"We need to have a positive approach moving forward," Spies told CBSNews.com. He said the purpose of the super PAC, which could possibly have an affiliated organization as well, is to support Republicans running in primaries who take more moderate positions on immigration.
Since Congress' failure to adopt comprehensive immigration reform in 2006, many Republicans have adopted a hard-line stance on the issue, which reached its height during the Republican presidential primaries when candidates pushed various stringent anti-immigrant positions.
Spies said it's too early to discuss specific strategy and funding goals, but he said his organization would support the efforts of leaders in the Republican Party backing immigration reform, including Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and House Speaker John Boehner. He said he hasn't received any pushback yet, but he is "sure" some Republicans "will not be happy."
"[W]e're talking about something real and something that can have real influence on outcomes of elections," Gutierrez said about the new super PAC on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.
Gutierrez said the Republican Party has made a tragic mistake. "I think we lost the election because the far right of this party has taken the party to a place that it doesn't belong," Gutierrez added on the program. "I mean, these immigrants who come across and what they do wrong is they risk their lives, they come here and they work because they want to be part of the American dream. That is what the GOP is."
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