In politics, it is sometimes impossible to avoid encountering heated exchanges between political opponents.
Recently, Illinois Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez leveled charges at White House Chief of Staff retired U.S. Army General David Kelly. While Kelly’s response was pointed, it was not nearly as harsh as those of Hispanic 100 spokesman Steve Cortes.
First, a little background. Many of us have been aware of Rep. Gutierrez since he joined the U.S. House of Representatives in 1993. From some of his supporters, he has received high praise — such as this:
In 2010, Frank Sharry of America’s Voice, an immigration reform advocacy group, said of Gutierrez: “He’s as close as the Latino community has to a Martin Luther King figure.”
His supporters have given him the nickname El Gallito — the little fighting rooster — in reference to his fiery oratory and political prowess.
Often when I’ve seen Gutierrez in the news, I’ve been distracted by his tone and it has, at times, been difficult to listen to what he is saying.
Here is the Gutierrez/Kelly story as reported by Kathryn Blackhurst at Lifezette.com:
[Steve] Cortes, a former member of President Donald Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council, responded to criticisms Gutierrez leveled against Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general and Trump’s former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, after the administration announced a cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Gutierrez called Kelly “a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear” for serving in the Trump administration. On Tuesday, Gutierrez defended his remarks during an interview with The Washington Post, saying, “He’s a politician, okay, not a general. I don’t see a uniform. He’s a politician who works for Donald Trump.”
Fellow Hispanic “Cortes hammered Gutierrez for his divisive, partisan rhetoric”:
“[Gutierrez] is a race-baiter, he’s a huckster, he’s a political opportunist who’s done nothing for his community, done quite a lot for himself,” Cortes said, noting that he recently wrote an article detailing how Gutierrez “paid his wife out of his campaign funds, which is legal, but very sleazy.”
“He’s paid her … $385,000 since 2010 from his campaign committee. So that’s the kind of guy he is. That’s his honor,” Cortes said before asking how the Illinois Democrat could have “the gall” to demean Kelly — “a man who served in our uniform for 45 years, who led the capture of Tikrit in Iraq, who lost his son in Afghanistan.”
Cortes called Gutierrez’s comments “reprehensible,” “disrespectful,” and “unbecoming of anyone who holds office in this country.”
Steve Cortes also made this important point:
Cortes bashed Democratic politicians for shying away from debating policies “rationally” and instead choosing to label Trump and other GOP members as “racists” if they support immigration enforcement measures.
“They automatically play the racist card that’s almost become the Left’s version of sort of McCarthyism … ‘We can’t debate policy. We’re going to call you a bigot immediately,'” Cortes said.
General Kelly had this to say:
“As far as the congressman and other irresponsible members of congress are concerned, they have the luxury of saying what they want as they do nothing and have almost no responsibility… They can call people liars but it would be inappropriate for me to say the same thing back at them. As my blessed mother used to say ’empty barrels make the most noise.’”
For more on Rep. Gutierrez and this controversy, follow these links:
Rep. Luis Gutierrez has paid his wife over $400,000 in campaign funds
Swamp Thing Luis Gutierrez Doubles Down