The anti-immigration views of some Republican presidential candidates, coupled with their opposition to the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, would spell trouble for the nation, former Commerce Carlos Gutierrez told CNBC on Tuesday
"If we do what I'm hearing a lot of Republicans say, which is these trade deals are terrible, no more trade deals, ... and in addition to that 'I'm not sure about immigration,' we're looking at a pretty deep recession at some point in the future," said Gutierrez, who was commerce secretary in the second Bush administration.
Gutierrez made his comments in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box." He did not name any of the candidates.
Donald Trump stirred up the immigration issue with harsh criticism of Mexican immigrants when he announced his presidential bid in June. Since then, he has pressed his case for reforming immigration, including construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent illegal entry into America.
Trump has also been one of the most critical voices in the Republican field on TPP, tweeting earlier this month that the deal is a "terrible idea" and "the incompetence of our current administration is beyond comprehension."
Gutierrez, co-chair of global advisory firm Albright Stonebridge Group, said opposing trade and immigration hurts the potential for job creation.
"They're all talking about creating jobs. And the first thing out of their mouths is, 'Trade is bad, immigration is bad.' We already have more than 5.5 million jobs unfilled. It's crazy," he said.
Watch CNBC's "Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate" on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The debate will feature two sets of candidates discussing critical issues facing America today, including job growth, taxes and the health of our economy. Coverage begins at 5pm E.T.