President Barack Obama said Wednesday that in his lifetime we could see a Latino president.
"I am absolutely certain that within my lifetime we will have a Latino candidate for president who is very competitive and may win. Just look at the demographics," Obama told a group of Latino journalists who asked questions from Latino viewers for a webcast on WhiteHouse.gov.
Obama also told the Latino community they must participate in the political process to have greater influence on the issues that matter to them.
"If you are voting at a low rate, then you are giving up some of your power," Obama said. "If you are voting at a high rate, then you are going to have more influence."
Coincidentally, the U.S. Census Bureau released data Wednesday that showed greater participation by Hispanics in congressional elections.
Hispanics made up 7 percent of voters in the 2010 congressional election. This is the highest level of participation for Hispanics ever recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau for a non-presidential election. Hispanics were 6 percent of voters in the 2006 congressional elections.
The challenge is getting more Latinos to vote.
"We still have not seen the kinds of participation numbers that are necessary to match up the numbers with actual political power," Obama said.
So if Latinos want to push for immigration reform and the DREAM Act, topics that Obama also addressed in the interview, they need to harness more political power.
"With numbers comes political power," Obama said.
Obama didn't break any new ground in answering questions about immigration. He reiterated his support of comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act.
"I have been pushing hard for it. I'm going to keep pushing hard for it," Obama said.
Obama mentioned that previous Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan supported immigration reform and he said that Republicans in the U.S. Congress need to come to the table to talk.
"We want to partner in a bipartisan way to get this problem solved," Obama said.