By msnbc’s Xuan Thai
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) told Chuck Todd on Tuesday’s “The Daily Rundown” that concerns about a lack of enthusiasm among Hispanic voters for President Obama’s reelection bid won’t be an issue once there is a Republican nominee.
“If you watch the president's State of the Union speech, if you've seen what he's been doing recently to try to fix our immigration system, the actions of the president will take care of that,” he said. “More and more people are having a chance to contrast what the president will face when it comes to a Republican nominee. So, I think it will become very clear, and that's why you continue to see the president far out-distancing any Republican.”
Speaking from Miami, where Republican candidates hoped to woo many Cuban-Americans and other Hispanics in the Florida primary, Becerra said general unease among Hispanic voters is no different than any other group – with one exception.
"Every American, whether you're Latino, Anglo, African-American, Asian, it makes no difference, you're feeling this [the current economic condition],” said Becerra. “But at the same time, something in particular disturbs Latino voters, and that's the lack of progress on immigration reform.”
Becerra, the former chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and now the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, made the point that the feelings of disappointment will diminish once Hispanic voters are able to compare President Obama’s position on immigration reform to that of the Republican nominee.
“The public is way ahead of the politicians on immigration,” said Becerra.
Across the United States, Hispanics make up 16 percent of the population and are among the fastest growing demographic groups in the country. In the latest NBC News/Marist poll of Florida, President Obama leads Mitt Romney 54% to 38% among Hispanic voters. That 16-point margin is one point larger than how President Obama fared against Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008 among the same group in Florida.