In an off-the-record interview conducted with the Des Moines Register just weeks before the presidential election, President Obama made the case that the Republican Party has helped his re-election bid by alienating Latino voters, a key constituency during this year’s increasingly close race for the presidency.

The interview, which has since been released after a public admonishment from the newspaper’s editor, Rick Green, features an unusually candid remark about the importance of the Latino vote to either candidate’s chances of victory. To this end, the president stated, “[a]nd since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community.”

In addition, President Obama contended that he is “confident” about passing immigration reform next year because Republican legislators will have a “deep interest” in supporting the measure if he is re-elected with a wide swath of the Latino vote.