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President Obama delivers praise, cracks jokes at 'Cesar Chavez: An American Hero' biopic screening

President Obama delivers remarks before a White House screening of
President Obama delivers remarks before a White House screening of "Cesar Chaves: An American Hero" on Wednesday, March 19, 2014.
The White House (via YouTube)

President Barack Obama spoke at a White House screening of the film "Cesar Chavez: An American Hero." Obama praised Chavez, the famed Californian labor organizer and workers' rights advocate.

"This movie, this film tells the story of a man guided by an enormous faith -- faith in a righteous cause and a loving God, and the dignity of every human being.  And it reminds us how throughout our history that faith has been tested, and that it falls to ordinary Americans, ordinary people, to fight and restore that faith," Obama said.

Obama wasn't all serious — he joked about the sexually explicit but critically acclaimed "Y Tu Mamá También," whose star Diego Luna directed "Cesar Chavez."

"I want to thank Diego Luna and the entire cast of 'Cesar Chavez.' I told him I loved 'Y Tu Mamá, También.'  But we can’t screen that at the White House. It’s a great movie, but this is a little more family-friendly here," Obama said to laughs from the crowd.

While Obama spoke favorably about Chavez, the film screening wasn't the highest on his priority list — he explained that he couldn't stay and that they were going to send him a DVD. Though he misspoke and called it a CD initially, and when an audience member called out "DVD," Obama responded to laughter, "Whatever. I'm a little technologically challenged. The DVD. The point is I'm going to watch it this weekend."

The president did note that his wife and daughters were heading to China and that it was a bit lonely at home, so he was looking forward to seeing a film about "one of my heroes and one of the people who inspired me to get into the work that I’ve gotten into," Obama said.

Before leaving, Obama used the opportunity to promote health care, as well as more of his administration's agenda items.

"We’ve got to keep fighting to make sure that our economy rewards the hard work of every American with a fair and living wage and equal pay for equal work.  We’ve got to keep working to fix our broken immigration system," Obama said.

Obama also dropped a reference to the Spanish incarnation of his own campaign catchphrase, "Yes, we can."

"That's one of the great lessons of his life. You don’t give up the fight no matter how long it takes.  No matter how long the odds, you keep going, fueled by a simple creed — sí, se puede," Obama said.

The event was attended by several generations of the Chavez family, as well as United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta. One of Chavez's grandchildren who works in the White House, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, introduced Obama.