*Hours before he tossed zingers at his foe Mitt Romney Thursday night at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner, President Barack Obama tackled such issues as Libya and his “off night” at the first presidential debate during a trip to “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” [Scroll down to watch.]
During the president’s sixth appearance (and second as commander-in-chief) on the Comedy Central program, which aired at 11 p.m. Thursday, Stewart began by showing the president two photos of Michelle Obama, one from each of the debates so far. The First Lady was looking rather angry in one and quite happy in the other. “Do you know which debate was which?” Stewart asked.
“Cute. Cute, Jon,” Obama said with a smile. Obama acknowledged he “had an off night” during the first debate, and that his “presentation was not the way it needed to be.”
“The Daily Show” host went on ask the president about Libya. He questioned the government’s response after the attack on a U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, calling it “not the optimal response.”
Obama said “if four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal,” and called the government “a big operation and [at] any given time something screws up.” He said as president, “you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it” and vowed to do that in this situation.
During the interview, Obama also repeated his 2008 campaign pledge to close the military prison in Guantanamo. During his first week in office, he issued an executive order that it be shut down by January 2010. That never happened, because of some maneuvering in Congress to keep it open.
“I still want to close Guantanamo. We haven’t been able to get that through Congress,” Obama told Stewart. “One of the things we have to do is put a legal architecture in place, and we need Congressional help to do that so that not only am I reined in but any president’s reined in terms of some of the decisions we’re making.”
In a lighter moment, Stewart asked how often Biden shows up at a meeting wearing nothing but a wet swimsuit. Obama said he put out a directive to end that behavior.
“We had to stop that,” he said, adding: “I gotta say though, he looks pretty good.”
Obama also made reference to the opening segment in the show, in which Stewart joked about the book Fifty Shades of Grey.
“I know what you’ve been reading,” he joked, but did not take it any further, out of respect for his office.
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