President Obama has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” two other times since taking office, but the difference in his appearance this evening is that it comes with less than two weeks left in the campaign. It’s a time when presidential candidates in the past have been going nonstop in the swing states, focusing on local markets rather than national exposure. And although Obama’s jaunt to Los Angeles was sandwiched between a rally in Denver and an event in Las Vegas, his decision to appear on Leno is a contrast to that of Mitt Romney, who has largely avoided entertainment shows and even canceled a planned appearance on “The View” last week.
Romney did appear last month with his wife on “Live with Kelly and Michael” in an interview in which he commented on Snooki and admitted that he wore little to bed — comments that may have felt like too much information. Obama’s strategy appears to be to reach “low information voters,” the buzzwords this cycle for those viewers who may not be tuned in to politics, or may simply be fed up with it. Plus there’s the fact that an appearance on Leno may get more play the next day on morning TV than the latest iteration of a stump speech. While Romney told donors in the 47% video that he feared an appearance on “Saturday Night Live” would come across as frivolous, Obama seems to have no fear about appearing on late night TV.
Tonight, Obama slammed Richard Mourdock, Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana, for comments he made about rape. “You know, I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas,” Obama said. “Rape is rape. It is a crime, so these various distinctions about rape don’t make much sense to me, don’t make any sense to me.” The audience cheered Obama when he talked about women’s health, and that decisions shouldn’t be made by men.
On the day when Donald Trump offered to give $5 million to Obama’s favorite charity if the president released his college transcript and passport application records, Obama quipped, “This all dates to when we were growing up together in Kenya.”
Obama also talked about some of the discomfort he’s had in the initial debate with Romney.
Photo: Obama campaign via Twitter.
Preview clips below.