Barack Obama Talks First Debate on 'Daily Show': "I Obviously Had an Off-Night"

"The presentation wasn't what it needed to be," said the POTUS after taking Stewart's teasing with a smile

The presidential debates are heating up, and President Barack Obama took the time out of his schedule to make a stop by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Thursday.

If you missed it, watch the clips here:


Of course, Jon had to start the interview off on a lighter note, and we love him for it. After showing two photos of the POTUS and Michelle Obama, he asked the president to identify which debate they were from. It was clear that the sullen photo was from Debate Night No. 1 and the joyous photo was from this week's townhall debate, where the president had a strong comeback.

Obama was a good sport about the jab, even when Jon Stewart talked about nights when he feels like he's not reaching his full potential. "Sometimes I’ll go onstage and have an open-faced turkey sandwich and a shot of NyQuil, and halfway through I’ll look up and say 'Are we on?'"

Mr. President took the teasing in stride and owned his less-than-stellar performance at the first debate. "Obviously I had an off night," he said. "The presentation wasn’t what it needed to be."

He continued by getting right down to business. "The issues haven’t changed," said Obama. "The stakes of this election are really big. Governor Romney makes a good presentation, but the fundamentals of what he’s calling for are the same policies that got us into this mess, that we've been fighting against for the past four years, trying to dig our way out of."

Stewart then led into more serious territory and asked Obama about the deaths of four Americans during the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11. The incident has gotten the Obama administration a lot of flak, and Obama admits in the interview that the situation was "not optimal."

"Here is what I will say, if four Americans get killed it is not optimal," Obama says. "And we are going to fix it, all of it. And what happens during the course of a presidency, you know the government is a big operation at any given time, something screws up and you make sure you find out what's broken and you fix it."

He continues, "And you know whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency, one thing that I've been absolutely clear about is America's security comes first and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, national security and protecting Americans. And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency."

In the past, Obama has said that he doesn't think the American people need to trade their values for security, and Stewart asked the current president if that is a sentiment he still feels. Obama says he does, and adds that his administration still has much work to do.

"There's some things that we haven't gotten done, I still want to close Guantanamo, we haven't been able to get that done," Obama says. "One of the things that we've got to do is put a legal architecture in place and we need congressional help to do that to make sure that not only am I reigned in, but any president's reigned in in terms of some of the decisions that we're making."

The interview was capped off with a sincere call-to-action by the president, where he asked voters to head to the polls on Nov. 6. "Here’s what I’ll say to everybody who’s watching -- the stakes on this could not be bigger," he said. "War, peace, the Supreme Court, a woman’s right to choose, whether we’re creating jobs in this country or whether they’re getting shipped overseas, whether our kids are getting the best education they can. All that stuff is at stake. There is no excuse not to vote."

No matter who your allegiance is with, that is something we can all agree on!

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