On Monday, President Obama took over Comedy Central's The Colbert Report as the show taped from George Washington University in the nation's capitol.
The young college audience gave the president a rock-star welcome and kept up the jubilee for the entire segment.
Expecting Obama for a sit-down interview, Colbert was surprised (in a, 'we've scripted this' kind of way) when the president walked out on stage and took over the host's spot to run the show. Obama read "The Decree:"
To health in a handbasket. Nation, as you know, I, Stephen Colbert, have never cared for our president. The guy is so arrogant, I bet he talks about himself in the third person. But even I have to admit that Obamacare is the law of the land. And while it's been politically divisive, there are things that people from both parties actually like about Obamacare.
While the president was speaking that last line, an onscreen graphic displayed: "Everything but the 'Obama.'"
Then, the president continued pumping Obamacare while the onscreen graphics kicked out the jokes. With each tick of a talking point, the crowd celebrated wildly.
Obama spoke of his veto power:
Now that Republicans control both the House and the Senate, they could pass a bill repealing Obamacare. But the president still has the veto, and if I know that guy, he is willing to use it. ['POTUS Interruptus' appears on screen]
The president's script aimed his health care message straight at the college students gathered:
Most young people can get covered for less than $100. But how is the President going to get that message out to the kids? [Tattoo it on Taylor Swift!] He could try to appeal to them directly through a speech or a press conference, but young people don’t watch real news shows like this one. [Or fake ones like Fox] They watch comedy shows, and I just don’t see the president going on one of those. They’re beneath his dignity. [But above his approval rating]
During the sit-down portion of the interview, Colbert addressed Obama:
You're the Leader of the Free World, you've got your finger on the nuclear trigger, you steered the country through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. I am the host of a cable show four nights a week. Guys like us understand leadership.
Colbert asked Obama why his charismatic leadership didn't send young people to the polls in larger numbers during the midterms. The president blamed House Republicans for creating gridlock in Washington which discouraged them.
On the economy, Colbert joked that the job numbers are up and Obama has employed a lot of people. "Mostly as Secretary of Defense," Colbert quipped.
On immigration reform, Colbert said:
Let’s talk about the jobs out there and how many of them will be taken by all the immigrants you’re going to keep in this country. You realize you’re an emperor now; it has been declared. You are Barackus Maximus I. I am a Christian. Would you like to throw me to the lions? I would be delicious. Why did you burn the Constitution and become an emperor?
Obama replied, "[E]verything that we have done is scrupulously within the law, and has been done by previous Democratic and Republican Presidents." He added, "When it comes to immigration laws, in the same way that Ronald Reagan and the two Bush Presidents did, we have to make decisions."
Watch the two-part interview below and read a transcript that includes segments not featured at WhiteHouse.gov.