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TV Column
Posted at 12:32 AM ET, 10/25/2012

President Obama visits Jay Leno on ‘Tonight’ (VIDEO)


President Barack Obama talks with Jay Leno, right, during a commercial break during the taping of his appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, in Burbank, Calif. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais - AP)
Less than two weeks before Election Day, President Barack Obama made his fifth visit to Jay Leno on NBC’s “Tonight” show, to tell Halloween trick-or-treaters “candy for everybody” at the White House this year, despite the First Lady’s efforts to get us to eat healthy, “and if anybody comes from Ohio, they can expect a Hershey bar THIS big!”

Leno asked the President what’s the deal between him and real estate mogul Donald Trump (who also stars on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice”).

“It’s like me and Letterman,” Leno quipped.

Trump on Wednesday offered to make a $5 million contribution to Obama’s charity of choice if Obama releases his college and passport records.

“Frankly, it’s a check that I very much want to write,” Trump said in a YouTube video.

(In the past, Trump had questioned whether Obama’s birth certificate issued by the state of Hawaii is legitimate. The White House released the long-form copy of Obama’s birth certificate last year.)

Obama told Leno the beef dates back to when he and Trump were growing up in Kenya.

Wild applause from the studio audience.

“We had constant run-ins on the soccer field,” Obama joked. “He wasn’t very good and resented it. When we finally moved to America I thought it would be over.”

Obama got asked, again, what happened to him the night of the first presidential debate -- you know, the one through which he napped.

“Clearly I had a bad night,” Obama said. While insisting he’d made his points that night, “the whole point of debates is to make sure the American people understand the stakes.”

He noted that part of the problem with debates is that they are unnaturally long disagreements.

“Well, you’re married,” Leno observed.

“The difference is, with Michelle I just concede every point,” Obama joked. “That’s why we celebrated our 20th anniversary.”

It was Obama’s fifth visit to Leno’s show – his third as president. About three and a half years ago, the two men made TV history when Obama became the first sitting President to appear on a late night talk show. That visit attracted more than 14 million viewers. Obama’s no doubt hoping this latest visit attracted a similar crowd.

When Obama had made his second visit to Jay Leno’s NBC late night talker as President, nearly one year ago to the day, the GOP field was littered with presidential candidates.

“Have you been watching the GOP debates?” Leno asked Obama back then.

“I’m going to wait until everybody is voted off the island. Once they narrow it down to one or two, I’ll start paying attention,” Obama replied — also getting wild applause from the studio audience back then, approving of the “Survivor” reference.

In honor of Obama’s visit Wednesday, Leno opened his monologue with loads of political talk:

*We are very excited to have the President of the United States on the show tonight. It’s a real treat -- he only does these shows once or twice a week.

*You know why the President is here tonight? He’s here to talk to NBC about canceling ‘The Apprentice’.

*It has been a busy day for the President -- 5,300 miles in one day! That breaks a previous record set in one day by Lance Armstrong.

By  |  12:32 AM ET, 10/25/2012

 
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