President Obama took a beating on late-night television Thursday, a day after delivering a sluggish debate performance against his rival, Mitt Romney.
On “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart joked that Obama’s debate loss represented a rare moment of bipartisan accord: Pundits on both the left and the right agreed that he choked.
“There is no red America, there is no blue America, there is only the America that can’t believe how bad this guy did in the debate,” he said, paraphrasing Obama’s career-making speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Later in the evening, Stephen Colbert quipped that “Obama hasn’t done this poorly since he debated Clint Eastwood.”
Both hosts were baffled by Obama’s loss, especially given his opponent’s aggressive attack on PBS.
“[He] fired Big Bird, America’s favorite non-fried bird,” Stewart said in disbelief. “Romney could have waterboarded Aladdin, put down Blue, deported Dora the Explorer, and he still would have won.”
For his part, Colbert admired the brazenness of the Republican’s promise. “He just told the moderator who works at PBS, ‘I’m gonna throw your ass out on the street, old man. Not only you, but all those freeloading Muppets. That takes not just one ball, but two! Two enormous balls!” he said, imitating the “Sesame Street” Count.
But Stewart was most perplexed by the fact that “Obama lost even though Romney was lying his [butt] off the entire night” about issues such as Medicare and the president’s green jobs track record.
The only explanation? Obama must have been on Ambien, while Romney appeared to have “tried caffeine for the first time in his life.”
Stewart ended his opening segment on a more serious note, drawing a stark contrast between Obama’s listless debate showing and his campaign’s constant, impassioned emails.
“You and your campaign have demanded a level of effort, urgency and relentless from your supporters. A level of effort, urgency and relentless you failed to display in a national presidential debate,” he said. It was time for the president to heed the words uttered by Samuel L. Jackson in a video widely circulated among his supporters: “Wake the ... up.”