Obama: Communication `Not Optimal’ After Attack on Americans in Libya

Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama and host Jon Stewart speak during a break in the live taping of Comedy Central's "Daily Show with Jon Stewart" on Oct. 18, 2012 in New York.

If you need some sleep tonight, you may rest easily drifting off before President Barack Obama’s appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

In his sixth appearance on the show — his second as president — Obama mostly sticks to his campaign script as he especially tries to reach out to young and female voters. Obama taped his meeting with Stewart today.

One question for which Obama might have preferred a different word choice in retrospect came after Stewart asked whether the president agreed that it was not “optimal” how the government communicated within itself after the attacks in Libya that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

“I would say,” Stewart asked of Obama, “even you would admit, it was not the optimal response at least to the American people as far as us all being on the same page.”

“If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal and we’re going to fix it,” Obama replied.

Obama last appeared on the show Oct. 27, 2010, just before the mid-term elections that cost his party control of the House. He appeared four other times as a senator from Illinois and as a candidate for president. His appearance the week before the 2008 election made for the most watched episode in the show’s history, with 3.6 million viewers, according to figures released by Comedy Central.

In his closing remarks today, Obama makes a pitch to voters.

“The stakes on this could not be bigger,” he said. “War. Peace. Supreme Court. Women’s right to choose. Whether we’re creating jobs in this country, or whether they’re being shipped overseas. Whether our kids are getting the best education they can. All that stuff is at stake and there is no excuse not to vote.”


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