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Obama discusses Romney, Libya and home brewing on 'Late Show'

September 19, 2012|Meredith Blake

In his appearance Tuesday on David Letterman's “Late Show,” President Obama discussed the now-infamous video of rival Mitt Romney dismissing approximately half the electorate as government mooches. But given that Obama was the only guest on the show, there was plenty of time to talk about other, more pressing issues: Libya, partisan gridlock, the national debt and, of course, the White House’s home-brewed beer.

The conversation began with the recently wrapped-up Democratic National Convention. Letterman, as did millions of other viewers who watched the convention, observed that first daughters Malia and Sasha were looking incredibly grown-up these days. “Does that kill you?” he asked.

“It worries me, but we’re surrounded by men with guns,” quipped the president.

Moving on to politics, Letterman expressed particular dismay with the bitterly partisan divide in Washington. As he put it, “You can just smell that something is not working anymore.”

The president agreed that the climate had soured over the past decade or so but drew a contrast between Washington and the rest of the country, where people of different political stripes are able to work and live together just fine. He pointed to the example of Scott van Duzer, the Florida pizzeria owner -- and Republican -- who’s taken flak for enthusiastically hugging the president.  

Obama praised Van Duzer’s work operating a blood drive and called him “a big-hearted guy,” suggesting it didn’t matter what his party affiliation might be.

As for the tense situation in the Middle East, Obama claimed that the killing of J. Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador to Libya, did not exemplify the views of most citizens of that country. However, he did acknowledge that in places like Libya and Egypt, “there is a strain of intolerance and extremism that is not representative of the vast majority of Muslims” and that fledgling democracies will have to marginalize these influences if they hope to survive.

And, oh, right, the beer: Obama explained that the White House home brewery (which may or may not be legal, according to the president) arose as a way to deal with the enormous amounts of honey produced by the beehive in the first lady’s garden.  Though he’s not known for being a big drinker, Obama claimed the beer was rather tasty. “If the presidency doesn’t work out, we’ve got a little microbrewery,” he joked.  

You can watch a highlight above, or check out the entire episode here.

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Twitter: @MeredithBlake

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