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Homepage / WHITE HOUSE

Obama on Junk Food, Halloween, and His GOP Opponents

President Barack Obama talks in between segments of an interview at The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, in Burbank, Calif. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

photo of Julia Edwards
October 26, 2011

Appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Tuesday, President Obama weighed in on topics ranging from the death of Muammar el-Qaddafi, to junk food, to his potential GOP opponent.

The president was in Los Angeles for a series of fundraisers and at one point this week stopped at a famous restaurant to greet diners and pick up an order of wings and waffles, which he ended up eating in the car on his way to a function with Hollywood actors Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

 

"So the fried chicken wings, waffles with syrup and wings with hot sauce. Now is Michelle, I mean, she's sitting back, watching the news. Here you are scarfing down the waffles," Leno said, teasing Obama about the first lady's mission to get the country to eat healthier.

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Obama answered that his wife had a secret.  "... Michelle, as quiet as this is kept, she loves French fries. She loves pizza. She loves chicken. Her point is just in moderation."

Mrs. Obama's healthy habits were also targeted for Halloween. The president joked that she usually handed out raisins and fruits.

“I said the White House is going to get egged if this keeps up. You got to throw some candy in there, a couple Reese's Pieces or something,” Obama said.

When Leno asked the president if he had been watching the debates, Obama responded: “I’m going to wait until everyone is voted off the island,” and his joke was met with much applause. “Once they narrow it down to one or two, I’ll start paying attention.”

Obama had more to say about the Republicans opposing him in Congress. Leno reminded him of a comment by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,  that he wanted to make Obama a one-term president and that many Republicans opposed his decision to withdraw troops from Iraq.

“It’s shocking that they opposed something I proposed,” Obama said, mocking the sharp resistance that has led him to announce a series of executive orders this week that will override Congress on certain domestic policy issues. His response got laughs and applause from the audience.

Answering Leno's question on how he deals with the daily pressures of quitting smoking, Obama said it was a lot of exercise.

"Work out in the morning with Michelle.  We've got a little gym in the White House.  She's in better shape than me, though.  So ... it's embarrassing sometimes," Obama said. "She'll get up there half an hour earlier than me.  She will have already run 10 miles or something. And I'm, you know ... staggering up to the gym."

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