Barack Obama may be the President of the United States, but for a few minutes on Monday, he was also Stephen Colbert, outgoing host of “The Colbert Report.”
Obama, who sat down for an interview with Colbert in Washington, surprised the host and took over the taping for a segment.
“You’ve been taking a lot of shots at my job, I’ve decided to take a shot at yours,” Obama said before taking over for Colbert on “The Word,” a segment where Colbert (in this case, Obama) says a line or two before a witty word or phrases flashes to the right. “How hard can this be? I am just going to say whatever you were about to say.”
From there, Obama launched into a monologue about Obamacare, congressional Republicans and his last two years in office.
“Nation,” Obama said, referring to his audience like Colbert does. “As you know, I, Stephen Colbert, have never cared for our President. That guy is so arrogant. I bet he talks about himself in the third person.”
After talking about Obamacare, the President asked, “How do you stop something that more and more people are starting to like?”
Next to Obama flashed “Move it to CBS,” a nod to the fact that in two weeks Colbert will be stepping down from his Comedy Central show to take over for David Letterman at the “The Late Show” on CBS.
The President went on to detail how Republicans could stop Obamacare.
“They could pass a bill repealing Obamacare. But the President still has the veto and if I know that guy, he is willing to use it,” Obama said. “And let’s face it, even if Republicans somehow did repeal it, they would have to replace it with their own health care plan. Once they touch it, they own it, and then if anything goes wrong, suddenly everybody will be complaining about Mitch McConnell-care.”
“Walk It Off.gov” then flashed next to the President.
Near the close of the segment, Obama joked, noting that last year’s Obamacare rollout was “a little bumpy.”
“I think that is where Disney got the idea for Frozen,” the President said to laughs.
Obama stayed in character for the end of the segment, too.
“We will be right back with the leader of the free world,” the President said, looking at his page like he couldn’t remember his own name before adding, “Barack Obama.”
Following a break, Obama and Colbert sat down for a somewhat more traditional interview, where the President defended his decision to issue an executive action on immigration reform and the recent positive jobs report.
“The economy is growing at a faster rate than it has for years,” Colbert said. “Why didn’t you fix the economy before the midterm elections? I would have done it before the midterms so people were happy when they voted.”
“Actually, the economy has been on a pretty good run,” Obama said, before listing a number of economic indicators about job creation and growth that his White House regularly pushes.
“I’ll give it to you. You’ve employed a lot of people, mostly as secretary of defense,” Colbert said, a crack at the fact that Obama recently parted ways with his third, Chuck Hagel, and nominated his fourth, Ash Carter.
On immigration, Obama said his decision to issue an executive order is “scrupulously within the law” and something that both Democratic and Republican presidents have done.
“You realize you are an emperor now. It has been declared,” Colbert joked, referring to an attack some Republicans used against the President during his immigration decision. “You are Barackus Maxamus the First.”
Obama seemed to enjoy his time behind “The Colbert Report” desk, too.
“I will say, I felt more powerful behind that desk,” Obama said.
Colbert responded with a self-deprecating joke: “With great power comes medium cable ratings.”