(Susan Walsh/AP)President Obama continues to insist he's not paying close attention to the Republican presidential race.
In an interview with NBC's "Tonight Show" set to air Tuesday evening, the president likened the GOP contest to the reality show "Survivor" and said he won't watch the debates until the race has narrowed.
"I'm going to wait until everybody is voted off the island," Obama told host Jay Leno, according to excerpts of the interview released by NBC. "Once they narrow it down to one or two, I'll start paying attention."
Still, Obama used his second appearance on the show as a sitting president (and fourth overall) to take aim at the harsh political climate in Washington and to chide Republicans for opposing his policies.
Asked about GOP criticism over his plan to withdraw troops from Iraq, Obama expressed frustration.
"It's shocking they opposed something I proposed," he said, a tinge of sarcasm in his voice. "I think the things that folks across the country are most fed up with whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, is putting party ahead of country or putting the next election ahead of the next generation."
You can watch Obama's comments here, courtesy NBC:
Asked about the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Obama told Leno he didn't like seeing the dictator's violent death but said it sends a "strong message" to other dictators that "people long to be free" and that "universal rights" should be respected.
"This is somebody who for 40 years has terrorized his country and supported terrorism," Obama said. "(Gadhafi) had an opportunity during the Arab Spring to finally let loose of his grip on power and to peacefully transition into democracy. We gave him ample opportunity, and he wouldn't do it."
But the appearance did have lighter moments. At one point, Obama joked he's warned First Lady Michele Obama that the White House could get "egged" unless she hands out Halloween candy this year.
"Halloween is coming up, and she's been giving kids, for the last few years, fruit and raisins in the bag," Obama said. "I said, the White House is going to get egged if this keeps up. You need to throw some candy in there… Couple of Reese's Pieces or something."
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