Entries in Tonight Show (9)


Obama Rebukes Richard Mourdock for Rape Remarks on "Tonight Show"

Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images(LAS ANGELES) – President Obama weighed in on controversial comments about rape made by Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock of Indiana, calling it an example of why women should vote for him on Nov. 6 but stopping short of explicitly tying his opponent, Mitt Romney, to the same views.

“I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas,” Obama said in an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno Wednesday. “Let me make a very simple proposition, rape is rape. It is a crime. And so these various distinctions about rape don’t make too much sense to me, don’t make any sense to me.”

During a debate with his anti-abortion Democratic rival Tuesday night, Mourdock said that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.” He has stood by the remark as a reflection of his belief that life begins at conception.

Obama, who supports abortion rights, has emphasized the issue in his bid for a second term, warning women that some Republicans would like to see abortion outlawed in all cases.

“This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s health care decisions,” he told Leno, without mentioning Romney by name. “Women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors, and for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff oftentimes without any information is a huge problem. And this is obviously a part of what’s at stake in this election.”

The Republican nominee opposes abortion, but says he would allow exceptions for rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.

While Obama was more circumspect, top Democrats and Obama campaign officials have overtly tied Romney to Mourdock’s remark and his views on abortion. The GOP presidential nominee has appeared in one TV ad for Republican U.S. Senate candidates this year – an ad for Mourdock. Romney has disavowed the comments but not asked for the ad to be taken down.

“Not surprisingly, Romney is still standing by his endorsement and is refusing to ask that the ad be pulled down,” deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter wrote in an email blast to supporters Wednesday night with a video clip to Mourdock and Romney together.

“It’s a grim reminder of something he’s trying desperately to hide in the final weeks of this election: Romney has campaigned as a severe conservative, supports severely conservative candidates, and would be a severely conservative president — especially on issues important to women,” she wrote.

Obama appeared on the Tonight Show in the midst of his 48-hour, nonstop campaign swing through eight states. It was his third visit with Leno as president and first this year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Talks Donald Trump, Detroit Tigers on "Tonight Show"

Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- President Obama’s 48-hour non-stop campaign “extravaganza” took a detour from the battleground states on Wednesday for a visit to Los Angeles and the Tonight Show, where Obama poked fun at his first debate performance and Donald Trump, and hinted that he’s rooting for Detroit in baseball’s World Series.

Hours after Trump unveiled a dud of a potential “bombshell” against Obama -- a call on the president to release his college records in exchange for a $5 million donation to charity -- Leno asked the president why the media mogul and reality TV star seems to have it out for the president.

“You know, this all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya,” Obama joked, alluding to Trump’s repeated birther claims.  “We had constant run-in on the soccer field, and he wasn’t very good at it.  When we finally moved to America, I thought it would be over.”

Obama told Leno that he has never met Trump in person, though Obama did famously roast him at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington while he sat in the crowd.

With debate season complete, Obama told Leno that he harbored a bit of disappointment because “I was just getting the hang of it” and noted that it was difficult for him to assess his performances in real-time.

“You know the truth is, you don’t have a full sense of it until afterwards partly because it plays different on TV than when you’re…on the stage,” Obama said.  “Clearly, I had a bad night because the entire point of these debates is to make sure the American people understand the stakes, and everything I was saying was true.  But if you don’t have the energy and the presentation that makes people snap up and say ‘Alright I get it’ then you’re not doing your job."

“The truth is, this is not a natural way of communicating, right?  You’re sitting next to somebody and having an extended argument like that…,” the president said.

Leno interjected, “Well, you’re married!”

“Of course.  But the difference is, is that with Michelle, I just concede every point,” Obama quipped.

Turning to sports, Leno asked Obama about his pick for the 2012 baseball World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers.  (Obama is famously a Chicago White Sox fan.)

“I will say that I spent a lot of time in Detroit lately.  And I didn’t want to let Detroit go bankrupt,” Obama said tongue in cheek, taking a subtle jab at his opponent, Mitt Romney, who favored bankruptcy for GM and Chrysler without federal aid.  “In this particular World Series, I may be a little partial.”

The Tonight Show appearance was Obama’s third as president and fifth overall.  He has recently done a slew of entertainment media appearances, including a sit down with Jon Stewart of the Daily Show.  On Friday, he will appear on MTV for a live 30-minute special.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ann Romney Explains Mitt’s Airplane Remark to Jay Leno

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(BURBANK, Calif.) -- Ann Romney said the air scare she had last week happened so fast there wasn’t time to panic and recalled the details of the flight diversion, resulting in her plane making an emergency landing in Denver.

“I was just watching a movie and I could see out of the corner of my eye there were a lot of hustle and bustle going by me,” Ann Romney told Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, “and all of a sudden my movie goes off and I turn around and I look at everybody and I’m like ‘Oh, there’s smoke in the cockpit and there it was.’”

She explained her husband’s subsequent comment afterward at a fundraiser when he joked that he didn’t know why the windows on the plane don’t open.

“It’s his way of making light of how worried he is about me,” she said.  “It’s his way of dealing with the panic of knowing how dangerous this was.”

Mrs. Romney appeared for the first time on the sofa of the late-night host and also revealed that after she -- amid criticism over her husband’s campaign last week -- said in an interview, “stop it.  This is hard,” that she at first thought she might have gone a little too far.

“I stepped out of the interview and I was like, ‘Oh dear, was that a little strong?’” she recalled thinking.  She said since though “everyone I’ve seen has given me high fives.”

Leno asked Mrs. Romney about the videotape of her husband's 47 percent comment made at a closed-door fundraiser.  She called the aftermath “frustrating.”

“It’s a very frustrating thing because you try so hard to get your message out,” she said.  ”You don’t like those things to get misinterpreted as to what, why we’re running and how strongly I believe and how important it is to what Mitt can bring to this country.”

She added, “we care about the 100 percent.”

Mrs. Romney said that four years ago she made a videotape and on the tape she looked into the camera and said, “Mitt, this is for you, sweetheart.  I’m never doing this again.”

She showed her husband the clips and he quipped, “You know, Ann you say that after every pregnancy.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaign: Romney ‘Out of Touch’ on Pre-Existing Conditions

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(LOS ANGELES) -- Democrats and the Obama campaign are pounding Mitt Romney for what they call a wildly out-of-touch comment on pre-existing conditions during his appearance on the Tonight Show.

Romney told Jay Leno on Tuesday that uninsured Americans who are sick should not be able to obtain coverage.

“If they are 45 years old and they show up and say, ‘I want insurance because I have heart disease,’ it’s like, ‘Hey guys. We can’t play the game like that,’” Romney said. “You’ve got to get insurance when you are well and then if you get ill, you are going to be covered.”

Romney opposes a federal health insurance mandate, which would require people who are “well” to obtain coverage, thereby preventing health care costs from being borne by taxpayers and the medical system when the uninsured get sick. He supported a mandate as governor of Massachusetts.

He has also called for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which provides financial subsidies aimed at expanding coverage to millions more Americans who are currently uninsured.

“Only in Mitt Romney’s world of tax cuts for billionaires and elevators for his cars would denying health care coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions make sense,” said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.

“But to most Americans, ensuring insurance companies don’t discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions means the difference between solvency and bankruptcy and life and death,” she said. “With every day of this campaign, Mitt Romney shows why Americans can’t afford his out-of-touch and extreme policies.”

Romney told Leno he does support carry-over coverage for people with pre-existing conditions who switch jobs, so long as they have always been insured.

“People who have been continuously insured, let’s say someone’s had a job for a while and been insured, then they get real sick and they happen to lose a job, or change jobs, they find, ‘Gosh, I got a pre-existing condition I can’t get insured,’ I’d say no, no, no. As long as you have been continuously insured, you ought to be able to get insurance going forward,” Romney said.”

“People with pre-existing conditions, as long as they have been insured before, they are going to be able to continue to have insurance,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paul Says He Prescribed Birth Control During Time as OB-GYN

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(BURBANK, Calif.) -- Ron Paul, during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Tuesday night, admitted that he prescribed birth control pills during his time as a practicing OB-GYN in Texas.

“I was also putting myself out of business, all this birth control,” said Paul adding, “They had less babies.”

The Texas congressman, who is credited with delivering 4,000 babies during his four-decade career, also said he wouldn’t ban the morning after pill, equating it to “surgical instruments,” which although might be used for certain things, shouldn’t be banned.

Paul made the comments after Leno asked the congressman if he ever prescribed birth control to patients -- a contentious issue this campaign cycle and a practice opposed by his chief GOP rivals.

The question was inspired by Sandra Fluke, a law student vaulted into the national spotlight this month after Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified for a House Committee in support of President Obama’s mandate that would require private health insurance to pay for women’s birth control medicine.

Leno continued, asking Paul if a woman should have the right to choose.

“Yeah, I think so she should, but does the infant have the right to choose?” said Paul whose position on contraception changes as the fetus develops.

“The baby at eight months and weighs eight pounds -- should you, the mother have the right to abort?” said Paul.  ”I have not been able to accept that.”

He went on to say that the abortion issue would be solved when people’s morality changes, not the laws.

The interview, which lasted most of the second half hour, also touched on some lighter topics, such as a rumored pact between he and his GOP rival Mitt Romney.

“It’s very secret, because he and I don’t know a whole lot about it,” said Paul to laugher.

Paul, who rejected Secret Service protection, calling it “welfare,” did say he would choose the code name “Bulldog” if he was ever granted protection.

The congressman, who is 76, also commented on his rigorous fitness routine, which includes walking and biking, sometimes twice a day when he’s off the campaign trail.

Leno contrasted a picture of an active Paul with a picture of a shirtless Rick Santorum lying on the beach in Puerto Rico.

“You should take him bike riding with you,” said Leno over laughter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry Uses Late-Night Show to Make Light of His Gaffes

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BURBANK, Calif.) -- In an attempt to reconstruct his image after committing one gaffe after another, Texas Gov. Rick Perry hit the late-night circuit Thursday night for the second time in recent weeks, trying to turn his recent blunders into comic relief instead of allowing the conversation to focus on the mistakes that could contribute to the derailment of his candidacy.

During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Perry, wearing his cowboy boots and walking out to “Deep In The Heart of Texas,” spun his debate gaffe as a simple moment of forgetfulness.

“Well, you know, one, two, and then -- uh, uh.  It happens, man.  Let me tell you.  I said, ‘Listen, it happens,’” said Perry, referring to his inability during a debate to remember the third federal department he would eliminate as president.  “Every now and then I call my dogs by the wrong name.  I get that wrong, too.”

In the opening sketch of the comedy show, Perry and Leno turned the Texas governor’s “Oops” moment into a joke about the Kardashian sisters.  As Leno struggled to name one of the three sisters, Perry chimed in: “Khloe.  It’s just three names, Jay.  It’s not that hard to remember.”

Perry’s appearance on The Tonight Show revealed the candidate’s ability to make light of his mistakes while he faces criticism for his blunders.  The campaign further tried to capitalize off the moment by turning his debate gaffe into a television ad in Iowa, which aired before and after his appearance on Leno, highlighting his slip-up as a human moment.

“You know, we’ve all lost our train of thought before, but not many have done it on national TV.  If you want a slick debater, I’m obviously not your guy, but if you want to clean house in Washington with a balanced budget amendment, a flat tax and a part-time Congress, I’m your man,” Perry said in the 30-second ad.

“I’m Rick Perry, and what’s that line again?” he said as the ad drew to a close.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry to Appear on 'The Tonight Show' Thursday

Toni Sandys/The Washington Post(BURBANK, Calif.) -- Rick Perry is set to appear on his second late-night show this campaign cycle on Thursday when he will be a guest on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, according to a promo that aired during Sunday night’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Kansas City Chiefs game.

Perry made his campaign debut on the late-night circuit earlier in the month when he read the Top 10 list on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman in an attempt to make light of his debate gaffe in which he fumbled the name of the third department he would eliminate as president.

“Number six.  Hey listen, you try concentrating when Mitt Romney’s smiling at you.  That is one handsome dude,” Perry joked about his slip-up.

The Texas governor is not a newcomer to late-night shows.  As he promoted his anti-federal government book Fed Up! in 2010, he appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Michele Bachmann Tells Jay Leno She’s ‘Convicted’ in Her Views

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK ) -- Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann hit the late-night comedy circuit Friday evening with an appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

“If you become president—and you seem pretty strident in your views,” Jay Leno said, before Bachmann interrupted him.

“Convicted. I’m convicted,” she said.

“Convicted?” Leno replied. “No, you don’t get convicted until after you’re in office. That’s later. You have to get elected first.”

Leno asked the Minnesota congresswoman about Monday’s GOP debate when she ripped rival Rick Perry for his executive order requiring young girls to receive inoculations against a sexually-transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer and then later suggested that the vaccine could cause mental retardation.

“I wasn’t speaking as a doctor,” Bachmann said. “I wasn’t speaking as a scientist. I was just relating what this woman said. She came up and I wasn’t soliciting that information, she gave it to me. But the bigger issue in all this was the abuse of executive privilege and also just the connection of crony capitalism if you have a political donor that is giving to you and an action is taken by a government official that could potentially benefit that donor, that’s really the issue right now. That’s what people are worried about.”

Asked about her family’s Christian counseling clinic and if they try to make homosexuals “pray away the gay,” Bachmann pointed to her hair and joked, “When I heard that I really thought it was like kind of a mid-life crisis line, like, ‘Pray away the gray.’”

But unfortunately for her, the joke fell flat with the audience not laughing at all.

Later in the often awkward interview, Leno asked Bachmann who she would pick as her running mate and she said, “You’re taken. You don’t want a cut in pay.” To which he replied, “Well, we’d probably have an argument over the gay thing.”

Also Bachmann described the Tea Party as a group that stands for “pretty mainstream stuff.” And when asked about Rick Perry’s surge up the polls since he entered the race at the same time as she won the Iowa straw poll last month, Bachmann stated, “We’re in for the marathon. We’re not in it for the sprint.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Christine O'Donnell Hints at Book Deal, Reality TV, and Dirty Laundry

Photo Courtesy - Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Failed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell of Delaware was back in the TV talk show hot seat Wednesday night. But it didn't appear to be the start of her farewell tour.

O’Donnell, whose penchant for TV talk show appearances during the 1990s became a popular fixation during the 2010 campaign, told the Tonight Show’s Jay Leno that a book deal and reality TV show could be in her future.

"The offers have been interesting," she said. "I am not necessarily interested in a reality show, unless it’s something like a 30-minute ad we did for our campaign that highlighted these issues…I would like to do something like a watchdog-type show," said O'Donnell, who also did not rule out another run for public office.

Reflecting on her loss to Democrat Chris Coons -– her third failed bid for the office –- O’Donnell said intra-party politics hurt her campaign.  Many party leaders refused to support O’Donnell’s candidacy, which was backed by Tea Party groups and Sarah Palin.  GOP Rep. Mike Castle, whom she defeated in the primary, also refused to endorse her in the general election.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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