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Obama to Appeal to Voters on 'Tonight Show'

President Obama is set to appear on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” later this week, in yet another attempt to appeal to undecided voters.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 10/22/2012, 4:04 PM

late night talk show host Jay Leno
late night talk show host Jay Leno
Reuters

President Obama is set to appear on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” later this week, in yet another attempt to appeal to undecided voters.

The president will head to Burbank, California on Wednesday to tape his fifth appearance on the popular NBC late night talk show—his third since taking office.

NBC News Anchor Brian Williams is also set to spend two days following the president on the campaign trail and, according to the network, will conduct multiple interviews with Obama and get "rare, exclusive access."

Obama appeared on NBC's signature program last October, when he discussed, among other issues, the killing of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, which happened just days earlier.

Qaddafi “had an opportunity during the Arab Spring to finally loosen his grip on power and peacefully transition to democracy. We gave him ample opportunity and he wouldn’t do it,” Obama said. “Obviously, you never like to see anybody come to the kind of end that he did, but it obviously sends a strong message around the world to dictators that people long to be free.”

Obama voiced some disapproval of Libyans’ willingness to flaunt their former leader’s killing. “That’s not something we should relish,” he said. “There’s a reason after [Osama] bin Laden was killed, for example, we didn’t release the photograph. I think that there’s a certain decorum with which you treat the dead even if it’s somebody who’s done terrible things.”

Obama also pushed back against the notion that he had “led from behind” in Libya. “We led from the front. We introduced the resolution in the United Nations that allowed us to protect civilians in Libya when Qadhafi was threatening to slaughter them, it was our extraordinary men and women in uniform, our pilots who took out their air defense system.”

Republicans continue to slam the president’s foreign policies, specifically his handling of the recent crisis in Libya, his stance on Iran, and what they charge is his hostile relationship with Israel.