Obama defends record on TV show

Obama, the first sitting president to appear on the popular Comedy Central show, defended his record by citing gains such as healthcare reform, a growing economy and financial regulatory overhaul.

"I'm feeling great about where the American people are, considering what we've gone through," Obama said. "We've gone through two of the toughest years since the Great Depression." But while there was "still a lot of good stuff happening," he acknowledged that "people are frustrated , a lot of folks are hurting out there".

Comedian Stewart asked Obama why it was that two years after he won the presidential election after running on a "very high rhetoric of hope and change", his fellow Democrats now "seem to be running on 'Please, baby, one more chance'."

Obama said, "When I won and we started the transition and we looked at what was happening in the economy, a whole bunch of my political folks came up and said, 'Enjoy this now because two years from now, folks are going to be frustrated'. And that is, in fact, what's happened."

But he said that over the last 18 months his administration had prevented another Great Depression, and they had seen nine consecutive months of private sector job growth, an "historic" health care reform, financial regulatory reform, and "done some things that folks don't know about".

To which Stewart quipped, "What have you done that we don't know about? Are you planning a surprise party for us, filled with jobs and healthcare?"

Obama responded by citing a government-sponsored health insurance programme for children and tougher regulations on credit card companies.

"Over and over, we have moved forward an agenda that is making a difference in people's lives each and every day," Obama said. "Is it enough? No. And so I expect, and I think most Democrats out there expect, that people want to see more progress."

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