It was the first appearance ever by a sitting president on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," but President Barack Obama was serious in his defense of his administration's efforts over the past two years.
"We have done an awful lot that we talked about in the campaign," the president told comedian Jon Stewart during a taping of the show Wednesday, according to a pool report. "And we are going to do more."
"Over and over again we have moved forward an agenda that is making a difference in people's lives," the president said, citing the health care overhaul that he ushered to passage and the steps his administration has taken to address the economic downturn.
Stewart challenged Obama to explain how he has delivered on his promises of "hope" and "change" – pledges that many of his supporters in 2008 are still waiting to see fulfilled. "Legislation has felt timid at times," the comedian said.
"Jon, I love your show," the president responded. "But this is something where I have a profound disagreement with you, this notion that health care was timid."
"What happens is it gets discounted because the assumption is we didn't get 100 percent of what we wanted, we only get 90 percent of what we wanted -- so let's focus on the 10 percent we didn't get," Obama added.
Obama also defended the tenure of National Economic Council director Larry Summers, saying that Summers had done "a heckuva job."
"You don't want to use that phrase, dude," Stewart responded, alluding to former President George W. Bush's infamous use of the same compliment.
Riffing on Obama's famous 2008 chant, Stewart later quipped that the slogan could be modified to: 'Yes, we can – but…"
"Yes, we can -- but it's not going to happen overnight," the president replied.
The broadcast is scheduled to air at 11 p.m. ET.
Stewart, along with Comedy Central colleague Stephen Colbert, are the hosts of a joint rally Saturday that is being billed as a jokey but organized response to political extremism. (Colbert's tongue-in-cheek schtick at the event is his pledge to "Keep Fear Alive," while Stewart aims to "Restore Sanity." Over 100,000 people are expected to attend.