On Wednesday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh harshly criticized President Barack Obama for diminishing himself and the office of the presidency by going on The Tonight Show to discuss national security matters with late-night comedian Jay Leno.
During his Tuesday appearance, Obama spoke for the first time about terror threats that caused the U.S. to close its embassies across the Muslim world on August 4.
“Last night, to show you how the country is changing in a very serious way, last night was the first time since this massive upgraded terror warning was put into effect on Sunday, this was the first time the president of the United States spoke to the American people about this,” Limbaugh reminded his audience. “The president of the United States went to a late-night comedy show for his first-ever statement about this increased terror threat. A late-night comedy show.”
Limbaugh added that though there is “nothing wrong with late-night comedy shows,” this “would not have happened with any prior president.”
“Matters of such consequence, matters of such seriousness would have been dealt with in a far more serious and appropriate way and forum and time of day,” Limbaugh said. “There were serious items on the agenda in our relationship with Russia, and all of it was treated as a joke. All of it was treated as unserious, halfhearted, nothing to really be concerned about.”
Limbaugh added that the “presidency was diminished last night” and Obama’s appearance “made the country look small, made the presidency look small.”
“No, I don’t think JFK went on Jack Paar to talk about the Cuban missile crisis. I was just thinking about that, but I don’t think JFK did that,” Limbaugh said. “That might be too old, long ago for some of you youngsters out there. Jack Paar was the original Johnny Carson.”
Limbaugh said Obama’s appearance was “unserious” and it “made a mockery of what are serious world events.”
“I don’t know whether he thinks he did or not, but what he did was diminish the office of the presidency. He diminished the country,” he said. “I just think it’s a shame.”