Late Show with David Letterman - President Barack Obama, Dave Letterman Late Show with David Letterman - President Barack Obama, Dave Letterman

In his fifth appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman — and his first as president — Barack Obama jokingly rejected the idea that recent criticisms of him are racially motivated.

"I think it's important to realize that I was actually black before the election," Obama quipped. Letterman responded, "How long have you been a black man?" Obama went on to say that the notion that racism plays a part in the criticism is countered by the fact that he was elected in the first place.

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Former President Jimmy Carter is among those who have suggested race is a factor in some of the criticisms.

Obama's Late Show appearance was part of a crowded slate of recent TV interviews for Obama, who also pushed health care reform on the Sunday morning talk shows. Obama talked with Letterman about many of the same topics he addressed over the weekend. "Unemployment is still going to be a big problem for at least another year," he said, insisting that the economy would eventually be "stronger than before." He also said he has not decided whether to deploy more troops to Afghanistan.

The president made his first late talk show appearance — and the first such appearance by any sitting president — when he talked with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show earlier this year.

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