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Letterman asks Obama if national debt is around $10 trillion, impreciseness ensues

By Doug Powers  •  September 19, 2012 05:05 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

President Obama went on David Letterman’s show last night, and when the conversation turned to the national debt, Dave was once again happy to help by resetting the national debt back to the level it was when Obama took office:

“Here’s what I found troubling [at the GOP convention]. They had the clock, the debt countdown clock and, I mean, this thing is going like crazy and it’s several trillion dollars. Now, what is that?” Letterman asked, after admitting he is ignorant of many political matters.

After blaming Bush for starting two wars “on a credit card” and saying that we had to spend money to prop up fledgling industries during the recession, Letterman asked of the debt: “Now, do you remember what that number was? Was it $10 trillion?”

The Washington Post notes that the debt is growing so fast there is no such thing as a precise recollection, but Obama certainly could have said, “closer to $16 trillion.”

Instead, the president seemingly let the group continue to think our national debt is roughly $6 trillion less than it is, saying simply: “I don’t remember what the number was, precisely.”

“I don’t remember precisely” is understandable. It’s not as if Obama was going to throw that gift back in Letterman’s face by saying “you’re way off, Dave. It’s $6 trillion higher than that — over $16 trillion total!” Instead the president claimed to be unsure about the exact amount. But I’ll bet anything he knows precisely how much his campaign took in at Jay-Z and Beyonce’s fundraiser last night:

All politicians should be required to wear clocks around their necks, except instead of the time these clocks would display the national debt.

national debt
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Update: On the same show, President Obama told Letterman that it isn’t right to refer to political opponents as “unpatriotic.” Naturally Obama didn’t say that he’s the one exception to that rule:

(h/t Weasel Zippers)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: 2012 Campaign, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Media