President Barack Obama's appearance on the online talk show "Between Two Ferns," where he traded barbs with comedian Zach Galifianakis about the Affordable Care Act, left some Republicans unamused.
A White House adviser told The New York Times the interview, which was released Tuesday, was part of an ongoing effort to communicate with young people and to encourage them to sign up for health insurance before the enrollment period ends this month.
For some Republicans, it was funny until the conversation turned to health care. Other conservatives found the whole thing undignified, and called it a distraction from the real issues. Still others saw it as further evidence of Hollywood's liberal bias, and wondered what was the point of comedy that was deferential to authority.
At least two members of Congress, Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) and Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), weighed in with their displeasure.
The President shouldn't be wasting time on a parody interview. He should be focusing on the current state of affairs across the globe.
Instead of wasting time with a parody interview, he should be focusing on finding answers re: #Benghazi
Instead of playing celebrity, our President should be working on fixing his failed takeover of health care.
The President jokes w/ Zach Galifianakis about #Obamacare, but still won't meet w/ Republicans to discuss commonsense healthcare solutions
— Rep. Adrian Smith (@RepAdrianSmith) March 11, 2014
Dan Senor, former foreign policy adviser for President George W. Bush, suggested the appearance was beneath the office of the presidency.
— Dan Senor (@dansenor) March 11, 2014
Conservative journalists, meanwhile, raised their own objections.
Remember when comedy challenged authority? Turns out "Between Two Ferns" with Obama was Zach Galifianakis's idea http://t.co/M5wEPj01ZD
— Andrew Johnson (@AndrewE_Johnson) March 11, 2014
With days ticking down, another Hollywood Obamacare commercial: http://t.co/o304ZFjQkm
— Byron York (@ByronYork) March 11, 2014
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) March 11, 2014
— Taylor Bigler (@TaylorBiglerDC) March 11, 2014