President Obama defended his record Oct. 27 in an appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”, sparring with host Jon Stewart, who contrasted the president’s hope-filled campaign with the reality of governing against a steady drumbeat of opposition.

In response to Stewart’s humor-wrapped skepticism, Obama said he knew that people would be frustrated two years later, but insisted that the Democrats have not been sitting idly by when asked how the Democratic Party’s message changed from one of hope and change in 2008, to “Please don’t give them back the keys” to the government. .

“I’ve looked over the past 18 months and I say we’ve prevented a second Great Depression; we’ve stabilized the economy—an economy that was shrinking is now growing; we’ve have nine months of consecutive private sector job growth; we have passed historic health care reform, historic financial regulatory reform and we’ve done things people don’t even know about.”

Though the President seemed to handle the interview well, his appearance on the show elicited very different opinions from political pundits.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough said, “The president did not go on ‘The Daily Show’ last night to help Tom Perriello in Virginia. He did not go on ‘The Daily Show’ to help Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. Who did he go on last night to help?”

Scarborough’s guest Jon Meacham, former editor of {Newsweek} responded: “The committee to re-elect the president.”

Meanwhile New York Times columnist Alessandra Stanley was particularly critical of the appearance saying, “it was actually more disconcerting to watch Mr. Stewart apply the standard liberal critique to Mr. Obama, than it was to see the president of the United States bandy words with the host of a late-night comedy show.”

The show was filmed in Washington, D.C. just three days ahead of Stewart’s planned Rally to Restore Sanity march on the National Mall on Oct. 30 and six days before the Nov. 2 mid-term election day. Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to be a guest on the popular show. The appearance was the third most-watched in the show’s history.