Henry McGee/Globe, CBS
September 21, 2009 07:45 PM

What’s so funny about Jimmy Carter’s suggestion that criticism of President Obama’s health plan is rooted in racism?

Apparently, quite a lot, according to no less a source than the president himself.

“I think it’s important to realize that I was actually black before the election,” Obama joked, drawing roars of laughter during an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

But the President’s interview, airing Monday night on the CBS program, turned serious when Letterman asked questions about race, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the state of the economy, as he offered this sobering message: “Unemployment is still going to be a big problem for at least another year.”

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