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Obama Tells Jimmy Fallon He's 'Worried About the Republican Party'

by Reuters /  / Updated 
President Barack Obama appears with Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Thursday, June 9, 2016.NBC

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President Obama, making his first appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," says that he is "worried about the Republican Party" with the emergence of Donald Trump as its presumptive nominee.

When Fallon asked Obama whether he thought the Republicans were happy with their choice of Trump, Obama replied, "We are."

The audience laughed.

"I don't know how they're feeling," he said. "...But the truth is I am actually worried about the Republican Party."

He added that "This country works when you have two parties that are serious and trying to solve problems. And they've got philosophical differences and they have fierce debates and they argue and they contest elections. But at the end of the day, what you want is a healthy two-party system."

Obama added that "you want the Republican nominee to be somebody who could do the job if they win."

"So I am actually not enjoying, and I haven't been enjoying over the last seven years, watching some of the things that have happened in the Republican Party 'cause there's some good people in the Republican Party," he said.

"But what's happened in that party culminating in this current nomination, I think is not actually good for the country as a whole. It's not something Democrats should wish for. And my hope is, is that maybe once you get through this cycle, there's some corrective action and they get back to being a center right party."

Obama told Fallon that the "main role I'm going to be playing in this process is to remind the American people that this is a serious job. You know, this is not reality TV."

The interview aired on Thursday night.

Obama also said that he thinks that Bernie Sanders has "made Hillary a better candidate."

"It was a healthy thing for the Democratic Party to have, a contested primary," he said. "I thought that Bernie Sanders brought enormous energy and new ideas. And he pushed the party and challenged them."

He said that his hope is that "over the next couple of weeks, we're able to pull things together. And what happens during primaries, you get a little ouchy. Everybody does. You know, when Hillary and I ran in 2008 — you know, your staff and you know, supporters, they're poppin' off. "

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