Obama, Romney keep it light on Monday Night Football

In the middle of a mad dash to the finish, President Obama and Mitt Romney made a lighthearted stop on the halftime show of Monday Night Football on ESPN on the eve of Election Day.

The late-night, last-minute stop is on its way to becoming an election tradition. Four years ago, Mr. Obama and then-GOP presidential candidate John McCain appeared on the same halftime show the day before the election.

For the 2012 edition, host Chris Berman served up an easy, general question for each candidate before turning the subjects to sports.

When Mr. Obama was asked what he's learned in the last four years, he said that traveling around has taught him "it's a big diverse country...but at their core, Americans are hard-working."

Berman then reminded the president that in their last conversation, Mr. Obama had pressed for a college football playoff, which was approved earlier this year to begin for the 2014 season in a four-team format.

"This is the kind of change you can believe in, but I'd like to see it go to eight (teams), to be honest with you," the president said.

President Obama is a notorious homer when it comes to sports, rooting for nearly all Chicago teams. He said he's sure his Bears are going to the Super Bowl.

"Best defense in the league right now," Mr. Obama said.

At the end of his interview, the president joked that political reporters and sports reporters were similar, saying: "You lose a game, you're a bum. You win a game, you're a god."

During GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's appearance, Berman asked him what he's learned about himself during the campaign. Romney said he worried he'd get tired running all over the country, but that didn't happen because of the energy his supporters gave him.

"The more events I did, the more energy I seemed to get. I came away at the end of the day (on the campaign trail), instead of being exhausted, I had a hard time falling asleep," Romney said.

The former Massachusetts governor did not hesitate when asked what his favorite football team is -- the New England Patriots -- reminding the ESPN host he's lived in the state for 40 years.

Romney joked that as governor, since he took all the blame for everything that went wrong, he "might as well get the credit" for the Patriots two Super Bowl victories and the Red Sox World Series win when he was in charge.

The GOP presidential candidate later said the biggest issue facing sports is performance-enhancing drugs.

Without naming names, Romney said: "We've seen some greats in the world come down off their pedestal" because of PEDs.

Reflecting on his time at the Salt Lake City Olympics, Romney said he marveled at the hard work and dedication of Olympic athletes, adding that at that level of sports, "you see greatness come out."

  • Joshua Norman

    Joshua Norman is a Senior Editor at CBSNews.com.