WASHINGTON, D.C.—“I’m Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America, and this is Jackass.”
So begins the president’s latest viral video—a 22-minute series of dangerous and immature stunts styled after the MTV show “Jackass.” The video is a bold new attempt to convince young Americans to sign up for health insurance at Healthcare.gov before the March 31 deadline.
Immediately after the introduction, Obama steals a gun from a Secret Service agent’s holster, fires a few rounds, yells “FOURTH OF JULY!” and is tackled to the ground.
“Young people think they’re invincible,” Obama says later in the video, suspended 30 feet in the air by a G-string. “That’s just not the case. Young people need to sign up for the exchanges by March 31 so they can be—”
Before he can finish, a catapult mechanism lets loose and deposits the president into the Potomac.
This video comes a week after the president’s appearance on “Between Two Ferns,” a tongue-in-cheek internet show starring comedian Zach Galifianakis as the obtuse host. The president’s appearance on the show was lauded as a brilliant strategy for reaching younger Americans. Detractors condemned the appearance as “desperate” and “beneath the dignity of the office.”
“You want to see dignity?” the president says in the video, apparently responding to his detractors, “Watch me punch Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack in the tit.”
President Obama, who has no known experience performing stunts, injures himself several times throughout the video. After leaping off a White House balcony and into a kiddie pool filled with hot dogs, the president can be seen clutching an injured arm.
“Without health insurance, the emergency room visit, x-ray, and cast would cost me about a thousand dollars,” says the president, wincing through the pain. “Visit Healthcare.gov and sign up for a health plan before March 31. Don’t be a jackass.”