Simon Cowell – No Time For Obama
03/25/2009 AT 02:00 PM EDT
"He wanted to have dinner, and our diaries didn't quite match," said the acerbic American Idol judge, 49. "He wanted to do eight [o'clock], I was free at nine. We didn't quite connect."
The remarks came four days after Obama appeared on the NBC late-night talk show and told Leno that since taking on the responsibilities of commander-in-chief he's found Washington, D.C., to be a lot like American Idol – and everyone is a Simon Cowell.
"I think what he was trying to say was Washington's becoming more intelligent," Cowell deadpanned.
Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who was sitting next to Cowell, piped up, "I'm not quite sure it was a compliment."
Shot back Cowell: "That's how I interpreted it."
When Cowell had said he was too busy to meet with Obama, Leno had asked, "What were you doing, getting your teeth whitened?"