Taking aim at his Republican rival Mitt Romney, President Obama has said in a TV interview that he will not allow the US Constitution to be used to restrict the rights of LGBT Americans.

In a relaxed and jovial appearance on The Daily Show with John Stewart, President Obama took part in banter about his first presidential debate with Mitt Romney – widely considered to have been a disaster by his White House team – in sharp contrast to this week’s determined performance in New York.

In the interview, the president touched on his record of supporting LGBT equality and cited his administration’s success in removing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – the ban which prevented US service personnel from being open about their sexuality in uniform.

President Obama said: “We have got a very strong story to tell, whether it’s on social issues like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, or economic issues which matter for middle class families.

“I do think that part of the president’s job is not only moving forward on things that will work but also preventing things that won’t work”.

He continued: “So, you want a president in the Oval Office who will say, for the first time, no, we’re not going to amend our constitution to restrict rights for gay and lesbian couples.”

President Obama then received strong applause and cheers from the audience.

Throughout the 2012 presidential race Republican Mitt Romney has repeatedly stated his opposition to equal marriage and believes it should be banned with an amendment to the US Constitution.

Mr Romney does not believe it should be left to individual states to decide on the issue.