Jay Leno is revved up and back in the driver’s seat. The former Tonight Show host returned to television by trading monologues for Mustangs on his new CNBC show, Jay Leno’s Garage.

While Leno admitted he’s “glad” he’s not involved in late night television during this election cycle, he said he “feel[s] for some of the hosts now.”

“I was lucky, I grew up in the era when Clinton was horny and Bush was dumb,” joked Leno during a sit-down interview with Bill Carter Tuesday. “And it was just simple, it was simple — here’s the horny guy, here’s the dumb guy. I wasn’t questioning anybody’s patriotism.”

“This one with all the anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-women — god, it’s just so nasty,” Leno added. “The humor’s not coming from — I always question their judgment, not the motive. I never want to think anybody running for president was bad or evil.”

Leno explained in past election cycles, he could “always see the other side” but admitted, “This one’s a little trickier.”

“Who brings up Rosie O’Donnell in a presidential debate? I mean, it’s hilarious,” Leno said referencing comments made by Donald Trump during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University.

“Nobody’s really shocked by any of this anymore. So that’s really the tough part a lot of the [late night] hosts have, you almost have to stop and give a speech as opposed to just tell a joke,” Leno added.

As for the notion that late night hosts tend to joke about Trump more than Clinton, Leno believes “people hear what they want to hear.”

Trump appeared on the Tonight Show “many times” when Leno was hosting.

“I mean, you know, I always assumed the character was false bravado,” Leno said of Trump. “Okay, he overplays it a little bit. It’s not my thing, the braggadocio and all that kind of — okay, but then when I hear it for real, the anti-women, anti-Muslim, anti-, I go come on, what are we doing here?'”

“Well, I think [Trump] should hire Billy [Bush] to work for him,” Leno joked. “This way he could grab Bush whenever he wanted.”

Listen to the full “Bill Carter Interview” with Jay Leno on Monday, Nov. 7 at 6 pm ET on SiriusXM Insight (Ch. 121)

For a free 30-day trial, check out siriusxm.com/freetrial/blog 

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