"I was actually black before the election," said Obama.
The statement followed after the debate sorrounding former US president Jimmy Carter's comment that the conservatives were opposing Obama's health care plans due to racism.
On The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, Obama said being elected as America's first African-American president indicated wider race relations in the country.
"I think it's important to realise that I was actually black before the election," said the president.
"One of the things that you sign up for in politics is that folks yell at you.
"Whenever a president tries to bring about significant changes, particularly during times of economic unease, there is a certain segment of the population that gets very riled up."