Obama, Romney Share Jokes, Insults at Charity Dinner

VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney made fun of themselves and each other at a high-profile charity dinner Thursday in New York.

The formal event hosted by the city's Catholic Archdiocese at the luxury Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was a chance for the candidates to take a break from an often combative presidential campaign.

Romney, a multi-millionaire, began the evening by taking a shot at his own wealth, telling the formally dressed crowd that he was glad he and his wife Ann could slip into clothes they "wear around the house."

His speech also poked fun at the media, who many Republicans accuse of favoring Democrats.



"Let's just say some in the media have a certain way of looking at things. When I suddenly, pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline? 'Polls show Obama leading from behind,' Romney joked. "And I have already seen early reports from tonight's dinner. Headline: 'Obama embraced by Catholics,' ' Romney dines with rich people.'"

President Obama also took aim at Romney's wealth, noting that while he had earlier gone shopping at some stores in Midtown Manhattan, Romney "went shopping for some stores."

Obama made light of his performance in the first debate, during which many said he looked tired and uninterested.

"This is the third time that Governor Romney and I have met recently. As some of you may have noticed, I had a lot more energy in our second debate. I felt really well rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate," the president joked.

The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, named after a former Democratic governor of New York and the first Roman Catholic presidential candidate in 1928, is expected to raise $5 million for Catholic charities.

Before the event, President Obama appeared on Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where he defended his handling of last month's deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Obama rejected accusations that his administration was "confused" in its response to the attack, which killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. He insisted that officials did not withhold information from the public, but said because of the large size of the government, sometimes things "screw up."

Recent polls show both candidates locked in a tight race, with less than three weeks until election day. They will meet in a third and final presidential debate on Monday in Florida. It will focus exclusively on foreign policy.
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Comments
     
by: Alex Smith from: Russia
October 19, 2012 3:16 PM
In Russia most people like Mr. Barack Obama. But I like Mitt Romney. I know that I may to loose.

by: Jackson from: South
October 19, 2012 10:07 AM
It is amazing that our presidential candidates sit aside a catholic bishop. Why not a baptist or methodist or some other religious leader-- always catholic. You can go back and look at the published photos of this event for every election, and the picture that shows the candidates shaking hands across the bishop in the middle, the one the bishop is looking at always wins. It's a set-up. I am wondering this year they are both looking at him. Does that mean that this is the year that the beast takes power, and the vatican will rule through the arm of America?
In Response

by: gib from: SC
October 21, 2012 5:57 AM
The catholic religion gets a better response from television viewers. I am taking a religion in popular culture class and it is pretty well known that generally even people from other christian faiths tend to be less judgmental toward the appearance of a catholic figure. Remember the West Wing and how the president was a devout Catholic?
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 19, 2012 12:21 PM
Jackson (South), I've read about this you yarn before. If the whole story of the beast, America and the church is true, this year will prove it. But what if it fails? But I do not understand the relationship between the cultism swaying America now and the righteousness which the churches, including the Catholics preach. Can you show how these two opposing camps meet?
In Response

by: Jack from: Nonconspiratorial South
October 19, 2012 11:24 AM
Yes, they are sitting next to a Catholic bishop because it was a Roman Catholic sponsored event. Kinda makes sense. A random baptist preacher would be a bit out of place, don't you think?

by: A.Zues from: Mt Sinai
October 19, 2012 8:00 AM
I think even Romney could learn a thing or two from the Catholic
hierarchy.They invented hostile takeovers and hostile bendovers and god knows what else we haven't even discovered yet.The idea that anyone in american politics would associate with that organized crime syndicate let alone help raise money for their legal defense fund under the guise of "charity" is beyond belief and I will note vote for either of these mannequins in the coming election.
In Response

by: E Wittmershas from: Lebanon
October 19, 2012 11:09 AM
From someone who has been helped by Catholic Charities and worked at a food bank run by same, I think you do not know what you're talking about. Take your bigotry and hate somewhere else!!

by: Carmi from: Ohio
October 19, 2012 7:35 AM
If elected president, Romney vows to brand China a currency manipulator on day one and then follow up with a tariff. A tariff is just going to cost the consumer who will have no alternative but to pay this additional cost that will be passed on to the consumer.
In Response

by: Call Uout from: Reality
October 19, 2012 9:05 AM
If you read something once in a while and stopped watching maddow you might have something intelligent to say.

by: MACDONALDBANK from: LA
October 19, 2012 7:33 AM
Religious Republican zombies are coming out of the woodwork -- descending on America! Scary or what? Romney; would be the equivalent to the Taliban -- in his treatment of women’s rights and the gay community -- with his extreme cultist attitude … if ever elected! Religion; is the biggest bully on the block! IRS codes prohibit churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates! The IRS … should immediately tax churches -- that break that rule!
Churches -- are opposing gay rights -- based on a cult! Tax them or shut them down! Roman Catholic; Baptist & Mormon churches who were involved in Proposition 8; against the gay community – should be shut down immediately and/or have their tax exemption status revoked!
Church manses; mansions; corporate jets and Christian college campuses … should face taxes or be shut down -- based on corruption and/or being involved in cultism! Mormons are nothing more than homophobic bigots and lustful religious lunatics; who harvested women … attempting to scrutinize themselves; into eternity – without success!

Obama should be praised for standing up for human rights … by supporting the gay community! To see the religious lunatics try to manipulate government and our lives – is shameful. Romney as President; would mean the darkest & meanest period in the United States of America’s history. Homophobic -- witchcraft would rule the government from Rome & Salt Lake City …!

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 19, 2012 12:14 PM
MacDonaldbank from: LA, are you saying you will commit suicide if Mitt Romney wins? Yours here is an expression of extreme hate and madness at church, at what is sane and what is morally upright. If you are a homosexual and want to remain so - which no one envies you nor begrudges - why do you want to bring about a speedy destruction of the world unless everybody becomes like you? Religion of whatever leaning is cultism to you, what then do you call the devilish power that makes you anticlockwise from regular human posture? Your country is the center of world legion of cultism and the home of the antichrist, yet you are very proud to raise your head from out there. Do you know what? The whole world is ready for the manifestation of THE MAN OF DISOBEDIENCE - THE ANTICHRIST who is surely already at work in USA. So mind your Obama while the Christians and lovers of God and those who wish to have better relationship with God take care of Mitt Romney.
In Response

by: Eric from: Lebanon
October 19, 2012 11:16 AM
If anyone is pushing their morality on anyone, it you and your ilk, sir. Christians have just as much right as you to express their 1st Amendment opinions. And if anyone has exploited children, no one is more guilty then the lesbian gay community who flaunt their lifestyles in parades and children's books.
In Response

by: McDhouston from: Houston, TX
October 19, 2012 8:26 AM
All I heard was "wha wha whaaaa!!!"
Do you need a nap?
Maybe a reality check?
This is the same extremist position that labels people as crazy.

by: Atheist
October 19, 2012 7:22 AM
Cardinal Wiliam Howard Taft? All joking aside, I find it off-putting that this religio-industrial complex can still draw our elected servants considering their ongoing pedophile scandal.

Considering one in three US citizens under thirty are now beholden to no religion, I look forward to the day when that generation gains power.
In Response

by: AlsoAtheist from: Houston
October 19, 2012 9:54 AM
Agreed. People like Serious can't grasp the fact that they've lived their entire lives believing in a fairy tale.
In Response

by: Serious from: Atlanta
October 19, 2012 8:32 AM
The only problem with that thought is that one day those people grow up and their thought process changes.

by: Andrew from: St. Louis, MO, USA
October 19, 2012 7:19 AM
"This man who is going to face Obama in presidential elections is unfit for this post. He need to open a resturant looks like a resturant manager. "
With witty commentary such as this from the lands of Saudi Arabia, how can Obama NOT win?
On a serious note, I agree that he isn't suited for the post. He doesn't look like he balances his own checkbook, so how can he be expected to try and balance the nations budget?
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 19, 2012 11:54 AM
You should ask yourself how Mitt Romney became a successful businessman while Obama keeps borrowing to pay his electricity bill. It's because Obama believes in socialist principles, that's why he keeps borrowing and works hard to make companies that have proved insolvent to borrow in what you call bail-out. One thing is very certain, THE MORE YOU BORROW THE MORE YOU WILL HAVE TO BORROW. So encourage Obama to continue borrowing. But Romney never borrows and will make America come out of borrowing to become a lender instead. The blessing says: "You shall not borrow but you shall lend to many nations." For now China will dictate the proceeding as long as Obama continues to ask China to finance US projects.
In Response

by: Serious from: Atlanta
October 19, 2012 8:28 AM
You are talking about Obama not balancing his checkbook, right?

by: saif from: Riyadh KSA
October 19, 2012 5:37 AM
This man who is going to face Obama in presidential elections is unfit for this post.
He need to open a resturant looks like a resturant manager.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 19, 2012 11:42 AM
Mitt Romney wants to show how caring he's going to be. If he's dressed like a restaurant manager, it's because he wants to feed the hungry in America. Mitt Romney is rich and is at home with the wealthy. Wao! He wants to make more and more Americans come out of dependence on charity to self sustenance. Mitt Romney believes Americans need to learn fishing not to be fed with fish. He wants to show Americans the way to continue to be the richest in the world. Your evangelists would ask you to think big, so why think little; Oh people of little faith and little mind!
In Response

by: Joe from: Atlanta
October 19, 2012 9:19 AM
At the Dinner of the "Have and Have more", Romney was with his base, whereas Obama was not. You could see how the crowd were laughing Romney's jokes compare to Obama's Joke.
If Romney is elected, he will serve the interest of the rich and Corporations. We need Obama to stay in power. We make sure we do not allow Republican to control the white house. It's already bad that they control the Congress. If the White House is lost to Republicans, everyone will lose including the White Middle Class Male.
In Response

by: Sathish from: Southafrica
October 19, 2012 7:20 AM
More like a salesman than a future president and America is not for sale, or is? By the by its is restaurant not resturant !

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