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US 2012: Obama and Romney trade jokes at dinner

The US presidential candidates scored big laughs at an annual fundraiser at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel last night.

Image: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

US PRESIDENT BARACK Obama and Republican Mitt Romney scored big laughs at the Alfred E Smith Memorial Dinner, an annual fundraiser at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel for Catholic charitable work that has drawn presidential candidates since World War II.

A sampling of the best quips from their stand-up routines:


“I had a lot more energy in our second debate. I felt really well-rested after the nice long nap I had in first debate.” — Obama, poking fun at his poor performance in the first nationally televised debate against Romney.


“As President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room, with everyone in white tie and finery, you have to wonder what he’s thinking: ‘So little time. So much to redistribute.’” — Romney, riffing on conservative complaints that Obama wants to redistribute the wealth.


“In less than three weeks, voters in states like Ohio, Virginia and Florida will decide this incredibly important election. Which begs the question: What are we doing here?” — Obama, on spending valuable campaigning time in solidly Democratic New York.


“Find the biggest available straw man and then mercilessly attack him. Big Bird didn’t see it coming. By the way, in the spirit of ‘Sesame Street’ tonight, the president’s remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter ‘O’ and the number 16 trillion.” — Romney, on how he prepares for debates, his own plan to defund public television and the national debt.


“Earlier today I went shopping at some stores in Midtown. I understand Governor Romney went shopping for some stores in Midtown.” — Obama, on Romney’s vast wealth.


“President Obama and I are each very lucky to have one person who’s always in our corner. Someone who we can lean on and is someone who is a comforting presence without whom we wouldn’t be able to go another day. I have my beautiful wife, Ann, and he has Bill Clinton.” — Romney, teasing about the former president’s prominent role in Obama’s campaign.


“After my foreign trip in 2008, I was attacked as a celebrity because I was so popular with our allies overseas. I have to say, I’m impressed by how well Governor Romney has avoided that problem.” — Obama, on Romney’s trip to Europe and the Middle East last summer, which drew critical headlines.


“I’ve already seen early reports from tonight’s dinner. Headline: ‘Obama embraced by Catholics. Romney dines with rich people.’” — Romney, on media bias against his candidacy.

US 2012: If you missed the debate, this is the only moment you have to see>

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Associated Press

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