In what has become one of the most bizarre traditions of the presidential race, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney roasted each other at the Al Smith Dinner last night. The annual event raises money for Catholic charities in New York (in honor of former governor and presidential nominee Alfred E. Smith), but every four years it becomes a rare chance for the nominee of each party to test his comedic chops and publicly insult his opponent just a few short weeks before the election. It's an almost surreal moment, but where else are you going to see Fox News honcho Roger Ailes break bread with MSNBC shouter Chris Matthews?
There were several themes that ran through every one's jokes. Mitt Romney is rich and doesn't drink. Obama is a media darling who is lousy at debates. Joe Biden is crazy. They both came armed with jokes about Andrew Cuomo, a one-term governor with a governor for a father who wants to be president. There were plenty of good zingers on both sides—they each had a nice "you didn't build that reference—but there were our favorites jokes from each candidate.
"President Obama and I are each very lucky to have one person who's always in our corner. Someone who we can lean on; someone who's a comforting presence, without whom we wouldn't be able to go another day. I have my beautiful wife, Ann. He has Bill Clinton"
"Everyone please take your seats, otherwise Clint Eastwood will yell at them."
While both of them did rather well, though there is certainly some debate about who has the better writers. You can watch both speeches in full below, courtesy of C-SPAN, and decide for yourself.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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