Last night was the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner (the Catholic Archdiocese of New York’s big charity benefit) and this year the Archdiocese of New York welcomed both presidential candidates to the stage at the Waldorf-Astoria. And unlike the increasingly combative debates, last night Mittens and Barry O came to cut loose and tell some of their speechwriters' better jokes. After the jump, each candidate's five best funnies specially tailored for their wealthy white tie audience—plus, a quick game of 'who told that joke better!'
Here's President Obama's Bit:
- Everyone, please take your seats—otherwise Clint Eastwood will yell at them.
- Ultimately, though, tonight is not about the disagreements Governor Romney and I may have. It’s what we have in common—beginning with our unusual names. Actually, Mitt is his middle name. I wish I could use my middle name.
- Now, win or lose, this is my last political campaign. So I'm trying to drink it all in. Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg will only let me have 16 ounces of it. That's okay, I'm still making the most of my time in the city. Earlier today, I went shopping at some stores in Midtown. I understand Governor Romney went shopping for some stores in Midtown.
- And of course, there's a lot of things I learned from that experience [the first debate]. For example, I learned that there are worse things that can happen to you on your anniversary than forgetting to buy a gift. So, take note, gentlemen.
- And we’re getting to that time when folks are making up their minds. Just the other day, Honey Boo Boo endorsed me. So that’s a big relief.
Here's Governor Romney's Bit:
- I'm glad to be able to join in this memorable tradition. And of course I'm pleased that the president is here. We were chatting pleasantly this evening as if Tuesday night never happened.
- I was actually hoping the president would bring Joe Biden along this evening, because he'll laugh at anything.
- And don't be surprised if the president mentions this evening the monthly jobs report where there was a slight improvement in the numbers. He knows how to seize the moment, this president. And already has a compelling new campaign slogan, "You're better off now than you were four weeks ago."
- Of course only 19 days to go until the finish line, a campaign full of surprises. The debates are very exciting. Just the other night we had a very fun debate. Candy Crowley was there, and was happy to welcome us, but people seem to be very curious just as to how we prepare for the debates. Let me tell you what I do. First, refrain from alcohol for 65 years before the debate.
Second, find the biggest available straw man and then just mercilessly attack it.
Big Bird didn't even see it coming.
- Let's just say that some in the media have a certain way of—of looking at things. When suddenly I—I pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline? "Polls Show Obama Leading from Behind."
With New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the house last night apparently neither Obama or Romney's joke writers could help but make a joke about the similarities between the first-term Governor and the GOP candidate. So, the question is, who told it better?
Here's Obama on Cuomo:
Tonight I am here with a man whose father was a popular governor, and who knows what it's like to run a major Northeastern state, and who could very well be president someday—and I'm hoping it is Andrew Cuomo.
And here's Romney on Cuomo:
I'm pleased to once again have the chance to see Governor Cuomo who's already being talked about for higher office. A very impressive fellow, but he may be getting a little ahead of himself. I mean, let me get this straight, the man has put in one term as a governor. He has a father who happened to be a governor, and he thinks that's enough to run for president.