Obama, Romney Share Jokes, Insults At Charity Dinner

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staff
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.

Obama Romney

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.