WASHINGTON POST, LOS ANGELES TIMES (USA)

Worldcrunch

NEW YORK - President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney took a break from the presidential race on Thursday night to trade jokes and roast each other at charity dinner, reports the Washington Post.

Every four years, the Alfred E. Smith Dinner, the Catholic Archdiocese of New York’s annual charity dinner hosts the presidential candidates. This year’s event raised $5 million for the foundation to benefit needy city children, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Dressed in white tie and tails, Obama and Romney both gave speeches mixing humor with gibes, says the LA Times, adding that the evening was an opportunity for both men “to shake off the animosity after a campaign that has grown increasingly bitter and competitive.”

Some of the evening’s best zingers:

Romney: “A campaign can require a lot of wardrobe changes: blue jeans in the morning perhaps, a suit for a lunch fundraiser, a sport coat for dinner,” he said. “But it’s nice to finally relax and to wear what Ann and I wear around the house.”

Obama: “Everyone please take your seats, otherwise Clint Eastwood will yell at them.” 

Romney: “President Obama and I are each very lucky to have one person who's always in our corner, someone that we can lean on, and someone that's a comforting presence without whom we wouldn't be able to go on another day. I have my beautiful wife, Ann, he’s got Bill Clinton.” 

Obama: "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."

Obama: “Sometimes it feels like this race has dragged on forever, but Paul Ryan assured me that we’ve only been running for 2 hours and 50-something minutes.”

Romney: “In the spirit of Sesame Street tonight, the president’s remarks are brought to you by the letter O and the number 16 Trillion.”

Obama: ““Mitt is his middle name. I wish I could use my middle name [Hussein].” 

Romney: “And I've already seen early reports from tonight's dinner, headline; ‘Obama Embraced by Catholics. Romney Dines with Rich People.’”

Not to be left out, the evening’s MC, Al Smith IV: "I want to say a special welcome to all of the accomplished women here tonight. It's good to see you made it out of those binders.”