With 19 days until Election Day, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney took some time out for a few laughs Thursday as they attended the Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
Forget President of the United States. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney seem like they're running for king of the one-liners.
"In the spirit of Sesame Street, the president's remarks are brought to you tonight by the letter O and the number $16 trillion," Romney said.
"After my foreign trip in 2008, I was attacked as a celebrity because I was so popular with our allies overseas," Obama said. "I have to say, I am impressed at how well Gov. Romney has avoided that problem."
The pair traded sharp elbows for funny bones at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner. Obama ribbed Romney's wealth. Romney mocked Obama's job creation record. Then they turned the tables on themselves.
"A campaign can require a lot of wardrobe changes," Romney said. "It's nice to finally relax and wear what Ann and I wear around the house."
"As some of you may have noticed, I had a lot more energy in our second debate," Obama said. "I felt really well rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate."
The event raised $5 million for charity.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan played gracious host, even as he and other Catholic officials are suing the Obama Administration over requirements their employees get free contraception.
"The unwed mother. The innocent, fragile, unborn baby in her womb," Cardinal Dolan said. "Government, Al Smith believed, should be on the side of these "uns."
The presidential candidates weren't the only butt of jokes. Emcee Al Smith IV gave Mayor Michael Bloomberg a good zinger And Gov. Andrew Cuomo's political ambition made it into a few punch lines.
"Let me get this straight," Romney said. "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?"
For Romney and Obama, it's now back to the campaign trail and assuredly, the ferocity that's marked this contest. They meet again on Monday in Florida, this time for their third and final debate.