President Obama, Mitt Romney Share The Stage And A Few Laughs

The bitter rancor of the campaign trail gave way to the light-heartedness of a greater call to philanthropy on Thursday night when President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney shared the stage at a high-profile charity dinner Thursday in New York.

The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner 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 with some light humor at both themselves and one another.

Romney, a multi-millionaire and former governor of Massachusetts, 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,” he joked. “When I suddenly, pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline? ‘Polls show Obama leading from behind. 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, while Romney “went shopping for some stores.”

Obama also 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,” he joked. “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 annual dinner, which is 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.

Prior to 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 U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Recent polls show both candidates locked in a tight race, with less than three weeks until Election Day on Nov. 6. They will meet in a third and final presidential debate on Monday in Florida that will focus exclusively on foreign policy.

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