Obama takes dig at Donald Trump in Correspondents’ dinner speech
U.S. President Barack Obama added “comedian” to his resume for a final time on Saturday (April 30) as he drew big laughs in his last appearance at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner, a night of playful ribbing of both politicians and the news media.
“You know I’m going to talk about Trump!” he stated, referring to the Republican presidential front-runner.
“I’m a little hurt he’s not here. We had so much fun the last time. And it is surprising, You’ve got a room full of reporters, celebrities, cameras, and he says no,” Obama joked. “Is this dinner too tacky for ‘The Donald?'”
The president also gave a shout-out to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who was in the audience. He also suggested that by this time next year, there would be the first-ever female U.S. president Hillary Clinton delivering remarks at the dinner.
Obama also joked that his departure from the White House was being met with less formality, after meeting Britain’s young Prince George while on a recent visit on England.
“Even some foreign leaders, they’ve been looking ahead, anticipating my departure. Last week, Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe. That was a slap in the face. A clear breach of protocol,” Obama said.
Taking a more serious tone away from the jokes, Obama made mention of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who was released from Iranian captivity early this year.
He called Rezaian “a living testament to the very idea of a free press and a reminder of the rising level of danger and political intimidation and physical threats faced by reporters overseas.”
Larry Wilmore, the host of a show on cable outlet Comedy Central, took to the podium after Obama.
The black-tie event, which Obama has previously joked is “a night when Washington celebrates itself,” brings together journalists and media moguls with Hollywood stars and power brokers from Capitol Hill and beyond.
Vice President Joe Biden and International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde were among the politicos mingling with celebrities, including actress Emma Watson of “Harry Potter” and singer Gladys Knight.
The dinner, a long-standing tradition, has morphed from a relatively low-key gathering of journalists and their sources into a glamorous red-carpet affair. It has drawn criticism from some who feel that partying with sources is not conducive to hard-hitting journalism.
Other invitees this year included singer Aretha Franklin, actor Morgan Freeman and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller of the Denver Broncos.
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