2012 race makes fodder for Obama, Kimmel
April 29th, 2012
01:21 AM ET
9 years ago

2012 race makes fodder for Obama, Kimmel

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama roasted the 2012 Republican contenders during an annual Saturday night dinner that poked fun at a series of things, including the Secret Service scandal and his graying hair.

Obama delivered his comic remarks at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner before the main entertainer, comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

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"I guess Gov. [Mitt] Romney is feeling good about things because he took a few hours off the other day to see 'The Hunger Games,' " Obama teased his GOP rival. "It's a movie about people who court wealthy sponsors and brutally savage each other until only one contestant is left standing.

"I'm sure this was a great change of pace for him."

Though Romney, who was not present at the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington,was on the receiving end of his share of jokes, Kimmel had fresh material about the president.

Obama is "a man who has done his best to guide us through some difficult times, and paid a heavy price for it," Kimmel said. "There's a term for guys like President Obama."

But, he continued, "probably not two terms."

Obama and Kimmel had a few lines about one-time GOP presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, both of whom attended the dinner.

"Now, I know at this point many of you were expecting me to go after my likely opponent: Newt Gingrich," Obama deadpanned. "Newt, there's still time, man."

Gingrich, who is expected to officially suspend his campaign this week, was present at the dinner because his "check cleared," Kimmel cracked, referring to a ballot filing fee check that bounced after Gingrich's campaign closed the account.

Of Santorum, Kimmel joked: "I guess it wasn't Rick's year. Rick's year is 1954." He also poked fun at the former senator's trademark wardrobe element, the sweater vest.

A day before the dinner, Kimmel said Obama is a hard person to roast because he isn't "cartoony," like the past two White House occupants.

But Romney, he predicted, won't be the next to move into the Oval Office.

"Some people say Mitt Romney won't be elected president because he's Mormon," Kimmel said. "We elected an African-American president. We would absolutely elect a Mormon president. Just not Mitt Romney."

Obama played off of a notion that Romney is out of touch and outdated.

"Recently his campaign criticized me for slow jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon," Obama quipped, referring to his appearance on the Tuesday program.

"In fact, I understand Governor Romney was so upset, he asked his staff if he could get some equal time on the Merv Griffin show," Obama said.

Though Griffin went on to other projects, his namesake show went off the air in the mid-1980s.

But, Obama said, he and Romney have a few things in common.

"We both think of our wives as our better halves and polls show to an alarmingly insulting extent the American people agree."

Obama also targeted his own security detail amid a prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service in Colombia, saying he had to leave early because "I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew."

The dinner was Obama's fourth as president. It has been a ritual in Washington since 1920, when it was first held to boost communication between the press and the president.

It was open only to men until 1962, when President John F. Kennedy said he would not attend unless women were invited.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Howard

    If you're such a fan of Obama, buy his comedy album when it comes out, or watch him on late night ... but, don't gamble the future of America, by betting our survival on this loser. Thanks to Obama, over 5 trillion has been squandered in just 3 1/2 years ... our credit score has been downgraded ... our debt has just exceeded our GDP ... and, Obama wants to double down on his pathetic failed policies. Unlike you, I love America more than Obama.

    April 29, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  2. Sydnium S. Wellington

    Think again, Jimmy Fallon.

    April 29, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  3. Independent from NH

    Outstanding. Anyone know where a full transcript can be found of the evening?

    April 29, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  4. blairablair

    But, Obama said, he and Romney have a few things in common. "We both think of our wives as our better halves and polls show to an alarmingly insulting extent the American people agree." What?

    April 29, 2012 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  5. Cortanis

    Cute, but I imagine it was about as comfortable to be at as a pidgion in a house full of cats.

    April 29, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  6. David Tanselle

    Don Lemon can't hide is man crush on O'Bama, he breaks out into a sweat everytime he reports on him, after the Correspondents Dinner, Lemon was in heaven gushing on every word: "wasn't he wonderful, wasn't he great, gosh he's terrific." next time Don, get a hotel room if you want to masterbate on air.

    April 29, 2012 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  7. Neeve

    JFK was a prince of a man. We haven't had any royalty in Washington since he died.

    April 29, 2012 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  8. jake

    Good to see these guys can honestly laugh at one another and at themselves. In this nasty volatile season of re-election for President Obama they deserve a day to laugh and poke some genuine fun at each other. We all know it will be different and poisinous tomorrow, which is really to bad. I wish the best of luck to President Obama in his 2nd term. Then i guess it will be President Hillary Clinton in 2016. Got to love that when it happens.

    April 29, 2012 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  9. Thomas Dankowski

    Whatever you have to say about his politics, Obama has great delivery and is pretty damn charismatic. Gonna be interesting to see how the debates go

    April 29, 2012 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  10. Brendan B

    more propoganda from the state TV news outlet – CNN. No surprise here just more blind praise and posturing to make Obama look good for 2012!

    Keep up the BIAS work CNN!

    April 29, 2012 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  11. Tom

    Spot on Jimmy Kimmel! Romney won't make it to the Oval Office. Why didn't he come to the dinner?

    April 29, 2012 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  12. Jerry

    Big deal!!! Why does Mr. Obama has to make EVERYTHING political?! Oops! Sorry. I forgot Mr. Obama and his administration have no REAL record to run on. I guess I answered my own question.

    April 29, 2012 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  13. B

    Both republican and democratic presidents have given speeches at this annual dinner. Humor is a part of the event. However, I can't wait to see Faux News, the tea bags, Romney, and all the fact checkers in the republican's "war room" dissect President Obama's performance and find fault with it. Karl Rove's super pac American Crossroads is already preparing to release another negative campaign ad this week.

    April 29, 2012 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  14. Schadenfreudean Psychologist

    Obama is a class act - I'd have targeted Romney's 'magical' underpants.

    April 29, 2012 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  15. Marlee

    President Coin vs. President Snow. Let the games begin.

    April 29, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  16. Marie MD

    The slow jamming news was priceless.
    Putting your dog in a crate and driving at speeds of over 70 mph hosing the dog off because he got sick (I guess he REALLY didn't like that ride) and having the dog run away and now years later laughing about it and then joke that you wouldn't tell anyone if you did it again shows a complete lack of compasion, character and just mindless dribble.
    I dont' want a president who thinks what he did was funny. President Obama, on the other hand, is a caring, compassionate and funny person. I'll stick with him for the next four years.

    April 29, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  17. Joe, San Diego

    humour just humour BUT the republicans feign being insulted

    April 29, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  18. Russ in Md

    Ya, a real Al Franken.

    April 29, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  19. Ed1

    Glad to see our rock star continues to have time to crack jokes but not help this Country.

    You go rock star.

    April 29, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  20. virginia voter

    Obama is a fool.

    April 29, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  21. Spiraling Agony

    ha, I lol'd..
    'probably not two terms..'
    "Merv Griffin"

    Good stuff! sounds like it was a lot of fun

    April 29, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  22. king

    Obama roast last night was brilliant, now he needs to go on his optimism tour, he need to modernize the American infrastructure, to let people want to come invest again. People wants to see cranes and construction workers in every neighborhood they go. If the repubs wants to say government overreach and small government, when Obama tax these rich folks so they can invest and participate rebuilding our country. Let get the optimism tour on the road Obama, and if the obstructionist repubs obstruct this one, hey, the election are just around the corner, let them do it at their own peril.

    April 29, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    Simple Good jokes

    April 29, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  24. CyndyP

    If anyone knows pathetic, it's John McCain. He is an irrelevant old man, who has long outlived his usefulness in the US Senate!

    April 29, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  25. william darst

    Yes Obama is a real hero (NOT) What a Gem

    April 29, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |