President Barack Obama used his comic toast at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday night to take pointed jabs at “birthers,” Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., among several others.
When the president takes the stage at the annual gala, self-deprecating humor is often the highlight, but as some commentators have pointed out, Obama has a tendency to target his enemies more than himself.
At the Washington Hilton Saturday night, Obama ribbed a long list of conservatives and Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Governors Rick Perry and Chris Christie, TV personalities Sean Hannity and Pat Buchanan, the Koch brothers, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Bundy, Paul, birthers and, of course, all the folks at Fox News.
The president offered a pair of punch lines aimed at those who have questioned his birthplace, including, “While we’re talking sports, just last month a wonderful story – an American won the Boston Marathon for the first time in 30 years. … Which was inspiring and only fair since a Kenyan has been president for the last six. Had to even things out.”
He also doubled up on birthers and Fox News with the line, “Let’s face it, Fox, you’ll miss me when I’m gone. It will be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya.”
Obama similarly stung Rand Paul together with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, whose recent comments on race let some of the air out of his celebrity after a standoff with federal land management officials: “Michelle and I watched the Olympics; we can’t believe what these young folks do – death defying feats. I haven’t seen 180 so fast since Rand Paul disinvited that Nevada rancher from this dinner.”
Continuing his jibe at Bundy, Obama said, “As a general rule, things don’t end well if the sentence starts, “Let me tell you something I know about the Negro.’ You don’t really need to hear the rest of it. Just a tip for you: Don’t start your sentence that way.”
Obama also made a later reference to Paul: “Speaking of Rand Paul, Colorado legalized marijuana this year, an interesting social experiment. I do hope it doesn’t lead to a whole lot of paranoid people who think that the federal government is out to get them and listening to their phone calls. That would be a problem.”
The gala brings together journalists, government officials and celebrities – including Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o, Mindy Kaling, Robert DeNiro, Zooey Deschanel, Julianna Margulies and more this year, according to MSNBC – to raise money for college scholarships and honor notable journalism.
Watch video of Obama’s entire speech below: