Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took on the media at the annual Al Smith dinner Thursday night in New York City. With New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan sitting between them (he later called it “the iciest place on the planet,”) Clinton spoke for 18 minutes, and Trump spoke for 15 minutes.
“I know Hillary met my campaign manager. And I got the chance to meet the people who are working so hard to get her elected. There they are,” Trump said, pointing around the room, “the heads of NBC, CNN, CBS, ABC. There’s The New York Times right over there, and The Washington Post.”
That joke got a big laugh, but Trump was also jeered for several lines that began with calling Clinton “corrupt,” then saying she was “pretending not to hate Catholics” and another joke about the Clinton Foundation’s work in Haiti.
Some of Clinton’s lines also feel flat, but her jokes involving the media got big laughs, including this one about Rudy Giuliani. “Now, many don’t know this, but Rudy actually got his start as a prosecutor going after wealthy New Yorkers who avoided paying taxes. But as the saying goes, ‘if you can’t beat ’em, go on Fox News and call ’em a genius.'”
Mentioning the TV newsers on hand, Clinton made a self-deprecating remark about her lack of news conferences on the campaign trail.
“Look at this dais, we’ve got Charlie Rose and Maria Bartiromo and Chris Matthews and Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell and Katie Couric. This counts as a press conference, right?”
The dinner, named for the former New York Governor and 1928 democratic nominee for president, the first Catholic to be a nominee for president, benefits Catholic Charities. $6 million was raised last night, according to Trump.