Washington: President Barack Obama took a dig at himself, joked about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton as he spoke at the annual White House Correspondents dinner with some stand-up comedy.
Obama, 53, who has less than two years left in his presidency, headlined the event last night to raise money for scholarships for young journalists and Netanyahu was one of his favourite target.
“It is no wonder that people keep pointing out how the presidency has aged me. I look so old, (Republican speaker of the House of Representatives) John Boehner’s already invited Netanyahu to speak at my funeral.”
“I have got to stay focused on my job, because for many Americans, this is still a time of deep uncertainty. For example, I have one friend, just a few weeks ago, she was making millions of dollars a year and she’s now living out of a van in Iowa,” Obama said referring to the launch of presidential campaign of his former Secretary of State, Clinton.
She began her campaign with a road trip to her New York home.
Thereafter, he did not spare the top Republican presidential aspirants.
“Ted Cruz said that denying the existence of climate change made him like Galileo. Now that’s not really an apt comparison. Galileo believed the Earth revolves around the sun. Ted Cruz believes the Earth revolves around Ted Cruz,” he said.
The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner is an annual event where White House and the journalists who cover it put aside their differences, come together and share some light moments.
Apart from journalists, the night featured Oscar-winner Jane Fonda and reality TV star Donald Trump, even though most of the prospective Republican candidates for president stayed away.
Obama took the opportunity to remember American journalists executed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria: “We remember journalists we lost over the past year. Journalists like Steven Sotloff, and James Foley, murdered for nothing more than trying to shine a light into some of the world’s darkest corners.
“We remember the journalists unjustly imprisoned around the world, including our own Jason Rezaian. For nine months, Jason has been imprisoned in Tehran for nothing more than writing about the hopes and the fears of the Iranian people.
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