Friday, October 19, 2012

Romney and Obama laugh it off at Catholic dinner

White House candidates roast each other at high end fundraiser

Cardinal Timothy Dolan
After a heated debate two days earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney got together again for the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York. The dinner,  a fundraiser for Catholic Charities, has had keynote addresses from both presidential candidates in every election year since 1960, with the exception of 1996, which had the vice presidential candidates.

The mood at the event was light, with both candidates taking shots at themselves, each other, and some of the distinguished guests.

Romney found a way to poke fun at Obama revisiting a famous event in Church history:

"I have special admiration for St. Peter, to whom it was said 'upon this rock I will build My Church.' The story is all the more inspiring when you consider that he had so many skeptics and scoffers at the time that said 'if you got a Church, you didn't build that."

Romney's full speech:

Obama poked fun at himself for his first debate performance and made light of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on high calorie drinks:

"Win or lose, this is my last political campaign, so I'’m trying to drink it all in. Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg will only let me have 16 ounces of it," he said.

Obama also took time to credit the "extraordinary work of the Catholic Church."

"It is written in Scripture that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope," he said. "We have come as far as we have mainly because of the perseverance and character of ordinary Americans."

He said that even in a bitter campaign candidates from both parties could come together for a "worthy cause."

Obama's full speech:

The fundraising event, hosted by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, caused a fair bit of controversy this year. Some Catholics were angry that Obama had been invited to the event. The president's Obamacare law will require religious employers to cover the cost of contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs as part of their health-care plans.

While many were unhappy with the Obama invitation, the president still received a standing ovation when he approached the microphone to speak (Mitt Romney received one as well).

The mood won't be so light for the final days of the election campaign, but at least one Catholic event proves that even adversaries can come together for the good of a nation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a comment about this post.

Rules for commenting

Posts and comments to The Busy Catholic must be marked by Christian charity and respect for the truth. They should be on topic and presume the good will of other contributors. Discussion should take place primarily from a faith perspective. We reserve the right to end discussion on any topic any time we feel the discussion is no longer productive.