The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, named for former New York Governor Al Smith, the first Catholic presidential candidate,is a white tie affair that raises money for Catholic charities that help needy children. The speeches are typically kept light, but GOP nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threw a few elbows on Thursday night.
Trump began his time at the dais by comparing himself to the son of God, saying he was just another young "carpenter working for his father."
As Trump continued, his focus turned to Clinton saying that she is "so corrupt."
“Just before taking the dais, Hillary accidently bumped into me and she very civilly said, 'Pardon me,'" Trump said, setting up the joke.
Clinton, who must have figured out the punchline before it was delivered, practically belly laughed,
"And I very politely replied, 'Let me talk to you about that after I get into office,'" Donald joked— ajoke that elicited boos and heckling from the tux and gown crowd.
“I don’t know who they’re angry at, Hillary, you or I,” Trump added, looking over at his rival.
In keeping with tradition, Trump included some self-deprecation in the form of a zinger about his wife, Melania.
“This is going to get me in trouble," Trump said. "Not with Hillary.
"The president told me to stop whining, but I have to say the media is even more biased this year than ever before, ever. You want the proof: Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it. They say she’s absolutely great. My wife Melania gives the exact same speech, and people get on her case and I don’t get it. I don’t know why.”
Trump continued by saying Clinton was in attendance "pretending not to hate Catholics," but it was his comments about the Clinton Foundation's efforts in Haiti that appeared to have lost him the room.
“As some of you have noticed, Hillary isn’t laughing as much as the rest of us,” he said.
At that point, no one was laughing and the people seated behind Trump had strained looks on their faces.
Clinton, following Trump's speech, opened by referencing Trump's announcement that he will only honor the election results if he wins.“It’s amazing that I’m up here after Donald," she joked. "I didn’t think he’d be OK with a peaceful transition of power.”
Continuing with some good natured self-deprecation, Clinton continued, "I took a break from my rigorous nap schedule to be here,”adding, “Usually, I charge a lot for speeches like this.”
Then, Clinton's satire took aim at her opponent as she joked that his problem with teleprompters stemmed from "translating from the original Russian."
Imagining a reunion of former presidents, Clinton asked the room how Obama would make it past the Muslim ban (under a Trump presidency).
Clinton even dipped a toe in the pool ofcomments Trump has made about women,as she talked about The Statue of Liberty as a beacon of hope for immigrants.
“Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a four," Clinton quipped. "Maybe a five if she ditches the torch and tablet and changes her hair.”
Clinton, whoacknowledgedin her speechthat she is not known for her humor and that "it took a village" to write the jokes, laughed heartily andoftenduring the event. Trump, not known for taking a joke about himself, maintained a tight smile during Clinton's remarks.
Clinton complimented Trump saying he was very graciousby sending a car to bring her to the dinner that evening.
“Actually, it was a hearse,” she panned.
Trump joined in with the room and laughed.
After joking that she looks forward to vice presidential running mate Mike Pence denying Trump's dinner speech, referring to the times in the campaign when Pence said Trump did not mean certain controversial remarks, Clinton ended with an attempt at unification:“Let's come together, remember what unites us, and just rip on Ted Cruz.”
Alfred E. Smith IV, the chairman of the dinner, even got a few good natured jabs while introducing the keynote speakers.“Before the dinner started, Trump went to Hillary and asked, ‘How are you?’”
After a pause, Smith continued:“She said, ‘I’m fine — now get out of the ladies’ dressing room.’”