US & Canada

Obama tickles audience at Correspondents' Association dinner

President Barack Obama has turned his hand to comedy as he poked fun at himself and his adversaries at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

"I'm not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be," he joked.

He suggested Republicans seeking to reach out to minorities could start with him.

There were shrieks of laughter from the star-studded audience as he delivered his lines.

But Mr Obama also took a more serious tone as he paid tribute to those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing and the explosion at the West, Texas fertiliser plant.

He heaped praise not only on the emergency services but the journalists who covered the stories.

Mr Obama came on stage to the sound of the rap track All I Do Is Win by DJ Khaled, quipping that conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh "warned you about this".

The president tickled his audience - who included actors Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Claire Danes and South Korean singer Psy - with the following lines:

  • "You know that [casino tycoon] Sheldon Adelson spent $100m of his own money last year on negative ads. You've got to really dislike me to spend that kind of money... Sheldon would have been better off offering me $100m to drop out of the race. I probably wouldn't have taken it, but I'd have thought about it. Michelle would have taken it. You think I'm joking."
  • "Some folks still don't think I spend enough time with Congress. 'Why don't you get a drink with [Senate Republican minority leader] Mitch McConnell?' they ask. Really? Why don't you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?"
  • "My charm offensive has helped me learn some interesting things about what's going on in Congress. It turns out - absolutely nothing."
  • "I know CNN has taken some knocks lately but the fact is, I admire their commitment to covering all sides of the story, just in case one of them happens to be accurate."
  • "I'm also hard at work on plans for the Obama library and some have suggested we put it in my birthplace but... I'd rather keep it in the United States."

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