US President Barack Obama 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama told jokes at the expense of US real
estate mogul Donald Trump on Saturday night, mocking his possible
presidential ambitions in remarks at the annual White House
Correspondents' Association dinner.
With Trump in the hotel
ballroom audience of celebrities, politicians and journalists, Obama
zeroed in on talk fueled by Trump that the president was not US-born.
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on Wednesday released a longer version of his birth certificate to
answer some Republicans including Trump who claim he was not native born
and therefore ineligible to be president, and blasted "carnival
barkers" who refuse to let the issue die.
Trump has seized on the issue while testing the waters for a possible
2012 run for the Republican presidential nomination. Obama, a Democrat,
is running for re-election next year.
"Donald Trump is here tonight. And I know that he's taken some flak
lately. But no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth
certificate matter to rest than 'The Donald,'" Obama said, using Trump's
"And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues
that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in
Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?" Obama added, drawing laughs
Roswell refers to an incident in the vicinity of Roswell, New Mexico,
where, according to some theories, an object that crashed in 1947 was an
extra-terrestrial spacecraft carrying alien occupants. Biggie Smalls
and Tupac Shakur were rap stars whose deaths are the subject of
Obama suggested that Trump's biggest decisions typically involve the
trademark firings he routinely carries out on his reality television
show "Celebrity Apprentice" such as when he dumped actor Gary Busey.
"These are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night," Obama deadpanned. "Well handled, sir. Well handled."
Trump grinned, pursing his lips and looking uncomfortable.
"I think we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience," Obama said of Trump, drawing laughs.
"Say what you want about Mr. Trump," the president added. "He certainly would bring change to the White House."
Big video screens in the ballroom then flashed an image of what was
labeled "Trump, The White House," spoofing the famed businessman's
practice of naming buildings after himself.
It portrayed a hotel-casino-golf course with bikini-clad girls
frolicking in the fountain that adorns a White House lawn and gold
columns substituted at the front for white ones.
Trump has made a series of controversial comments as he mulls a
presidential campaign and ripped Obama and other US political leaders in
a profanity-laced speech in Las Vegas this week, calling them "stupid."
Also coming in for ribbing from Obama were Tim Pawlenty, Michele
Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman -- all potential Republican
challengers for the White House in 2012.
At the dinner, Obama also poked fun at several other celebrities,
including Matt Damon, who recently spoke out against Obama's policies.
"Well, Matt, I just saw 'The Adjustment Bureau,'" the President said,
referencing Damon's latest film. "Right back at you buddy."
Obama's speech also included a mock film trailer for a film playing on the theme of Oscar-winning "The King's Speech."
In the fake film, President Obama suffers not from a speech impedient, but from the loss of his teleprompter.