Presidential candidates relax together for brief pause in campaign

The Sydney News.Net Friday 21st October, 2016

presidential candidates relax together for brief pause in campaign

Washington, Oct 21 (IANS) US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday night offered a tough takedown of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton at the Al Smith dinner.


"It's great to be here with 1,000 wonderful people. Or, as I call it, a small, intimate dinner with some friends. Or as Hillary calls it, her largest crowd of the season," CNN reported Trump as saying, to which Clinton laughed.

He said Clinton wants him to be her ambassador to Iraq or Afghanistan -- "it's my choice".

Trump and Clinton did not appear to acknowledge each other as they arrived to take their seats flanking Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, at the upscale Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

But the two nominees both smiled broadly and laughed at each other's needles, and they did shake hands after the event.

Trump made reference to calling Clinton a "nasty woman" in Wednesday nights' presidential debate -- and compared his feelings about Clinton to his years-old beef with Rosie O'Donnell.

"After listening to Hillary rattle on and on and on, I don't think so badly of Rosie O'Donnell anymore. In fact, I'm actually starting to like Rosie a lot," he said.

"Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it, it's fantastic. They think she's absolutely great. My wife Melania gives the exact same speech and people get on her case," Trump complained

"She didn't know about that one," he said, referring to his. He then looked across to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, saying: "Cardinal, please speak to her" 

Even more of his early jabs at Clinton went over well.

"We have proven that we can actually be civil to each other. In fact just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me -- and she very civilly said, 'pardon me,'" Trump said, a veiled reference at his debate stage pledges to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton if he wins the presidency.

"And I very politely replied, 'Let me talk to you about that after I get into office,'" Trump said. "Just kidding, just kidding."

Midway through his remarks, the crowd turned on Trump -- booing as he attacked Clinton's use of a personal email server and accusing her of ducking FBI questions.

"According to her sworn testimony, Hillary has forgotten more things than most of us will ever, ever know -- that I can tell you," Trump said, to crickets. "We're having some fun here tonight."

"I wasn't really sure if Hillary was going to be here tonight because, I guess, you didn't send her invitation by email. Or maybe you did, and she just found out about it through the wonder of WikiLeaks," CNN quoted Trump as saying.

"We've learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary believes that it is vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private."

When the audience booed at that line, Trump said, "That's OK, I don't know who they're angry at, Hillary, you or I. For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics."

Clinton stuck to the traditional script as she took the dais second.

"I took a break from my rigorous nap schedule to be here," she told the audience. "Usually, I charge a lot for speeches like this."

Turning to Trump, the former Secretary of State said, "Donald, if at any time you don't like what I say, feel free to stand up and shout 'Wrong!' after I say it."

And diving into Trump's remark that he would not accept the result of the upcoming election if he lost, she said: "I'm surprised I'm up here at all. I didn't think he'd be OK with a peaceful transition of power."

Clinto also jabbed at her rival. "Donald really is as healthy as a horse, you know, the one Vladimir Putin rides around on," she said.

Laughing at her self, she said, "I'm not boring at all. In fact, I'm the life of every party I attend, and I've been to three." When parties get out of hand, they need a "chaperone to get them home safely, "and that is why I picked Tim Kaine to be my vice president," Clinton added.

The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner -- held the third Thursday of every October -- is a tradition in American presidential politics and marks the last time the two nominees share a stage.

Named for the former New York governor and first Catholic to receive a major party nomination when Democrats tapped him to oppose Herbert Hoover in 1928, the Manhattan event has an attendance of more than 1,500 donors who give more than $3,000 each to Catholic charities for tickets.

--IANS

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