Donald Trump may not have been at the White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday night, but his presence was certainly felt — especially during a roasting by the POTUS himself.
President Barack Obama, in his last year at the big event, said he was “a little hurt” that the Republican presidential frontrunner wasn’t at “Nerd Prom,” noting, “We had so much fun that last time.” Trump, in fact, did not have fun last year, keeping a sour face in the midst of jokes made about him.
The President wondered why Trump might not be there, asking, “Is this dinner too tacky for the Donald?”
“Is he at home eating a Trump steak, tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel?” Obama asked.
Obama didn’t let up. He said Trump would be good at one thing: closing Guantanamo Bay. “Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground.”
Earlier in his speech, he took aim at Michael Bloomberg. He compared him to Trump, another rich, polarizing Republican. “Although it’s not an entirely fair comparison,” he said, mentioning Bloomberg’s policy experience as the mayor of New York City. “And he’s actually worth the amount of money he says he is!”
Who is to blame for the rise of the Donald, though? Obama took a second to point the finger at the media and its constant coverage of his campaign. “I hope you’re happy,” he told the room of reporters.
However, the other presidential candidates weren’t safe either. Obama noted that Bernie Sanders is much more appealing to young voters than his Democratic rival, comparing Hillary Clinton’s attempts to get the approval of youth is like “a relative signing up for Facebook.”
He did, though, throw her a bone: “Next year, someone else will be standing in this very spot, and it’s anyone’s guess who she will be.” Clinton, of course, is the only female candidate in the race.
Obama also took the chance to make fun of Ted Cruz for calling a basketball hoop a “basketball ring” recently. “What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats?” he joked. “But sure, I’m the foreign one.”
POTUS didn’t fail to include quite a few pop culture riffs in his routine. He made references to “Game of Thrones,” “Spotlight” and of course, Kendall Jenner, who sat in the audience.
“I’m not sure exactly what she does, but I’m told that my Twitter mentions are about to go through the roof,” he said of Jenner.
“Helen Mirren is here tonight,” Obama went on, addressing another celebrity in the ballroom. “I don’t even have a joke here. I just think Helen Mirren is awesome.”
The main victim of Obama’s speech, though, might have been Obama himself. He reflected back on his two terms as president, and noted that political leaders had been anticipating his departure. “Last week, Prince George showed up to meet me in his bathrobe. That was a slap in the face.”
He then introduced the host of the evening, Larry Wilmore, calling him “one of the two black guys who’s not Jon Stewart. You’re the South African, right?”