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  • The President: Thank you.

  • (applause)

  • Good evening, everybody.

  • Good evening.

  • I could not be more thrilled to be here tonight --

  • (laughter)

  • -- at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

  • This is great crowd.

  • They're already laughing.

  • It's terrific.

  • Chuck Todd -- love you, brother.

  • (laughter)

  • I'm delighted to see some of the cast members of Glee are here.

  • (laughter)

  • And Jimmy Kimmel, it's an honor, man.

  • (laughter)

  • What's so funny?

  • My fellow Americans, we gather during a historic anniversary.

  • Last year at this time -- in fact, on this very weekend --

  • we finally delivered justice to one of the world's most

  • notorious individuals.

  • (applause)

  • Now, this year, we gather in the midst of a heated

  • election season.

  • And Axelrod tells me I should never miss a chance to

  • reintroduce myself to the American people.

  • So tonight, this is how I'd like to begin:

  • My name is Barack Obama.

  • My mother was born in Kansas.

  • My father was born in Kenya.

  • And I was born, of course, in Hawaii.

  • (laughter and applause)

  • In 2009, I took office in the face of some

  • enormous challenges.

  • Now, some have said I blame too many problems on my predecessor,

  • but let's not forget that's a practice that was initiated by

  • George W. Bush.

  • (laughter)

  • Since then, Congress and I have certainly had our differences;

  • yet, I've tried to be civil, to not take any cheap shots.

  • And that's why I want to especially thank all the members

  • who took a break from their exhausting schedule of not

  • passing any laws to be here tonight.

  • (laughter)

  • Let's give them a big round of applause.

  • (applause)

  • Despite many obstacles, much has changed during my time

  • in office.

  • Four years ago, I was locked in a brutal primary battle with

  • Hillary Clinton.

  • Four years later, she won't stop drunk-texting me from Cartagena.

  • (laughter)

  • Four years ago, I was a Washington outsider.

  • Four years later, I'm at this dinner.

  • Four years ago, I looked like this.

  • Today, I look like this.

  • (laughter)

  • And four years from now, I will look like this.

  • (laughter and applause)

  • That's not even funny.

  • (laughter)

  • Anyway, it's great to be here this evening in the vast,

  • magnificent Hilton ballroom -- or what Mitt Romney would call a

  • little fixer-upper.

  • (laughter and applause)

  • I mean, look at this party.

  • We've got men in tuxes, women in gowns, fine wine,

  • first-class entertainment.

  • I was just relieved to learn this was not a GSA conference.

  • (laughter)

  • Unbelievable.

  • Not even the mind reader knew what they were thinking.

  • (laughter)

  • Of course, the White House Correspondents' Dinner is known

  • as the prom of Washington, D.C. --

  • a term coined by political reporters who clearly never had

  • the chance to go to an actual prom.

  • (laughter)

  • Our chaperone for the evening is Jimmy Kimmel --

  • (cheers and applause)

  • -- who is perfect for the job since most of tonight's audience

  • is in his key demographic -- people who fall asleep

  • during Nightline.

  • (laughter)

  • Jimmy got his start years ago on The Man Show.

  • In Washington, that's what we call a congressional hearing

  • on contraception.

  • (laughter and applause)

  • And plenty of journalists are here tonight.

  • I'd be remiss if I didn't congratulate the Huffington Post

  • on their Pulitzer Prize.

  • (applause)

  • You deserve it, Arianna.

  • There's no one else out there linking to the kinds of

  • hard-hitting journalism that HuffPo is linking to every

  • single day.

  • (laughter and applause)

  • Give them a round of applause.

  • And you don't pay them -- it's a great business model.

  • (laughter)

  • Even Sarah Palin is getting back into the game,

  • guest hosting on The Today Show --

  • which reminds me of an old saying:

  • What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?

  • A pit bull is delicious.

  • (laughter and applause)

  • A little soy sauce.

  • (laughter)

  • Now, I know at this point many of you are expecting me to go

  • after my likely opponent, Newt Gingrich.

  • (laughter)

  • Newt, there's still time, man.

  • (laughter)

  • But I'm not going to do that -- I'm not going to attack any of

  • the Republican candidates.

  • Take Mitt Romney -- he and I actually have a lot in common.

  • We both think of our wives as our better halves,

  • and polls show, to a alarmingly insulting extent,

  • the American people agree.

  • (laughter)

  • We also both have degrees from Harvard; I have one, he has two.

  • What a snob.

  • (laughter and applause)

  • Of course, we've also had our differences.

  • Recently, his campaign criticized me for slow jamming

  • the news with Jimmy Fallon.

  • In fact, I understand Governor Romney was so incensed he asked

  • his staff if he could get some equal time on The Merv

  • Griffin Show.

  • (laughter)

  • Still, I guess Governor Romney is feeling pretty good about

  • things because he took a few hours off the other day to see

  • The Hunger Games -- some of you have seen it.

  • It's a movie about people who court wealthy sponsors and then

  • brutally savage each other until only one contestant is

  • left standing.

  • I'm sure this was a really great change of pace for him.

  • (laughter)

  • I have not seen The Hunger Games;

  • not enough class warfare for me.

  • (laughter)

  • Of course, I know everybody is predicting a nasty election,

  • and thankfully, we've all agreed that families are off limits.

  • Dogs, however, are apparently fair game.

  • (laughter)

  • And while both campaigns have had some fun with this,

  • the other day I saw a new ad from one of these outside groups

  • that, frankly, I think crossed the line.

  • I know Governor Romney says he has no control over what his

  • super PACs do, but can we show the ad real quick?

  • (video playing)

  • Reporter: Back in 1983, you took your Irish Setter, Seamus,

  • on a 12-hour road trip tied to the roof of your car in

  • a kennel.

  • Mitt Romney: He climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself.

  • My guess is, he liked it a lot better in his kennel than he

  • would've liked it inside.

  • Announcer: Finally, a candidate with the courage to fight for a dog's

  • freedom to feel the wind in his fur --

  • but what about Barack Obama?

  • Under his failed leadership, man's best friend has been

  • forced into government- controlled automobiles.

  • Just imagine the European-style dog socialism Obama has planned

  • for the next four years.

  • The President: (slow motion) Arrrrrgh!

  • Announcer: More government handouts.

  • A life of government dependency.

  • Indoctrinating our children.

  • A left-wing social agenda.

  • Leading from behind.

  • ♪♪(music playing)♪♪ ♪ In the arms of the angel

  • Announcer: America's dogs can't afford four more years of Obama.

  • For them, that's 28 years.

  • (laughter)

  • Our dogs need leadership now.

  • Mitt Romney: Who let the dogs out?

  • Who, who?

  • Announcer: This guy.

  • And that's why we need to join Mitt Romney in sending a message

  • this November -- I'm an American, and doggone it,

  • I ride outside.

  • (dog barking)

  • Paid for by the WoofPAC.

  • (video stopped)

  • (laughter and applause)

  • That's pretty rough --

  • (laughter)

  • -- but I can take it, because my stepfather always told me,

  • it's a boy-eat-dog world out there.

  • (laughter)

  • Now, if I do win a second term as President,

  • let me just say something to all the --

  • (applause)

  • -- let me just say something to all my conspiracy-oriented

  • friends on the right who think I'm planning to unleash some

  • secret agenda: You're absolutely right.

  • (laughter)

  • So allow me to close with a quick preview of the secret

  • agenda you can expect in a second Obama administration.

  • In my first term, I sang Al Green; in my second term,

  • I'm going with Young Jeezy.

  • (laughter)

  • Mrs. Obama: Yeah.

  • The President: Michelle said, yeah.

  • (laughter)

  • I sing that to her sometimes.

  • (laughter)

  • In my first term, we ended the war in Iraq; in my second term,

  • I will win the war on Christmas.

  • (laughter)

  • In my first term, we repealed the policy known as

  • "don't ask, don't tell" --

  • (applause)

  • -- wait, though; in my second term,

  • we will replace it with a policy known as, "It's Raining Men."

  • (laughter)

  • In my first term, we passed health care reform;

  • in my second term, I guess I'll pass it again.

  • (applause)

  • I do want to end tonight on a slightly more serious note --

  • whoever takes the oath of office next January will face some

  • great challenges, but he will also inherit traditions that

  • make us greater than the challenges we face.

  • And one of those traditions is represented here tonight:

  • a free press that isn't afraid to ask questions,

  • to examine and to criticize.

  • And in service of that mission, all of you make sacrifices.

  • Tonight, we remember journalists such as Anthony Shadid and

  • Marie Colvin --

  • (applause)

  • -- who made the ultimate sacrifice as they sought to

  • shine a light on some of the most important stories

  • of our time.

  • So whether you are a blogger or a broadcaster,

  • whether you take on powerful interests here at home or put

  • yourself in harm's way overseas, I have the greatest respect and

  • admiration for what you do.

  • I know sometimes you like to give me a hard time --

  • and I certainly like to return the favor --

  • (laughter)

  • -- but I never forget that our country depends on you.

  • You help protect our freedom, our democracy,

  • and our way of life.

  • And just to set the record straight,

  • I really do enjoy attending these dinners.

  • In fact, I had a lot more material prepared,

  • but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their

  • new curfew.

  • (laughter)

  • Thank you very much, everybody.

  • Thank you.

  • (applause)

The President: Thank you.