U.S. President Barack Obama poked fun at the media, his critics and himself on Saturday at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner, a star-filled event where journalists and celebrities mixed with the Washington elite.
Joined at the dinner by his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, the president gently knocked Republicans for not working with him on policy priorities and made a rare reference to his race when urging the opposition party to be cooperative.
"I know Republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012, but one thing they all agree on is they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities. And look, call me self-centered, but I can think of one minority they could start with. Hello? Think of me as a trial run, you know?" he said.
On those who have called him a radical leftist in the past, he said, "These days, I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I'm not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be. Time passes. You get a little gray."
The president is a Christian who was born in Hawaii, but he included some material for so-called "birthers" who falsely assert he was born abroad.
"I'm also hard at work on plans for the Obama Library, and some have suggested that we put it in my birthplace, but I'd rather keep it in the United States," he said.
Obama made light of his own rapid rise to power by comparing himself to Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a Hispanic from Florida who is touted as a potential presidential candidate in 2016.
"One senator who has reached across the aisle recently is Marco Rubio, but I don't know about 2016. I mean, the guy has not even finished a single term in the Senate and he thinks he's ready to be president. Kids these days."
Obama began running for president during his first term as a U.S. senator from Illinois.
The President also took jibes at the Press. "I know CNN has taken some knocks lately, but the fact is I admire their commitment to cover all sides of a story, just in case one of them happens to be accurate," he said, drawing applause.
"Some of my former advisors have switched over to the dark side. For example, David Axelrod now works for MSNBC, which is a nice change of pace since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod."
Axelrod was the chief strategist for Obama's re-election campaign and a former White House adviser. MSNBC is considered to be a liberal-leaning television network.
Obama also made light of his wife's new bangs, drawing laughter from her when he showed mock pictures of himself with the same hairdo.
He presented a montage of shots featuring him with bangs similar to those sometimes sported by his wife.
"So we borrowed one of Michelle's tricks.I thought this looked pretty good, but no bounce," said Obama.
(With inputs from AP and Reuters)
More from this Section
July 3, 2015, 12:39 am IST
July 3, 2015, 12:25 am IST
July 2, 2015, 11:51 pm IST
July 2, 2015, 11:45 pm IST