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President Biden spoke at the first White House Correspondents’ Dinner since 2019 on Saturday night, poking fun at his low approval rating and the Republican slogan “Let’s Go Brandon” targeting him. Some of his jokes got more laughs than others.
“Special thanks to the 42% of you who cheered,” Biden joked as he took the stage in front of a crowd of about 2,000 reporters and celebrities gathered at the Washington Hilton.
“I’m so thrilled to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than mine,” he added.
After joking about Republicans, he said they “seem to support a guy named Brandon”, referring to the “Let’s Go Brandon” cheer adopted by conservatives to mock him. “He’s having a great year. And I’m happy for him!”
The president, who at 79 is the oldest commander-in-chief in US history, also joked about his age, noting that the first Correspondents’ Dinner was held during Calvin Coolidge’s presidency in 1924.
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“I had just been elected to the United States Senate, where I remember telling Cal, just be yourself, stand up and speak from your heart,” Biden said. “You’re going to be awesome, kid.”
The president also threw a few punches at one of his favorite targets: former President Trump.
He noted that it was the first time a president had attended the dinner in six years. President Trump has not attended during his presidency and it has been canceled for the past two years due to the coronavirus.
“It’s understandable,” Biden said, “We had a horrible plague followed by two years of COVID,” he joked to laughter and applause from the room, clearly referring to Trump as a ” plague”.
He said it would have been a “real blow” if his predecessor had shown up for dinner on Saturday night.
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Continuing to mock Republicans, the president said “there’s nothing I can say about the GOP that Kevin McCarthy hasn’t already put on tape,” referring to leaked tapes reported by The New York Times. which showed the Republican House leader criticizing Trump.
Finally, Biden spoke about the importance of a free press, which he called “essentially American.”
He featured comedian Trevor Noah, saying that unlike Moscow, the “Daily Show” host could poke fun at the president without going to jail. After taking the stage, Noah joked that it was praise from the president that he could give his speech without being arrested.
“I stood here tonight and made fun of the President of the United States and it’s going to be fine,” Noah said at the end of his set, again mentioning the arrest of Russian journalists for telling the truth. “I’m fine, aren’t I?” »
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