All News & Blogs
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney smiles
Charles Dharapak/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 10/19/2012
MANCHESTER, N.H.--The presidential campaign, heavy on finger-pointing and recrimination, is taking a brief detour so President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney can play politics for laughs.
The rivals are quieting the bickering to address the venerable Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a white-tie gala Thursday evening at New York City's Waldorf Astoria Hotel that has been a required stop for politicians since the end of World War II. Obama also planned to play for laughs on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" while he's in Manhattan.
The president campaigned earlier Thursday in tightly contested New Hampshire and asked the state's voters to give him more time in office to get the economy back on track. "I need your help to finish what we started in 2008."
The dinner was Romney's only public event Thursday. But his wife sat down on ABC's "The View" and declared in response to a question from co-host Barbara Walters that her husband's political career will end if he doesn't win on Nov. 6.
"Absolutely," she said without hesitation. "He will not run again, nor will I."
Mrs. Romney said it was "a very hard thing" to put her family through another White House bid after he lost the 2008 Republican primary. She said she agreed to a second run because she feels her husband is uniquely qualified to bring economic hope and prosperity to America.
Also appearing on the program was the Romneys' son Josh, who was asked about brother Tagg's joke during a radio interview Wednesday that he wanted to "take a swing at" Obama during the debate.
"That brother has slugged me a couple times. I assure you President Obama has nothing to worry about," Josh Romney quipped. "You really don't like to see your dad get beat up by the media or President Obama or whatever it is, so you take it pretty personally. But I think that was just something he was saying off the cuff and I assure you he didn't mean it."
The political dinner is named for the former, four-term Democratic governor of New York who lost the 1928 presidential race to Republican Herbert Hoover. Smith was the first Catholic to run for president and the dinner named for him is organized by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York for the benefit of needy children.
In keeping with tradition, both candidates have prepared lighthearted fare for the event. That was the case almost precisely four years ago when Obama and GOP nominee John McCain poked fun at themselves and each other just a day after an intense presidential debate at Hofstra University on Long Island.