Biden’s best jokes at the White House correspondents’ dinner

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President Biden made gentle jabs while speaking before headliner Trevor Noah at Saturday night’s White House correspondents’ dinner. The Washington Hilton event took place for the first time since 2019, following two pandemic-era cancellations. This year also marked the first time the sitting president chose to attend since Obama did in 2016, as Trump boycotted the three dinners held during his time in office.

Here are the best lines from Biden’s speech:

— “A special thanks to the 42 percent of you who actually applauded. I’m really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than I have.”

— “This is the first time the president has attended this dinner in six years. It’s understandable. We had a horrible plague, followed by two years of covid.”

— “Trevor is great. When I was elected, he did a show and called me ‘America’s new dad.’ Let me tell you something, pal: I’m flattered anybody would call me a ‘new’ anything. You’re my guy.”

Overview: At the White House correspondents’ dinner, Biden quips about a return to near-normal

— “There’s one reason why it’s so great to be here again: Everyone at the White House is so excited. I told my grandkids and Pete Buttigieg they could stay up late to watch this show tonight.”

— “I know there are questions about whether we should gather here tonight, because of covid. Well, we’re here to show the country that we’re getting through this pandemic. Plus, everyone had to prove they’re fully vaccinated and boosted. So if you’re home watching this, and you’re wondering how to do that, just contact your favorite Fox News reporter. They’re all here, vaccinated and boosted. All of them.”

— “Fox News, I’m really sorry your preferred candidate lost the last election. To make it up to you, I’m happy to give my chief of staff to you all so he can tell Sean Hannity what to say every day.”

Trevor Noah’s best burns at the White House correspondents’ dinner

— “Mick [Mulvaney] on CBS? I was stunned. I figured he’d end up on ‘The Masked Singer’ with Rudy [Giuliani]. Amazing hire, guys. Really quite amazing.”

— “Look, I know this is a tough town. I came to office with an ambitious agenda and I expected it to face stiff opposition in the Senate. I just hoped it would be from Republicans.”

— “Republicans seem to support one fella: some guy named Brandon. He’s having a really good year.”

Pent-up partying before — and long after — the correspondents’ dinner

— “I’m not here to roast the GOP. That’s not my style. Besides, there’s nothing I can say about the GOP that Kevin McCarthy hasn’t already put on tape.”

At the end, Biden dedicated a section of the speech to freedom of the press, noting that “a poison is running through our democracy.”

“The truth is buried by lies and the lies live on as truth,” he said. “What’s clear, and I mean this [from] the bottom of my heart, is that you, the free press, matter more than you ever did in the last century. I really mean it. I’ve always believed that good journalism holds a mirror to ourselves to reflect on the good, the bad and the truth.”