Donald Trump broke tradition with his remarks at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner in New York City, delivering a rough takedown of his political rival, Hillary Clinton, instead of the light-hearted humor the dinner is typically known for.
Trump, who spoke before Clinton, notably lacked the self-deprecating humor that previous presidential candidates have offered at the fundraiser meant to raise money for Catholic Charities.
“This is the first time ever, ever, that Hillary is sitting down, speaking to major corporate leaders and not getting paid for it,” he said, receiving gasps and boos.
“Here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics,” he said, causing more boos before adding “You’ll notice Hillary’s not laughing. That’s because she knows the jokes and all the jokes were given to her before the dinner by Donna Brazile.” More boos swept through the audience.
Trump’s jokes did cause moments of laughter, such as when he mentioned a moment he shared with Clinton backstage.
“We have proven that we can actually be civil to each other. Hillary accidentally bumped into me, and she very civilly said ‘Pardon me,'” he joked. “And I very politely replied, ‘Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.'”
The 70-year-old even received uproarious laughter from the room in a fun-filled moment when he addressed his wife’s speech at the Republican National Convention this summer.
“Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it, it’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great,” he said, before adding “My wife, Melania, gives the same exact speech and people get on her case and I don’t get it!”
His wife, who sat to the side of the stage a few seats down, shook her head and laughed as her husband ushered her to stand to a round of applause.
When it came to the Democratic presidential nominee’s turn on the stage, Clinton offered light humor by expressing her thanks that the presidential debates were over, saying the experiences had to “count as a miracle.”
“I have now stood next to Donald more times than any of his campaign managers,” she joked. “I have respect for Kellyanne Conway, she’s worked day and night and because she’s a contractor he’s probably not going to pay her.”
The 68-year-old pointedly took on Trump’s views on women, as well.
“People look at the Statue of Liberty and they see a proud symbol…a beacon of hope for people around the world,” she began. “Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a four. Maybe a five if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair.”