Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attempted to give a funny speech on Thursday night, and it went about as well as you might have imagined.
Dressed in white tie at the annual Al Smith benefit dinner in Manhattan, Trump read a series of jokes ― a few of them good. But by the end of his 15-minute speech, the high-society crowd was openly booing as Trump took a downward spiral of cheap shots at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The annual dinner is a fundraiser for the powerful Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and during presidential election years, both nominees traditionally speak. As Trump made his remarks, Clinton sat a few feet away, laughing a little too hard.
“A lot of people have said that modesty is perhaps my best quality,” Trump began. “Even better than my temperament.” Trump, who appeared not to have seen the speech before, commented on the material as he read it, saying things like, “Oof, this is corny stuff.”
The typically stern-faced Trump had his best joke of the night poking fun at his wealthy upbringing. “I come into this event with a little bit of an advantage, because I know that so many of you in the archdiocese already have a place in your heart for a guy who started out as a carpenter, working for his father.”
But that was fairly early in his set, and it was all downhill from there. Over the 10 minutes that followed, Trump was booed at least six times as he jabbed Clinton over revelations from Wikileaks, her private email server, the Clinton Foundation and her paid speeches.
A few of Trump’s jokes:
“Here she is tonight in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.”
“One of the things I noticed tonight, and I’ve known Hillary for a long time, is this is the first time ever that Hillary Clinton is sitting down and speaking to major donors without getting paid for it.”
“Now, if some of you have not noticed, Hillary is not laughing as much as the rest of us. That’s because she knows the jokes. All of the jokes were given to her in advance of the dinner by [Democratic National Committee chair] Donna Brazile.”
“Everyone knows, of course, Hillary has believed that ‘it takes a village.’ Which only makes sense, after all, in places like Haiti, where she has taken a number of them.”
The Al Smith dinner came a day after a bitter presidential debate between Clinton and Trump on Wednesday in Las Vegas. The New York dinner was almost certainly the last time they will be in the same room before Election Day.