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Biden needles Trump on age, mental fitness, finances at D.C. dinner

At the annual white-tie Gridiron event, jokes about Jan. 6 and a possible Trump return belied a Washington on edge

After sitting through hours of jokes about his age at Saturday's Gridiron Club and Foundation dinner, President Biden turned the tables on the journalists putting on the skits.

"The big news this week is, two candidates clinched their parties' nomination for president. One candidate is too old and mentally unfit to be president," Biden said. "The other is me."

Of all the president's jokes, that one landed best here at the Independence Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt downtown. It's the annual white-tie affair, first held in 1885, where Washington's political and media elite gather to watch performances put on by the club's 65 members and listen to stand-up sets from Republican and Democratic officials - and, of course, to schmooze. The tables filled up with a cross section of more than 650 D.C. thrivers and strivers - pols, Fourth Estaters, ambassadors - dining on short ribs and trying to find a lighter side to the news these days: two wars with no end in sight, mass media layoffs and a presidential rematch many are dreading.

Biden made his first Gridiron appearance as president, taking the occasion to lay into former president Donald Trump - who, despite facing criminal charges and recent civil judgments that could cost him hundreds of millions of dollars, poses a serious threat to Biden as the two men head toward a rematch in the fall election.

"Just yesterday, a defeated-looking man came up to me and said, 'I'm being crushed by debt. I'm completely wiped out,'" Biden said. "I said, 'Sorry, Donald, I can't help you.'"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/style/power/2024/03/17/biden-trump-gridiron-dinner-washington/

 

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