WASHINGTON (AP) – After weeks of attacks from his would-be Republican challenger Donald Trump, President Barack Obama took a couple of shots of his own on Saturday at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

With Trump in attendance, Obama took a couple of jabs at the reality TV star’s presidential ambitions. The president said Trump has shown the acumen of a future president, from firing Gary Busey on a recent episode of “Celebrity Apprentice” to focusing so much time on conspiracy theories about Obama’s birthplace.

After a week when Obama released his long-form Hawaii birth certificate, he said Trump could now focus on the serious issues, from whether the moon landing actually happened to “where are Biggie and Tupac?”

“No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than ‘the Donald,”‘ Obama said, referring to Trump’s claims the same day that he was responsible for solving the issue.

For Trump’s decision to fire actor Busey instead of rock singer Meat Loaf from his TV show earlier this month, Obama quipped: “These are the types of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir.”

And then, as a coup de grace, Obama showed a screen with his vision of how Trump could bring change to the White House. “Trump” was prominently displayed in glittery letters and girls could be seen with cocktails on a Jacuzzi-augmented front lawn.

Trump chuckled at some of the earlier jokes, but was clearly less amused as comedian Seth Meyers picked up where Obama left off.

“Donald Trump often talks about running as a Republican, which is surprising,” said the Saturday Night Live actor, entrusted with providing some of the comedy for the evening. “I just assumed he was running as a joke.”

Trump stared icily at Meyers as he continued to criticize the real estate tycoon.

Obama and Trump found themselves in the same room after an intense week of attacks from Trump, who has piggybacked on the birther conspiracies and even Obama’s refusal to release his university grades to raise the profile of his possible presidential bid.

And the birth certificate was clearly the key punchline for the evening, which typically offers the president a chance to show off his humorous side and a town consumed by politics and partisanship to enjoy a light-hearted affair.

Obama’s presentation started after the wrestler Hulk Hogan’s patriotic anthem, “Real American,” played. Images of Americana from Mount Rushmore to Uncle Sam were shown on the screen, alongside his birth certificate. And then he offered to show his live birth video, which turned out to be a clip from the Disney film, “The Lion King.”

On the serious side, Obama took time to thank the troops for their service overseas and noted that the people of the South, especially Alabama, have suffered heart-wrenching losses.

“The devastation is unbelievable and it is heartbreaking,” he said. He encouraged the journalists in the room to help tell the stories of those who have been hurt by the storms and saluted those who lost their lives while covering the news.

Other possible Republican presidential hopefuls in attendance were former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Rep. Michele Bachmann and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. And stars such as Sean Penn and Scarlett Johansson also were among the more than 2,500 people who attended.

The association was formed in 1914 as a liaison between the press and the president. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended the dinner. Some of the proceeds from the dinner pay for journalism scholarships for college students.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (2)
  1. whataboutthat says:

    He’s a beautiful looking president. I wonder when or if he will ever take responsibility for the issues that are directly involving the people of the United States of America? Presnt time is what is important now. Our country is turning into a 3rd world country before our eyes and no one is doing anything about it. I love all people but my WWII hero dad would be rolling in his grave if he were here today. So many people lost their lives only to see the future of the USA become “The United States of Mexico” – oh well. Our president looks fab!

  2. JOHN C. FERET says:

    Why is the President upset about following protocall to see if hes an american??
    His birth certificate wasnt released when it was origanlly asked for. The LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA STATE YOU MUST BE A NATRUAL BORN CITIZEN. He could of released this two years ago YET he didnt,mavbe he was hiding something????? what could that be???????

    His choice on secretaries are less desirable.

    the fed is printing tons of money with no backing.

    one would wonder with all this mney being printed you would think the

    stock market would natrually go up— because of all the extra dollars in the system,

    yet its still down.

    unemployment yet going down— the good wages with health insurance and a retirment fund are being replaced by part time minimum wage earners.

    just look at wisconsin.

    just look at new jersey

    just look at california

    and now that we have the abiltiy to come out with electric vehicles.

    all of a sudden they cant go no more than 20 miles per charge

    thats after the government under the current president let the oil companies buy

    alll major battery manufacturers in the country.

    yes this man is our president for now..

    But not next election

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