McCain roasts lobbyist at awards dinner

Black would return fire in his speech accepting the award.

“I do appreciate the remarks and John, I want to particularly thank you for dozens of earmarks you have obtained for my clients over the years,” Black joked. “Don’t believe it when people say that John is hard to lobby. The last several years, he has only thrown two of my clients out of his office.”

During the 2008 race, Black’s K Street status had him under frequent attack from then-Sen. Barack ObamaBarack ObamaFive things Clinton needs to do to win the California primary Republican senator expects Trump will 'embrace' GOP platform Frustration with White House builds in Hispanic caucus MORE’s campaign. McCain stuck by Black and spoke highly of him at the dinner, saying “I have never known Charlie Black but to be the most honest, straightforward and outstanding individual in politics and life I have had the honor of being associated with.”

The dinner would descend into a bipartisan lovefest when Sen. Jerry MoranJerry MoranSenate contradicts itself on Gitmo GOP senators propose sending ISIS fighters to Gitmo Passing the Kelsey Smith Act will help law enforcement save lives MORE (R-Kansas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), stood up to introduce Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerNo time to relax: A digital security commission for the next generation Army posthumously awards female veteran who served as WWII spy The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Va.), the winner of the Bryce Harlow Award this year.

“We soon became a team that even as NRSC chair, I’m here to praise him,” Moran said, noting their work together on legislation to help keep highly-educated and entrepreneurial immigrants in the United States. “When he says something, it is the truth.”

Warner, who is up for reelection in 2014, said he and Moran have become “really good friends.” Warner joked at his Senate colleague that “I would have thought as a great national Republican leader, you would have known better to speak good things about a Democrat with a cellphone around.”

Proceeds from the Bryce Harlow awards dinner help fund the group’s fellowships at lobby shops and on Capitol Hill as well as its educational programs.