Obama takes on allies and opponents with correspondents' dinner jokes

A feisty President Obama took on both his political opponents and allies in a joke-filled speech at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington on Saturday.

The president stepped off the dais as he was being introduced just before 10 p.m. and his monologue opened with a pre-produced music video, which took some shots at the controversy surrounding his place of birth.

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The song: "Real American" by Rick Derringer.

For those who don't remember the tune from Hulk Hogan's WWF entrances, the chorus is, "I am a real American, fight for the rights of every man." On the video screens around the packed Hilton ballroom, images of Obama's recently released long-form birth certificate were spliced with various clips of Americana.

“My fellow Americans,” he said with a big smile after the video ended. “Mahalo.”

Since the White House released the official copy of his birth certificate, Obama has made jokes about the "birther" theory that questions whether he was born in the United States, and he expanded on them in his speech.

“Just in case there are any lingering questions, tonight I am prepared to go a step further," the president said. "Tonight for the first time I am releasing my official birth video."

When the videotape rolled for the audience, it was a clip from Disney's animated film "The Lion King," showing a newborn cub on the African plains.

“Oh well, back to square one,” Obama quipped.

Before long the president tried to turn the tables on Republicans who are considering challenging him in 2012.

First up was Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

"She is thinking about running for president, which is weird because I hear she was born in Canada," Obama said. "Yes Michele this is how it starts; just letting you know."

Next came former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. 

"He seems all-American, but have you heard his real middle name?" Obama asked. "Tim Hosni Pawlenty, what a shame."

The recently returned ambassador to China, John Huntsman was next up. 

"There's something you didn't know about John: He didn't learn Chinese to go there, oh no, he learned English to come here," Obama said.

The president took a shot a former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, too, although it wasn't about his citizenship. 

"Then there's a vicious rumor floating around about Mitt Romney. I hear he passed universal healthcare when he was governor of Massachusetts," Obama said.

But the president saved the bulk of his jokes for Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and reality TV star who had been aggressively questioning Obama's place of birth.

Now that the birth certificate issue was settled, Obama said, Trump, who watched expressionlessly from the audience, could focus on other well-known conspiracy theories, such as "did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"


Obama followed up with a quip about the decisions Trump had to make on his show, "Celebrity Apprentice."

"These are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night," the president said.

Obama didn't spare his supporters from scrutiny. He even made a joke about first lady Michelle Obama and her anti-obesity campaign.

"We made a terrific team at the Easter Egg Roll this week," he said. "I give out bags of candy to the kids, and she'd snatch them right back out of their little hands."

The president also noted that he had let down his "his key, core constituency: movie stars." 

"Matt Damon said he was disappointed in my performance," Obama said. "Well, Matt, I just saw 'The Adjustment Bureau,' so right back at you, buddy."

The jokes about Hollywood didn't stop there. In the most complex gag of the night, the president had some fun at the expense of Vice President Joe Biden, as well as himself.

With a slickly produced mock-movie trailer, Obama introduced a new film called "The President's Speech," which shows what would happen if Congress had defunded the president's teleprompter.

The video was filled with a series of clips of Obama flubbing lines at various real-life tapings, and the voice over says, "In his darkest hour, the president turned to a man who never let prepared remarks stand in his way ..."

Some of Biden's more memorable comments followed, with the narrator adding, "It's mostly just this for two hours."

Watch "The President's Speech Trailer" below: