An Embarrassing Situation at the Al Smith Dinner in New York City Last Night
By: Bill O'ReillyOctober 21, 2016
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The dinner is sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, primarily to raise money for poor children.

Last night the charity broke a record, raising more than $6 million.

That's the good news.

The bad news is the keynote speakers -- Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump -- were too harsh and they embarrassed Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

No way to spin it; it was not a good evening.

Al Smith was the first Catholic ever to run for president.

He lost to Herbert Hoover in 1928.

His family puts together this charitable event every year.

It's supposed to be a light-hearted night, and four years ago President Obama and Mitt Romney understood that:

Oct. 18, 2012 Al Smith Dinner in NYC

MITT ROMNEY:“As President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room with everyone in white tie and finery, you have to wonder what he is thinking.  So little time, so much to redistribute. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE).”


OBAMA: “I'm still making the most of my time in the city.  Earlier today, I went shopping at some stores in Midtown.  I understand Governor Romney went shopping FOR some stores in Midtown.”

So you can see, the ribbing was gentle.

Last night, it was nasty.

Al Smith dinner last night

TRUMP: “Hillary believes that it's vital to deceive the people by having one public policy --  (BOOING FROM THE CROWD) and a totally different policy in private.  That's okay. I don't know who they're angry at Hillary, you or I.  For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics. (MORE BOOING)))”

Wow.  That stunned the crowd.

So I was expecting Secretary Clinton to seize the moment and be gracious.

That would have helped her.  She didn't really need to do much else, other than keep it light.  That would have contrasted with Mr. Trump.

But Mrs. Clinton did not do that.

Al Smith dinner last night

CLINTON: “Now, look, I have deep respect for people like Kellyanne Conway.  She's working day and night for Donald and because she's a contractor, he's probably not even going to pay her. (GROANS/LAUGHS) (EDIT)   (BOOS / LAUGHS) ((EDIT)) Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a "four." (groans/laughs) Maybe a "five" if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair. (laughter)”

Now what Trump and Clinton did was more like a roast not an amiable benefit.

Before the speeches began, I was able to see both Trump and Clinton up close -- I was about five feet away from them.

It was clear to me that neither wanted to be at the event.

Understandable; they had to be tired coming off the debate.

It was also clear that they despise each other at a level rarely seen in national politics.

I kind of felt sorry for Cardinal Dolan, a friendly guy who did a great job sitting between the two and trying to keep peace.

While Trump was attacking Clinton, the cardinal was smart enough to divert the secretary by actually talking to her during the businessman's remarks.

It was a deft deflection; all the Cardinal could do.

This incident will pass.  It's not anything that will linger, but for me, a voter, I have to question the judgment here.

Both candidates had their scripts written for them.  They saw what was happening, yet they chose to go the hard way.


Again, the evening was to raise money for children in need.  That's it.

Judgment is important for a president.

And that's the memo.

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