Obama jokes about sequester: ‘My joke writers have been placed on furlough’

Updated
President Barack Obama walks with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, right, as they leave the Gridiron Dinner through a loading area at a hotel in Washington,...
President Barack Obama walks with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, right, as they leave the Gridiron Dinner through a loading area at a hotel in Washington,...
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

President Obama made light of deep budget cuts at the annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington, D.C. over the weekend. He warned that people watching his upcoming speeches may feel the impact of the sequester: “My joke writers have been placed on furlough.”

Trading jabs is tradition at the event, attended by political leaders, journalists, and media execs. Obama joked, “Of course, there’s one thing in Washington that didn’t get cut—the length of this dinner. Yet more proof that the sequester makes no sense.”

The White House tried to stop the across-the-board spending cuts from kicking into effect March 1, but failed to reach a new deal with Republican leaders.

Obama also riffed on Vice President Biden’s political ambitions. “Just the other day, I had to take Joe aside and say, ‘Joe, you are way too young to be the pope. You can’t do it. You got to mature a little bit.’”

The president didn’t miss out on the opportunity to take a Marco Rubio-style water break in the middle of his remarks. After taking a long swig, he said “That, Marco Rubio, is how you take a sip of water.”

No TV cameras were allowed at the event.

With the exception of Grover Cleveland, every president has addressed the organization since it was founded in 1885.

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Obama jokes about sequester: ‘My joke writers have been placed on furlough’

Updated