(This dinner is a fundraiser for Catholic charities and has a long history among presidential contenders, which both sides honored.) Mitt Romney from the Alfred E. Smith dinner: I'm glad to be able to join in this memorable tradition. And of course I'm pleased that the president is here. We were chatting pleasantly this evening as if Tuesday night never happened. I was actually hoping the president would bring Joe Biden along this evening, because he'll laugh at anything. I'm pleased to once again have the chance to see Governor Cuomo, who's already being talked about for higher office. A very impressive fellow, but he may be getting a little ahead of himself. I mean, let me get this straight. The man has put in one term as a governor. He has a father who happened to be a governor, and he thinks that's enough to run for president. We're down to the final months of the president's term. As President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room with everyone in white tie and finery, you have to wonder what he's thinking. So little time, so much to redistribute. Don't be surprised if the president mentions the monthly jobs report where there was a slight improvement in the numbers. He knows how to seize the moment, this president. He already has a compelling new campaign slogan: "You're better off now than you were four weeks ago." Your kind hospitality here tonight gives me a chance to convey my deep and long-held respect for the Catholic Church. I have special admiration for the Apostle St. Peter, to whom it [was], "Upon this rock, I will build my church." The story is all the more inspiring when you consider that he had so many skeptics and scoffers at the time who were heard to say, "If you've got a church, you didn't build that." People seem to be very curious just as to how we prepare for the debates. Let me tell you what I do. First, refrain from alcohol for 65 years before the debate. Second, find the biggest available strawman and then just mercilessly attack it. Big Bird didn't even see it coming. And by the way, in the spirit of Sesame Street, the president's remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter "O" and the number "16 trillion." Campaigns can be grueling, exhausting. President Obama and I are each very lucky to have one person who is always in our corner, someone who we can lean on, and someone who is a comforting presence, and without whom, we wouldn't be able to go another day. I have my beautiful wife Ann; he has Bill Clinton. I never suggest that the press is biased. I recognize that they have their job to do, and I have my job to do. My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their job is to make sure no one else finds out about it. Let's just say that some in the media have a certain way of looking at things. When suddenly I pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline? "Polls Show Obama Leading from Behind." And I've already seen early reports from tonight's dinner. Headline: "Obama Embraced by Catholics. Headline: Romney Dines with Rich People." The president has put his own stamp on relations with the church. There have been some awkward moments. Like when the president pulled Pope Benedict aside to share some advice on how to deal with his critics. He said, "Look, Holy Father, whatever the problem is, just blame it on Pope John Paul II."