White tie and jokes: Top ten Obama, Romney zingers from Al Smith dinner (VIDEO)

Hearst Washington Bureau

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have exchanged personal attacks, argued policies and questioned each other’s political records during this debate season, but the two candidates implement a new strategy when they took the stage of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York — humor.

Both exchanged quips, zingers and personal attacks last night at the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner, an event held every year by the Archdioceses of New York that gives political candidates a chance to showcase their entertainment abilities.

Each candidate presented a nine-minute speech tweaking their opponent, caricaturing themselves and poking fun at the political process. Guests paid upwards of $2,500 per plate and the event raised an estimated $5 million for Roman Catholic charities.

Texas on the Potomac has wrangled up the top five one-liners from each candidate:

Mitt Romney

5. 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.’

4. In the spirit of Sesame Street, the president’s remarks are brought to you tonight by the letter O and the number 16 trillion.

3. Don’t be surprised if the president mentions, this evening, the monthly jobs report, there was a slight improvement in the numbers. He knows how to seize a moment, this president, and already has a compelling new campaign slogan: ‘You’re better off now than you were four weeks ago.’

2. Campaigns can be grueling, exhausting. President Obama and I are both luck to have one person who’s always in our corner, some who we can always lean and someone who’s always a comforting presence without whom we wouldn’t be able to go another day. I have my beautiful wife, Ann. He has Bill Clinton.

1. Your kind hospitality here tonight gives me the 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 is said ‘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.’

Barack Obama

5. Earlier today I went shopping at some stores in midtown, it’s my understanding that Gov. Romney went shopping for some stores in midtown.

4. Monday’s debate is a little different because the topic is foreign policy. Spoiler alert: we got bin Laden.

3. Some of you know, I went to school here in New York, had a wonderful experience here. I used to love walking through Central Park, loved to go to old Yankee Stadium, the house that Ruth built, although he actually did not build that. I hope everyone is aware of that.

2. World affairs are a challenge for every candidate. Some of you guys remember, after my foreign trip in 2008 I was attacked for being a celebrity because I was so popular with our allies overseas. I have to say, I’m impressed at how well Gov. Romney has been able to avoid that problem.

1. Everybody take your seats, otherwise Clint Eastwood will yell at them.