In a blow to President Obama’s joke writers and C-SPAN’s ratings, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump says he will not attend the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner later this month.
Trump told the Hill newspaper that despite receiving invitations from “every single group of media available to mankind,” he’s decided not to go.
Why not? The media can’t be trusted to describe his mood.
“I would have a good time, and the press would say I look like I wasn’t having a good time,” Trump, who attended last year’s dinner before launching his presidential bid, explained. “The press is dishonest. If the press would be honest, I’d go because I’d have a good time. … But no matter how good a time I had, the press would say, ‘Donald Trump was miserable.’ What would I need that for?”
The annual black-tie gala, dubbed the “nerd prom” by the Washington, D.C., press corps, is closer to a Friars Club roast than a high school dance. This year’s event, hosted by comedian Larry Wilmore, is scheduled for April 30.
In 2011, Trump made an infamous appearance at the dinner, where he was mercilessly mocked by Obama, whose long-form birth certificate had just been released in response to the so-called “birther” movement championed by the reality show star.
Donald Trump arrives for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 2011. (Photo: Alex Brandon/AP/File)
“Donald Trump is here tonight,” Obama said. “Now I know he’s taken some flack lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like, ‘Did we fake the moon landing?’ ‘What really happened in Roswell?’ and, ‘Where are Biggie and Tupac?’”
“All kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience,” Obama told Trump. “In an episode of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled.”
Some have pointed to Trump’s humiliation at the 2011 correspondents’ dinner as a catalyst for his 2016 presidential bid.
Trump, though, insists he wasn’t offended by Obama’s relentless zingers.
“I had a great time. I was very honored by all of the attention,” he told the Hill. “The president told joke after joke, and it was good. They were all very nice and delivered nicely, and I had a great time and told the press. For four years, I’ve read what a miserable time I had.”