The Alfred E. Smith Dinner Thursday night was accompanied by boos and groans as Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton continued their political arguments outside of the debates.

The Al Smith Dinner has been held since Smith’s death in 1944, an event hosted by the archbishop of New York, now Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and founded by the Alfred Smith Memorial Foundation. Smith was the first Catholic major party nominee for president, and it has been a tradition for the two presidential candidates and other major figures from politics and the media to share the stage before the election begins.

Historically known for the lightheartedness that follows the preceding arguments about foreign policy and the economy, this tradition was challenged when Trump took the stage and turned the affair into a roast.


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“Here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics,” Trump joked, as the audience booed. Jimmy Carter was the last presidential boo-ee in 1980. Perhaps, Trump didn’t think his jokes would come off so badly. He stated before the roasting section of his speech, “last night they said that was the most vicious debate in the history of politics –  presidential debate: the most vicious. And I don’t know if I’m supposed to be proud of that… I have no doubt that Hillary is going to laugh quite a bit tonight.”

Regardless of the intention, by the end of his quips, Trump was no longer in the good graces of the guests. Clinton retorted when she took the stage, roasting Trump in turn. “People look at the Statue of Liberty and they see a proud symbol,” she said. “Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a four. Maybe a five if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair.”

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