While Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump publicly traded stinging barbs at the Al Smith charity dinner (video below), Cardinal Timothy Dolan insists that the two candidates were much more cordial to each other privately.
On Oct. 20, both candidates attended the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in Manhattan, a charity event that historically invites presidential contenders to gently roast each other. The dinner was established to honor the 1928 Democratic nominee, Al Smith, according to CNN.
Traditionally a friendly venue, the dinner took a decidedly nasty tone after Trump took the podium. The business mogul was booed by the audience after he began hammering Clinton as corrupt.
“That’s OK, I don’t know who they’re angry at, Hillary, you or I,” Trump said, referring to the audience, which was comprised largely of Catholics. “For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.”
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That quip cast the rest of the evening in a negative light, with audience members reportedly remaining uncomfortable.
“Donald had some very solid minutes early on and eventually he crossed the line and took it a little too far,” said Al Smith V, who hosts the dinner.
Clinton’s roasting was better received, but the audience was reportedly offering only polite laughter. Smith said that, by then, the evening had grown so negative that Clinton’s jokes did not get “as many laughs as they could because the tone in the room had shifted a bit.”
On Oct. 21, Archbishop Dolan, who sat between the two candidates, stated that the two candidates had actually shared a touching moment after he asked them to hold a quiet prayer with him.
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“After the little prayer, Mr. Trump turned to Secretary Clinton and said, ‘You are one tough and talented woman,’” Dolan told NBC’s "Today." “He said, ’This has been a good experience, this whole campaign, as tough as it’s been.’”
According to Dolan, Clinton replied, “‘Donald, whatever happens, we need to work together afterward.’”
The Archbishop concluded: “This is the evening at its best.”
While the two candidates allegedly shared a moment of pleasantry, they will be immediately launching back into their battle for the presidency. On Oct. 21, Clinton will be campaigning in Ohio while Trump will be holding rallies in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, according to The Associated Press.