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Obama pokes fun at sequester at Gridiron dinner

At the annual Gridiron Club and Foundation dinner President Barack Obama joked about the sequester, Vice President Joe Biden, and Marco Rubio's sip of water.

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President Barack Obama walks with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, (r.), as they leave the Gridiron Dinner through a loading area at a hotel in Washington, Saturday.

Charles Dharapak/AP

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President Barack Obama had a ready excuse for anyone who didn't think he was funny enough at Saturday night's Gridiron dinner: "My joke writers have been placed on furlough."

Always a target for humorous barbs, the president tossed out a few of his own during the Gridiron Club and Foundation dinner, an annual event that features political leaders, journalists and media executives poking fun at each other.

The so-called sequester that struck the federal budget this month drew another observation from Obama: "Of course, there's one thing in Washington that didn't get cut — the length of this dinner. Yet more proof that the sequester makes no sense."

The ambitions of 70-year-old Vice President Joe Biden? "Just the other day, I had to take Joe aside and say, 'Joe, you are way too young to be the pope. You can't do it. You got to mature a little bit.'"

During a pause in his remarks, Obama took a long, slow sip of water and then said, "That, Marco Rubio, is how you take a sip of water."

Obama also mocked criticism from some quarters that he takes time off from his job. "We face major challenges. March in particular is going to be full of tough decisions. But I want to assure you, I have my top advisers working around the clock. After all, my March Madness bracket isn't going to fill itself out. And don't worry — there is an entire team in the Situation Room as we speak, planning my next golf outing, right now at this moment."

The dinner was the organization's 128th since its founding in 1885. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar represented the Democrats while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal cracked wise for the Republicans.

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