(CNSNews.com) - UN Ambassador Nikki Haley used her keynote speech at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner on Thursday to poke fun at Democrats and Republicans alike, beginning with a dig at Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) Native American heritage.
“Two years ago, President Trump was here, and he made some waves with his remarks. Apparently, no one here could have predicted that. So … last year you went with Paul Ryan, who’s a boy scout, and that’s fine, but a little boring,” she said.
“So this year, you wanted to spice things up again, right? I get it. You wanted an Indian woman, but Elizabeth Warren failed her DNA test. Actually, when the president found out that I was Indian-American, he asked me if I was from the same tribe as Elizabeth Warren,” Haley joked.
The ambassador began her speech saying Cardinal Dolan suggested she resign as UN ambassador as a way to boost attendance for the dinner.
“I had this great breakfast with Cardinal Dolan, and I asked him if there was anything I could do to really boost attendance,” she said, prompting laughter from the audience. “You know this already? He said why don’t you resign as UN ambassador. You didn’t tell me you were kidding,” she said.
Haley said she received advice about her speech, and “they all said the same thing: Do not under any circumstances make any jokes about the president. So good night everybody.”
“Actually the president called me this morning and gave me some really good advice. He said if I get stuck for laughs, just brag about his accomplishments. It really killed at the UN. I gotta tell you. There’s been some debate about whether the UN laughed with the president or at the president. I’ll take either one tonight. I’m not picky,” she said.
“As a member of the Trump cabinet, it is a thrill to be out to dinner without being harassed. Al Smith was a wonderful man. Many people believe the only thing that kept him from being president was his religion. Mitt Romney’s saying, ‘Tell me about,’” Haley said.
The ambassador also joked about New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s stance on sanctuary cities and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“There’s so many important people here like Mayor De Blasio. I’m so getting my car towed tonight. Mayor, remember, as a member of the UN delegation, I do have diplomatic immunity. You’re all familiar with diplomatic immunity? It’s an exemption from prosecution, or as Mayor De Blasio calls it, a sanctuary city. Oh, look. I got the mayor’s drink by mistake. No ice!” Haley said.
The ambassador then took digs at Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former President Barack Obama, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Cory Booker was here, but he walked out. Jeff Sessions wanted to be here, but he recused himself. Actually, I saw Jeff Sessions earlier today, not in New York. I saw him on LinkedIn looking for a job. Actually, we both were. Hillary Clinton said here invitation never arrived, and she’s furious. She’s blaming James Comey and the Russians and misogyny and everyone,” she said.
“Jeff Flake was gonna be here, but he wanted to give the FBI a week to look into it. President Obama is not here tonight. I saw when recently he said that we’re not supposed to use the FBI or the Justice Department to punish political enemies. Comey, McCabe, and Strzok said, ‘Now you tell us.’ Turns out, what President Obama meant to say was, ‘That’s what we use the IRS for,’” Haley said.
She also joked about the New York Times editorial written by “anonymous.”
“Since this is my first Al Smith dinner, and I know some of you don’t know a lot about me, I thought I’d fill you in. People ask me all the time what they should call me - governor, ambassador, Nikki. You can call me anything. Just don’t call me anonymous,” Haley said.
“My father was a esteemed professor, and my mom was a successful lawyer and business owner. I guess you could say I was a beneficiary of off-white privilege. My parents are immigrants from India - legal immigrants. Right now some people are thinking, ‘We still have those?’ Even though they came here legally, I keep them at an undisclosed location just in case,” she said.
“People always wonder if I felt different or isolated as an Indian-American growing up in rural South Carolina. Actually, there was a benefit. It totally prepared me for being a Republican in New York. It wasn’t easy growing up Indian in a small southern town. I don’t know what was worse - the name-calling or being asked to fix everyone’s computers,” the ambassador added.
Haley also joked about the “toxic” political environment.
“I am still someone who gets very excited about Halloween, but in this toxic environment, even this causes political argument. Bernie Sanders wants free candy for everyone. Mitch McConnell calls it a typical Democrat giveaway program. The president says, ‘It’s going to be the best Halloween ever. None like it ever before. Huge!’ Hillary Clinton said she’ll go trick-or-treating everywhere except Wisconsin and Michigan. And Michael Cohen asked how much candy he’d get in exchange for immunity,” she said.
Haley also poked fun at the media’s negative reporting of the president.
“Something else you should know about me. I am someone who 100 percent supports free press. You’d be amazed how confused people are in countries without a free press like Iran. They still think John Kerry is secretary of state. But the press does sometimes play favorites. A recent study found 91 percent of the president’s news coverage.The other 9 percent was really negative,” she said.
“On CNN the other day, they claimed that Kim Jong Un is using and controlling President Trump with flattery. Seriously? How would CNN know the president is influenced by flattery, like they’ve ever tried it. The president got really mad at Bob Woodward’s book, really mad. The book compared him to a 5th grader. A lot of Democrats seized on that, until they realized they got beat by a 5th grader,” the ambassador added.
Haley said as ambassador, she learned that 180 of the 193 UN member nations “are mad at us on any given day, and the most important thing,” she learned was “that with all of our differences, there is still one thing that unites all 193 countries. At one point, every single one of them was paying Paul Manafort.”
“Like the president, I never hold grudges against the press, but I am still a little bit upset with The New York Times. A few weeks ago, they ran a completely misleading story saying I had purchased $52,000 curtains for the UN ambassador’s residence. They had to retract it when it turned out they were actually purchased by the Obama administration. Well, they didn’t really retract it. They just changed the headline to read: ‘Obama Creates High-Paying Jobs in the Curtain Industry,’" she said.
Haley listed a series of fake story headlines.
“These days it’s so hard to tell which stories are real, and which ones are fake. I gathered some headlines out there that I just can’t quite tell if they’re true, so maybe y’all can. We’ll start with the first one: President Obama Says, ‘Okay, Okay. You Really Can’t Keep Your Doctor.’ Or this: Hillary Clinton Says, ‘Maybe It Was My Fault, Just a Little Bit.’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Host Academy Awards; Morning Joe Feels Differently About Trump in the Afternoon; or Kirstjen Gillibrand Takes Brett Kavanaugh to Oktoberfest,” she said.
“There was a fake story that I’m actually thinking about running for president. That is so ridiculous. It is way too early for anyone to think about running for president unless you’re a Senate Democrat during the Kavanaugh hearing. Here’s another one: Kanye West Sworn in as UN Ambassador. Wait, that could happen. And finally, the biggest headline of all time: Mueller Investigation to Be Over by Christmas,” Haley added.