TIME Donald Trump

Read the Transcript of Donald Trump’s Speech at the Al Smith Dinner

The white-tie affair is an election-year tradition

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke Thursday night at the 71st Al Smith dinner in New York City.

Read the full transcript of his remarks below.

[*] (UNKNOWN): Donald, the microphone is yours.

TRUMP: And it’s working. (LAUGHTER)

Thank you Al. Wow. That was good. Mm. This is a helluva dinner. Well I want to thank Your Eminence. This is really great to be with you again. Beloved Governor Cuomo, our great senators. Hi Chuck. He used to love me when I was a Democrat you know.

(LAUGHTER)

Mayor de Blasio. Wherever you are. Where’s Mayor de Blasio? (inaudible) See in the old days I would have know him very well but I haven’t doing so much of the real estate any (ph).

And I want to thank Al and Ann (ph) Smith, just a fantastic job you do with the dinner. Congratulations on a record – over $6 million, right? He’s got a record.

(APPLAUSE)

And a special hello to all of you in this room who have known and loved me for many, many years. It’s true.

The politicians. They’ve had me to their homes, they’ve introduced me to their children, I’ve become their best friends in many instances. They’ve asked for my endorsement and they always wanted my money. And even called me really a dear, dear friend. But then suddenly, decided when I ran for president as a Republican, that I’ve always been a no-good, rotten, disgusting scoundrel. And they totally forgot about me.

But that’s OK. You know, they say when you do this kind of an event you always start out with a self-deprecating joke. Some people think this would be tough for me, but the truth is …

(LAUGHTER)

It’s true — the truth is I’m actually a modest person. Very modest. It’s true. In fact many people tell me that modesty is perhaps my best quality.

(LAUGHTER)

Even better than my temperament.

(LAUGHTER)

You know Cardinal Dolan and I have some things in common. For instance, we both run impressive properties on Fifth Avenue. Of course his is much more impressive than mine. That’s because I built mine with my own beautifully formed hands.

(LAUGHTER)

While his was built with the hands of God, and nobody can compete with God. Is that correct? Nobody. Right?

(APPLAUSE)

That’s right. No contest.

It’s great to be here with a thousand wonderful people, or, as I call it, a small intimate dinner with some friends. Or as Hillary calls it, her largest crowd of the season.

(LAUGHTER)

Ahh, this stuff. This is corny stuff. I do recognize that I come into this event with a little bit of an advantage. I know that so many of you in the archdiocese already have a place in your heart for a guy who started out as a carpenter working for his father. I was a carpenter working for mine.

(LAUGHTER)

True. Not for a long period of time but I was. For about three weeks. What’s great about the Al Smith Dinner is that even in the rough and tumble world of a really, really hard-fought campaign – in fact I don’t know if you know Hillary but 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 – are we supposed to be proud of that or where are we supposed to be on that one. But they did say that and I’m trying to think back to Lincoln. I don’t think we can compete with that. But the candidates have some light-hearted moments together, which is true. I have no doubt that Hillary is going to laugh quite a bit tonight, sometimes even at appropriate moments.

(LAUGHTER)

And even tonight, with all of the heated back and forth, between my opponent and me at the debate last night, we have proven that we can actually be civil to each other. In fact, just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very civilly said, “Pardon me.”

(LAUGHTER)

And I very politely replied, “Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.”

(LAUGHTER)

Just kidding, just kidding. And Hillary was very gracious. She said if somehow she gets elected she wants me to be, without question, either her ambassador to Iraq or to Afghanistan. It’s my choice.

(LAUGHTER)

But one of the things I noticed tonight – and I’ve known Hillary for a long time – this is the first time ever, ever, that Hillary is sitting down and speaking to major corporate leaders and not getting paid for it. (LAUGHTER)

It’s true. It’s true.

You know, last night, I called Hillary a “nasty woman,” but this stuff is all relative. After listening to Hillary rattle on and on and on, I don’t think so badly of Rosie O’Donnell anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

In fact, I’m actually starting to like Rosie a lot.

(LAUGHTER)

These events give not only the candidates a chance to be with each other in a very social setting; it also allows the candidates the opportunity to meet the other candidate’s team — good team.

I know Hillary met my campaign manager, and I got the chance to meet the people who are working so hard to get her elected. There they are — the heads of NBC, CNN, CBS, ABC — there’s the New York Times, right over there, and the Washington Post.

(LAUGHTER)

They’re working overtime. True. True.

(APPLAUSE)

Oh, this one’s going to get me in trouble.

(LAUGHTER)

Not with Hillary. You know, the president told me to stop whining, but I really have to say, the media is even more biased this year than ever before — ever. You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it — it’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech —

(LAUGHTER)

— and people get on her case.

(APPLAUSE)

And I don’t get it. I don’t know why.

(APPLAUSE)

And it wasn’t her fault. Stand up, Melania. Come on. She took a lot of abuse.

(APPLAUSE)

Oh, I’m in trouble when I go home tonight. I’m — she didn’t know about that one. Am I okay? Is it okay?

Cardinal, please speak to her.

(LAUGHTER)

I’d like to address an important religious matter: the issue of going to confession. Or, as Hillary calls it, the Fourth of July weekend with FBI Director Comey.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, I’m told Hillary went to confession before tonight’s event, but the priest was having a hard time, when he asked about her sins, and she said she couldn’t remember 39 times.

(LAUGHTER)

Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate Commission.

(BOOING)

How corrupt do you have to be to get kicked off the Watergate Commission? Pretty corrupt. Hillary is, and has been, in politics since the 70s. What’s her pitch? The economy is busted? The government’s corrupt? Washington is failing? “Vote for me. I’ve been working on these problems for 30 years. I can fix it”, she says.

I wasn’t really sure if Hillary was going to be here tonight, because I guess you didn’t send her invitation by email. Or, maybe, you did and she just found out about it through the wonder of WikiLeaks.

(LAUGHTER)

We’ve learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary believes that it’s vital to deceive the people by having one public policy —

(BOOING)

— and a totally different policy in private. That’s okay. I don’t know who they’re angry at Hillary, you or I. For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.

Now some of you haven’t noticed, Hillary isn’t laughing as much as the rest of us. That’s because she knows the jokes. And all of the jokes were given to her in advance of the dinner by Donna Brazile. Which is – everyone knows, of course, Hillary’s belief that it takes a village, which only makes sense after all in places like Haiti, where she’s taken a number of them.

(BOOING)

Thank you. I don’t know – and I don’t want this evening without saying something nice about my opponent. Hillary has been in Washington a long time. She knows a lot about how government works. And according to her sworn testimony Hillary has forgotten more things than most of us will ever, ever, ever know. That I can tell you.

(BOOING)

We’re having some fun here tonight and that’s good.

On a personal note, what an amazing honor it is to be with all of you. And I want to congratulate Hillary on getting the nomination and we’re in there fighting and over the next 19 days somebody’s going to be chosen. We’ll see what happens. But I have great memories of coming to this dinner with my father over the years when I was a young man. Great experience for me.

This was always a special experience for him and me to be together. One thing we can all agree on is the need to support the great work that comes out of the dinner. Millions of dollars have been raised to support disadvantaged children, and I applaud the many people who have worked to make this wonderful event a critical lifeline for children in need.

(APPLAUSE)

And that we together broke the all-time record tonight is really something special. More than $6 million net, net, net, net. The cardinal told me that’s net net, Donald, remember. We can also agree on the need to stand up to anti-Catholic bias, to defend religious liberty and to create a culture that celebrates life. America is in many ways divided …

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. America is in many ways divided like it’s never been before. And the great religious leaders here tonight give us all an example that we can follow. We’re living in a time, an age that we never thought possible before. The vicious barbarism we read about in history books, but never thought we’d see it in our so-called modern- day world. Who would have thought we would be witnessing what we’re witnessing today.

We’ve got to be very strong, very, very smart, and we’ve got to come together not only as a nation, but as a world community. Thank you very much, God bless you and God bless America. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. Thank you very much.

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