Washington Secrets

Washington media elite cheer Obama's 'clinging to religion' sneer

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

As the Catholic Church turns this week to electing a new pope, an outsider might be knocking on the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel: Vice President Joe Biden.

President Obama, armed with jokes for Saturday night's Gridiron Club dinner, kidded that Biden has a higher calling. But, the president said at the old-school event featuring skits and humor, the 70-year-old veep might have a handicap--he's too young.

"Even though I'm just beginning my second term, I know that some folks are looking ahead to bigger things. Look, it's no secret that my vice president is still ambitious. But let's face it, his age is an issue. 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.''

At the dinner, the president dinged several of his favorite targets like journalist Bob Woodward and conservative criticism of his remark that they cling to their guns or religion.

"Of course, maintaining credibility in this cynical atmosphere is harder than ever -- incredibly challenging. My administration recently put out a photo of me skeet shooting and even that wasn't enough for some people. Next week, we're releasing a photo of me clinging to religion," he said to what the White House transcript called "laughter and applause."

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