Rick Perry spoke at the annual Gridiron Dinner on Saturday evening, where he won over the exclusive crowd with a series of jokes on gay marriage and his former presidential primary opponents.
The dinner, an elite affair well-attended by politicians and Washington journalists alike, typically features several prominent speakers, skit performances and plenty of mockery. Perry's cracks landed well in the context of the dinner, where speakers are encouraged to playfully skewer themselves and their rivals. The dinner, along with the club that hosts it, was founded in the 1880s in an effort to repair relations between politicians and the press, which had become frayed by the many investigations into the corruption of the Gilded Age.
The Texas governor, who was tapped as this year's Republican comedian, reportedly made several off-color jokes involving former rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.
"I like Mitt Romney as much as one good looking man can like another good looking man under Texas law," Perry said.
Perry's sexuality has been the subject of much speculation. The first openly gay Texas state lawmaker, Glen Maxey, recently wrote a book about his investigation into Perry, during which he was regularly in touch with a HuffPost reporter.
A bizarrely homophobic ad Perry released during the campaign -- wondering why children can't pray in school, but gay men and women can serve in the military -- has become one of the most "disliked" in YouTube history.
Later during the dinner, Perry noted that he majored in "animal husbandry," which he said is "what Santorum thinks happens as a result of gay marriage."
Perry's crack about Santorum appeared to be in reference to the former Pennsylvania senator's infamous comments about "man on dog" sex.
However, Perry's own knowledge might not be quite up to snuff either. He received poor grades within his major, including a D in veterinary anatomy.
The Texas governor also poked fun at himself. "The weakest Republican field in history, and they kicked my butt," he said.
The event is off-the-record for reporters in attendance.
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