NEW YORK, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Locked in a tense race with time running out, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney took time off to exchange light-hearted jabs and make fun of each other on Thursday in a joint appearance at a high-profile charity dinner.

Two days after a brutal debate in which they exchanged verbal blows and stalked each other on stage, Obama and Romney greeted each other warmly, dressed formally in white tie and tails.

But the combativeness of the campaign trail was ever-present as the two foes gave back-to-back speeches at the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner.

Romney, speaking first, said Obama, who wants to increase taxes on the wealthy to help fund government programs, must have had some thoughts as he looked out at the crowd of wealthy people at the dinner.

"You have to wonder what he's thinking: So little time, so much to redistribute," he said.

Obama, when it was his turn, made fun of Romney's vast wealth.

"Earlier I went shopping at some stores in Midtown. I understand Governor Romney went shopping for some stores in Midtown," he said.

The Al Smith dinner is a glittering affair at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel where New York's high society dined on poached lobster and rack of lamb and contributed $5 million for various children's charities.

Obama and Romney, facing a third and final debate Monday in Florida, sat close to each other at the dinner, separated only by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York who spoke at both the Republican and Democratic conventions in late August and early September.

The event is an annual speaking opportunity for presidents or president aspirants to test their comic skills with self-deprecating jokes usually written up by clever speechwriters.

Obama made light of his much-panned performance at his first debate with Romney on Oct. 3. He said at the second debate, where he was judged the winner, he had been well-rested because of the "nice long nap I had at the first debate."


BIDEN A TARGET OF BOTH

Romney also was self-deprecating, noting that the way he prepared for the debate was to "refrain from alcohol for 65 years." As a practicing Mormon, the former Massachusetts governor abstains from alcohol.

Obama, who frequently credits himself with ordering the mission that led to the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, noted that the last debate is about foreign policy.

"Spoiler alert: We got bin Laden!" he said.

Romney tweaked Obama on the high jobless rate, saying its recent small decline meant only one thing: "You're better off now than you were four weeks ago."

Obama said he and Romney have some things in common, like their unusual middle names. Romney's is Mitt. "I wish I could use my middle name," said Obama, whose middle name is Hussein.

If there was one thing they had in common, it was their ability to make fun of Vice President Joe Biden, Obama's gaffe-prone No. 2.

Obama said he sometimes hears that he is getting old and has lost a step and when he does, he says, "Settle down, Joe, I'm trying to run a Cabinet meeting."

Romney said when Biden speaks, it usually is to Romney's benefit, so much so that whenever his remarks are on TV it should be accompanied by a recorded message like those used in campaign ads: "I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message."

Obama got in a jab at the Republicans' use of Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood at Romney's convention. Eastwood was panned for talking to an empty chair on stage as if Obama was sitting in it.

"Please take your seats," Obama told the crowd, "or else Clint Eastwood will yell at them."

The tone of the evening was set with introductory remarks by Al Smith IV, who could not resist teasing Romney for saying at the debate that he sorted through "binders full of women" in trying to put together a diverse cabinet as governor of Massachusetts.

"I want to say a special welcome to all of the accomplished women here tonight. It's good to see you made it out of those binders," Smith said to laughter.

The dinner started in 1945 in tribute to a former Democratic New York governor Smith, who lost the 1928 presidential election to Republican Herbert Hoover in a landslide.

Among the 1,600 guests were representatives from two of New York's major industries - media and Wall Street money. Spotted in the crowd were ABC television talk show host Katie Couric and Fox News executive Roger Ailes, as well as Steve Schwartzman, chief executive of private equity firm Blackstone Group, and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.

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  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    US President Barack Obama (L), Cardinal Timothy Dolan (C), Archbishop of New York, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) attend the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    US President Barack Obama (L), Cardinal Timothy Dolan (2L), Archbishop of New York, Mitt Romney (2R) Ann Romney and others attend the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    US President Barack Obama (L), Cardinal Timothy Dolan (C), Archbishop of New York, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) during the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    US President Barack Obama (L), Cardinal Timothy Dolan (2nd-L), Archbishop of New York, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (2nd-R) with wife Ann Romney (R) attend the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    Republican US presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    Republican US presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) speaks during the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    US President Barack Obama (L), Cardinal Timothy Dolan (2L), Archbishop of New York, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (2R), Ann Romney (R) and others attend the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    Republican US presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    US President Barack Obama and others listen as Republican US Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    Republican US Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama shake hands during the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    Republican US presidential candidate Mitt Romney and others listen as US President Barack Obama speaks during the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) share a laugh at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie charity gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    US President Barack Obama addresses a speech while attending with US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: (L - R) U.S. President Barack Obama, Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney share a laugh at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie charity gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) speaks as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Alfred E. Smith IV (C) laugh at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie charity gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie charity gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    People attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program featuring appearances by US President Barack Obama and US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) attend the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie charity gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (L), Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan (R) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (C) attend the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (C) shake hands at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie charity gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    Republican US presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama shake hands during the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO / Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE2012

    People attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Program featuring appearances by US President Barack Obama and US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, October 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (L), Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan (C), Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (2nd R) and Ann Romney (R) attend the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie charity gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN

    US President Barack Obama, Republican US presidential candidate Mitt Romney and others attend the 67th annual Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel October 18, 2012 in New York, New York. AFP PHOTO / Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) speaks as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Alfred E. Smith IV (C) laugh at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie charity gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney share a laugh at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie charity gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: (L - R) U.S. President Barack Obama, Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attend the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Address Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) share a laugh as Ann Romney (R) looks on at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. The lighthearted white-tie charity gala has long been a tradition of the presidential race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • MItt Romney, Barack Obama

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama greet each other as they attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • MItt Romney, Barack Obama

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • MItt Romney, Barack Obama, Timothy Dolan, Ann Romney

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. Also pictured are Cardinal Timothy Dolan, second left, and Ann Romney, right. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • MItt Romney, Barack Obama, Timothy Dolan, Ann Romney

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. Also pictured are Cardinal Timothy Dolan, second left, and Ann Romney, right. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • MItt Romney, Barack Obama, Timothy Dolan, Ann Romney

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, left, attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. Also pictured are Cardinal Timothy Dolan, second left, and Ann Romney, second right. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Ann Romney

    President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, greet each other as they arrive at the Archdiocese of New York's 67th Annual Alfred. E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. At right is Ann Romney. The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a white-tie gala has been a required stop for politicians since the end of World War II. In keeping with tradition, candidates prepare humorous fare for the fundraising event organized by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York for the benefit of needy children. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Barack Obama, Ann Romney

    President Barack Obama is greeted by dinner attendees including Ann Romney, second from left, as he arrives at the Archdiocese of New York's 67th Annual Alfred. E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a white-tie gala has been a required stop for politicians since the end of World War II. In keeping with tradition, candidates prepare humorous fare for the fundraising event organized by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York for the benefit of needy children. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • MItt Romney, Barack Obama

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, Timothy Dolan

    From left, President Barack Obama, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and his wife Ann Romney attend the Archdiocese of New York's 67th Annual Alfred. E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

    President Barack Obama, left, and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, stand during the prayer with Cardinal Timothy Dolan during the Archdiocese of New York's 67th Annual Alfred. E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

    President Barack Obama arrives at The Archdiocese of New York's 67th Annual Alfred. E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a white-tie gala has been a required stop for politicians since the end of World War II. In keeping with tradition, candidates prepare humorous fare for the fundraising event organized by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York for the benefit of needy children. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • MItt Romney, Barack Obama, Timothy Dolan, Ann Romney

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. Also pictured are Cardinal Timothy Dolan, second left, and Ann Romney, right. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • MItt Romney, Barack Obama, Timothy Dolan, Ann Romney

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama bow their heads in prayer as they attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. Also pictured are Cardinal Timothy Dolan, second left, and Ann Romney, second right. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • MItt Romney, Barack Obama, Timothy Dolan

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama stand with Cardinal Timothy Dolan as they bow their heads in prayer as they attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • MItt Romney, Barack Obama, Timothy Dolan, Ann Romney

    President Barack Obama, left, talks with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, second left, as Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Ann Romney are seated at right as they attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)