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  • 4 May 2014, 15:06

Obama Jokes About Putin's Bare Chest In Speech

Nothing appeared off the comedy agenda during President Barack Obama's humorous but pointed speech to the White House Correspondents' Dinner, including jokes about his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Mr Obama also poked fun at himself and his troubled health care plan at the annual black-tie event.

In the face of a continuing Cold-War-style standoff with Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine, Mr Putin featured in part of the US President's comic turn.

Mr Obama said: "Last year Pat Buchanan (conservative politician and columnist) said Putin is headed straight for the Nobel Peace Prize, he said this, now I know it sounds crazy but to be fair they give those to just about anybody these day.

"So it could happen. But it's not just Pat, Rudy Giuliani (former New York mayor) said Putin is what you call a leader, Mike Huckabee (Republican politician) and Sean Hannity (television host and conservative political commentator) keep talking about his bare chest, which is kind of weird.

"Look it up. They talk about it a lot."

He also joked about Obamacare and the website woes that turned the launch of the health programme into a fiasco.

Mr Obama said: "Of course we rolled out healthcare.gov. That could have gone better. In 2008 my slogan was 'yes we can'. In 2013 my slogan was 'control-alt-delete'".

He also touched on the controversy surrounding the US government's secret surveillance programmes, revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Mr Obama said: "Colorado legalised marijuana this year, an interesting social experiment. I do hope it doesn't lead to a whole lot of paranoid people who think that the federal government is out to get them and listening to their phone calls. That would be a problem."

The annual charity dinner has become a tradition attracting an array of journalists, government officials, politicians and media personalities.

The Correspondents' Association, which represents the White House press corps, celebrated its 100th anniversary this year.

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