Accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, the president gently knocked Republicans for not cooperating with him on policy priorities and made a rare reference to his race when urging the opposition party to be cooperative, reports Reuters.
“I know Republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012, but one thing they all agree on is they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities,” Obama said.
“And look, call me self-centered, but I can think of one minority they could start with. Hello? Think of me as a trial run, you know?” he added.
Obama, the first black U.S. president, who was re-elected for the second term back in November with overwhelming support from minority voters including blacks and Hispanics.
He poked fun of those who criticised him and doubted his religion and accused the president of being a radical leftist, while he made light of his graying hair.
“These days, I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be,” Obama said. “Time passes. You get a little gray.”
The Hawaii native born is a Christian, but he included some material for so-called “birthers” who falsely assert he was born abroad.
“I’m also hard at work on plans for the Obama Library, and some have suggested that we put it in my birthplace, but I’d rather keep it in the United States,” he said.
The U.S. president also shed some light on his own rapid rise to power by comparing himself to Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a Hispanic from Florida who is believed to become a potential presidential candidate in the next presidential elections, scheduled on 2016.
“One senator who has reached across the aisle recently is Marco Rubio, but I don’t know about 2016. I mean, the guy has not even finished a single term in the Senate and he thinks he’s ready to be president,” Obama joked. “Kids these days.”
Barack Obama began his presidential race during his first term as a U.S. senator from Illinois.
In a room filled with journalists and celebrities the president saved some of his most biting jokes for the press.
“I know CNN has taken some knocks lately, but the fact is I admire their commitment to cover all sides of a story, just in case one of them happens to be accurate,” he said, drawing applause.
“Some of my former advisors have switched over to the dark side. For example, David Axelrod now works for MSNBC, which is a nice change of pace since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.”
Axelrod, a former White House adviser, was the main strategist for Obama’s re-election campaign. MSNBC is considered to be a liberal-leaning television network.
Obama also didn’t miss a chance to poke fun of his wife’s new bangs, drawing laughter from her when he showed mock pictures of himself with the same hairdo.