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October 19th, 2012
08:13 AM ET

CNN Political Director Mark Preston weighs in on the candidates' cracking jokes on each other at Alfred E. Smith Charity Dinner

One night only, the 2012 candidates trade punch lines instead of insults. The competition is merely for who gets the most laughs, not the most votes. President Obama and Governor Romney were ready to compete just for that at the Alfred E. Smith Charity Dinner in New York last night. CNN Political Director Mark Preston is live from Washington with more.

While the candidates have been running an intense campaign, the atmosphere was lighthearted last night. “Mitt Romney and Barack Obama clearly don’t really like each other personally, and they certainly don’t like each other’s policies,” Preston says. “They they took this opportunity not only to take pokes at themselves, they took pokes at each other, but they also wrapped up political messages in their jokes.”