- Associated Press - Saturday, March 8, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Politicians poked fun at adversaries and themselves Saturday night at the annual Gridiron dinner, a gathering of journalists and public figures.

Conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joked about his clashes with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Cruz, not known to closely follow party leaders’ instructions, told the crowd that McConnell had asked him to represent the GOP “and when Leader McConnell wants something, who am I to say no?”

Cruz mentioned his recent filibuster opposing President Barack Obama’s health care law. It featured 21 hours of “nothing but my favorite sound” Cruz said of his lengthy talk.

Charlie Crist, who was Florida governor as a Republican and seeks to regain the job as a Democrat - spoke for his new party. Crist said he checked his big ego by reminding himself that John McCain found Sarah Palin a worthier running mate in 2008. And he took a jab at Cruz, saying the Texas tea partyer’s followers wear “tri-cornered aluminum hats.”

The final speaker was Secretary of State John Kerry, a former senator and 2004 presidential nominee.

Kerry joked about government spying on people including journalists, saying it was “so nice to put faces to the metadata.” Kerry said Obama asked him to tell the audience: “if you like your rented tuxedo you can keep it.”

Every president since Grover Cleveland has attended the Gridiron dinner, which was first held in 1885. Obama attended the gridiron in 2011 and 2013.

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