Cardinal Timothy Dolan, blessed with the job of playing peacemaker while sitting between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during a white tie fundraiser, said the two presidential candidates demonstrated a kindness toward each other rarely seen in public.
While each candidate delivered some biting comments while taking a turn behind the dais at the Al Smith Dinner, "there were some very touching moments" in private, Dolan said, describing one right after he asked both of them to pray with him.
“After the little prayer, Mr. Trump turned to Secretary Clinton and said, ‘You are one tough and talented woman,’” Dolan said. "He said, 'This has been a good experience, this whole campaign, as tough as it’s been.'"
Clinton then returned the compliment.
“She said to him, ‘Donald, whatever happens, we need to work together afterward,’” Dolan said.
“This is the evening at its best,” he said, describing the event as “a family dinner where you’re just hoping things go well.”
Dolan said it was obvious the two candidates "are kind of awkward together," but said that's to be expected. He noted four years ago there was a similar "iciness" between then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama at the same event.
“The purpose of the evening is to break some of the ice, and thanks be to God, it works,” Dolan said.