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Chaffetz pokes fun at GOP, Romney, Hatch

Washington - Rep. Jason Chaffetz poked fun at himself, his party and the press Wednesday night, and even cracked wise at his buddy, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

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"I'll confess that sometimes I came across Gov. Romney a little wound down," Chaffetz said at the annual Washington Press Club Foundation dinner. "All we had to do is stick the key in and wind him up and he was good for another 48 hours."

The Utah Republican, who shared the spotlight with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, prompted fits of laughter in his 10 minute address and even a few groans, especially when he turned on his own.

"President Obama and Gov. Romney did spend one night together playing their favorite game: monopoly," Chaffetz said. "Things started off a little awkward when it came to picking their playing pieces. President Obama chose the battleship. Mitt picked the car and then put the dog on top of the car."

Chaffetz also took a dig at his Utah colleague in the Senate when he talked about the Republican's latest efforts to appear more cutting edge.

"Orrin Hatch has a new 8-track tape out that he is marketing through Woolworth's," Chaffetz quipped.

Chaffetz brought in a ringer to help pen his jokes, which the audience ate up.

"I had a hunch the president would not be here tonight - didn't want to interrupt Wednesday night skeet shooting he's got going on," Chaffetz said, a reference to Obama releasing a photo of him firing a shotgun.

"I'd been under the impression I was invited here as an up-and-comer in the Republican Party, but it turns out they were just looking for a way to save money on alcohol," the congressman added. "Invite a Mormon... the senator from Idaho isn't here is he?"

The crowd groaned and laughed at the same time at that one. Mormons are forbidden from imbibing, though Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho recently pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated.

I'm "here with my wife, Julie," Chaffetz noted. "My only wife, Julie."

Heitkamp took a shot at Chaffetz, poking fun at the fact that he famously sleeps in his office. "Is there room for the Donnie and Marie posters?"

Even the Press Club Foundation got in on the gags, though inadvertently. The program identified Chaffetz as a representative from New Mexico.

-- Thomas Burr and Matt Canham

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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