Romney Obama 2nd Debate
President Barack Obama greets challenger Mitt Romney before debating at Lynn University last month. Both men are tied up in the national polls on Election Day. Reuters

After a heated debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday, the presidential candidates are back in New York Thursday night on a lighter note for the Alfred E. Smith charity banquet.

President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney will be convening in New York City for some laughs just two days after their combative debate at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, NBC reported.

(Click here to was live stream footage of the presidential candidates at the charity)

The broadcast will begin at 9 p.m.

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel is holding the white-tie gala and has been a popular stop for politicians over the decades. The dinner is put on by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and raises money for poor children.

It is customary for politicians to tease their rivals and mock themselves as well, probably bringing some relief to the president and governor after such an intense debate just a few days ago.

While the president was in town he earlier taped an appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” but the dinner is Romney’s only public event for the day.

The commander-in-chief’s invitation to the charity event comes at a time when his connections to the Catholic Church are frayed after his administration decided that women who work for religious-affiliated universities and hospitals must be provided free contraception through health insurance, even though the law states that churches and other religious institutions are exempt, SF Gate wrote.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the primate of the New York Archdiocese, will be hosting the dinner. He’s battled with Obama over the contraception rule unlike Romney who opposed the rule, the paper continued.

According to Dolan he received “stacks of mail protesting the invitation to President Obama (and by the way, even some objecting to the invitation to Governor Romney).”

But Dolan wrote that the dinner is supposed to be “an evening of friendship, civility, and patriotism, to help those in need, not to endorse either candidate.”

New York Gov. Al Smith was the first Catholic presidential candidate, losing to Herbert Hoover in 1928.