BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Former Gov. Mitt Romney was not at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast this year in Boston, but he was served up as a popular target Sunday morning as several of the state’s political leaders traded barbs and celebrated the Irish-American heritage of many of their constituents.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports.

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“A conservative, a liberal and a moderate walk into a bar and the bartender says, ‘What will it be, Mitt?’ “said Democratic Senate President Therese Murray.

Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral said it has been fun watching Romney, who once claimed to be “to the left of Ted Kennedy, ” now work to position himself to the right of Rick Santorum.

Romney even took hits from members of his own party. U.S. Senator Scott Brown said he was concerned that he and his family would not be able to make it to the breakfast because his pickup truck had more than 230,000 miles on it, a fact he frequently mentioned during his own campaign for office.

“Governor Romney was nice enough to give me one of his Cadillacs, so we’re all set,” he joked to the hundreds attending the breakfast.

The annual event gives lawmakers and political newcomers a chance to test their skills at delivering political jokes.

Scott also had a few barbs for his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor and consumer advocate.

“I hope you didn’t get lost leaving Cambridge again,” he said.

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Warren, who is looking to take back the seat held for years by Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, later returned fire. Saying she learned that politics changes fast, she said, “One day Scott Brown is a centerfold for Cosmo and the next day he’s a poster boy for Goldman Sachs.”

She said that she, too, posed as a centerfold in the only magazine that would have her — “Consumer Reports.”

The breakfast also served a debut for Joseph P. Kennedy III, son of former U.S. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II. His great-uncle, President John F. Kennedy, spoke at the breakfast more than 50 years ago.

Kennedy, 31, who is hoping to succeed the retiring U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, joined others in poking fun at his youth when apologized for being late.

“My mom made me promise to clean my room before I came,” he said.

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray showed up to the event in a Nascar uniform, poking fun at the bizarre circumstances surrounding his serious car accident last November.

Gov. Deval Patrick did not attend the event. He was vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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