The 2016ers late-night one-liners

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Stephen Colbert confronts Ted Cruz over Reagan; senator booed on gay marriage.

Stephen Colbert, who took over for David Letterman as the host of CBS’ Late Show this month, has been raised up as the last hope to shake up late night talk shows.

Stephen Colbert and Ted Cruz fought over same-sex marriage and whether President Ronald Reagan would have a place in today’s Republican Party during a tense interview Monday night on Colbert’s “Late Show.” And the exchange brought to light what Cruz really means when he talks about adhering to the Constitution.A politician typically goes on a late-night comedy show so that he can deliver his message to a wide audience, banter with a friendly host, and generally prove to the world that he is, as Hillary Clinton might put it, “a real person.” Colbert greeted his frequent conservative foil politely enough, but he then proceeded to give him the toughest interview of his brief tenure on CBS.WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz didn’t get the warmest of receptions appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Monday night. “The 10th Amendment says if it doesn’t mention it, it’s a question for the states. The programs in recent years have turned into viral content quests where guests receive softball questions and playact skits that make them seem more endearing. Colbert had to ask his audience to stop booing when Cruz began to explain his view that voters at the state level, and not Supreme Court justices at the federal level, should have dominion over whether same-sex marriage is legal.

Interrupting Cruz repeatedly, Colbert confronted him over his opposition to gay marriage, his selective adulation of Ronald Reagan, and his uncompromising political style. So far, during his short time on the air, Colbert seems to be living up to the promise of bringing back the serious (while still mixing in the silly antics and comedy).

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court overturned state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage on the grounds that they violated clauses of the 14th amendment that protect citizens’ rights to equal protection and due process. Everything that is not mentioned is left to the states,” Cruz said. “I don’t think we should entrust governing our society to five unelected lawyers in Washington. With Colbert asking if Cruz realized that so many other candidates would end up in the race, Cruz joked, “there are another dozen coming.” He managed to ingratiate himself with a tepid crowd by suggesting Colbert run a third time for president, setting off chants of “Stephen! Colbert noted that the Constitution is silent on marriage, and Cruz used that to argue that powers not expressly granted to the federal government are reserved to the states under the 10th amendment.

On Monday, Colbert pressed Cruz on how he can emulate Ronald Reagan when the Republican icon raised taxes when necessary and had an amnesty program for undocumented immigrants. (Meanwhile on the “Tonight Show” Jimmy Fallon had surging GOP candidate Carly Fiorina sing to her dogs) When Cruz tried to dance around the question, Colbert repeated “Could you agree with Reagan on these two things?” The GOP candidate finally answered, “No, of course not.” Colbert showed another strong quality trait as host, appearing compassionate when the audience started booing the conservative over his opinions on same-sex marriage. The tension in the Cruz interview came during the second segment, when Colbert laid a bit of a trap for him by asking how the modern Republican Party could hold Reagan in such high esteem given that he raised taxes and signed legislation granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants. “Neither of those things would allow Ronald Reagan to be nominated today,” Colbert said. “So how can you truly emulate Ronald Reagan?” Noting—as Democrats frequently do—that Reagan repeatedly struck agreements with House Speaker Tip O’Neill, Colbert asked whether that’s what voters wanted—a president who would work across the aisle, delivering “action” rather than simply “principles.” Cruz quickly launched into a defense of his reputation as a political fighter, saying he meets few voters who want more compromise with President Obama.

That’s the way the Constitution was designed.” Cruz has been a supporter of Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed for five days for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. The key, he said — dusting off a joke he’s used plenty of times before — is that “you just have to surgically disconnect your shame sensor” because you’re always asking for money. “It’s a lovely tie, please give me money,” he said, demonstrating with a handshake. “It is relentless. A few minutes later, Cruz had succeeded in turning the conversation back to his core campaign message—well, almost. “What I’m fighting for are simple principles,” he began. “Live within our means. Colbert also tried to get Cruz to concede that compromise is valuable, and doesn’t mean he “capitulated to the Devil.” He asked whether, as a strongly religious person, Cruz views his opponents as evil. Bush should be blamed for the poor growth numbers at the beginning of Obama’s term or Jimmy Carter shouldn’t be blamed for the bad economy in the first two years of the Obama administration.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton each had far easier appearances with Jimmy Fallon last week. (Trump goes on Colbert’s show on Tuesday.) Carly Fiorina appeared on The Tonight Show opposite Cruz on Monday, and while Fallon did get her to respond to Ben Carson’s comments on Muslims and the presidency, it was a much lighter affair. He noted that billionaire Donald Trump is even leading Jeb Bush in Florida, where Bush used to be governor. “It makes sense that Florida likes Trump – they’re used to cartoon characters with giant heads,” Colbert joked, with photos of Trump and Mickey Mouse on screen. With Cruz, there were no deadpan, and no praise. “I really appreciated you sharing your views with us,” Colbert said, “and good luck with the campaign.” If it turns out not to be the right one, would you be willing to compromise with the other side, change your mind, do something the other side wants and not feel like you capitulated with the devil?

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