Stephen Colbert Challenges Ted Cruz, Defends Him From Booing Audience (Video)

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Stephen Colbert, the former host of "The Colbert Report" who performed as a mock-conservative pundit, has been attracting widespread praise for his new role as host of the “Late Show.” (Video Below)

Although it’s a relatively new job for Colbert and some were unsure his duties on the "Late Show" would include the biting political commentary he offered on "The Colbert Report," he proved his skeptics wrong during an interview with Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Florida.

During the second GOP put on by CNN, former president Ronald Reagan’s name was invoked 45 times, according to Mother Jones’ count. However, despite his legendary status in the Republican party, Reagan supported amnesty for undocumented immigrants and raised taxes.

Though Cruz and his fellow candidates lauded Reagan throughout the three-hour debate, Colbert was quick to point out the discrepancies between the former president’s policies and Cruz’s proposals. 

“Reagan raised taxes,” Colbert noted in the interview. “Reagan actually had an amnesty program for illegal immigrants. Neither of those things would allow Reagan to be nominated today. So to what level can you truly emulate Ronald Reagan?”

Cruz admitted he disagreed with those policies and he sparred with Colbert on other policy issues, including gay marriage. However, Colbert stepped in when the audience began booing Cruz, who seemed uncomfortable facing that hostility. 

Though Cruz’s reception by the audience could be described as chilly it seems unlikely that tonight’s guest, Donald Trump, will face a warmer crowd. However, it’s unclear if Colbert would step in on Trump’s behalf as he did with Cruz.

Sources: Mother Jones, Late Show/YouTube Screenshot via  Late Show/YouTube