Stephen Colbert Shuts Down Ted Cruz Over Ronald Reagan Legacy


If there was one clear winner that emerged from last week’s Republican presidential debate, it was Ronald Reagan, whose legacy was repeatedly invoked and showered with 45 instances of praise from his admiring disciples, including Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Texas senator’s Reagan fandom was tested during an appearance on the “Late Show” last night, when host Stephen Colbert pointed out that Reagan famously supported both an amnesty program for immigrants and raising taxes—two policies Cruz has vehemently railed against throughout his own campaign for president.

“Reagan raised taxes,” Colbert said. “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?”

“Could you agree with Reagan on those two things?” he asked.

Cruz was then forced to admit that no, contrary to his previously uncritical adulation of Reagan, he wouldn’t be able to endorse two of Reagan’s major positions.

The two continued to spar on policy items, including gay marriage. During one point, Colbert asked members of the audience to stop booing Cruz, who appeared visibly uneasy in his guest chair. We can’t wait to see how Donald Trump will fare when he swings by the “Late Show” tonight. Stay tuned.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate