Speed Reads

last night on late night

Beto O'Rourke makes his case on Stephen Colbert's Late Show, barely mentions Ted Cruz

Stephen Colbert interviewed Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) on Wednesday's Late Show, but first he caught viewers up on O'Rourke's nail-biter of a race against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The contest has gotten so close that Cruz has called in President Trump to campaign with him. "You know it's bad when you need backup from a man with a 36 percent approval rating," Colbert said. "Their backup plan to that is a celebrity endorsement from the herpes virus. Here's how scared Ted Cruz is of Beto O'Rourke — he bought ads on my show tonight to counter his interview."

Colbert looked at the various, often hilariously misguided angles of attack the Cruz campaign and Texas GOP have taken against O'Rourke, including mocking his days in a punk rock band and running an ad focusing on O'Rourke's use of the F-word. "Remember that: Beto is a dirty-minded potty mouth," Colbert deadpanned. "You must protect the values of Texas and vote for the man who likes threesome porn on Twitter."

Driving around to all 254 Texas counties is kind of like touring with a punk band, O'Rourke told Colbert. When Colbert asked about Trump's border wall, O'Rourke said "we don't need a wall" and Texas "should be able to lead" on fixing immigration laws. For example, he said, he and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) worked on "a bill to improve border security by investing in our ports of entry," creating "smart security solutions" that also facilitate "legitimate trade and travel."

"Trump says he will campaign for Cruz, despite the fact that they just despise each other," Colbert said. "Is it surreal to see enemies joining forces against you?" "Yeah, this is gonna be interesting," O'Rourke said. He endorsed citizenship for DREAMers and "universal, guaranteed, high-quality health care for everyone," but said "we're running not against anyone or anything or any other political party, we are running for this country." Watch below. Peter Weber