Stephen Colbert may have taped his Late Show before tonight’s Republican debate, but that didn’t stop him from weighing in on the escalating battle between Iowa frontrunners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Ever since Cruz started leading polls in the early caucus state, Trump has started to remind voters that the Texas senator wasn’t born in this country, much in the same he stoked fears about President Barack Obama’s origin during the last presidential election cycle.
After playing some clips of Trump’s recent rhetoric against Cruz, Colbert said, “That’s right, only natural born citizens can be president, and Cruz was born... in Canada!” The host then added, “Personally, I think the whole thing is horseshit, but Trump doesn’t.”
Invoking Cruz’s use of the term “New York values” to counterattack Trump, Colbert said, “I don’t like what he’s insinuating about New York: that Donald Trump comes from here. That is just a nasty thing to say!”
At Thursday night’s GOP debate in South Carolina, Trump drew boos from the crowd when he brought up the “natural born citizenship” issue. But later in the night, Trump turned things around on his number one target when the question of “New York values” came up. By highlighting his fellow New Yorkers’ resilience after 9/11, Trump ended up making Cruz look like the callous one.