Ted Cruz, Stephen Colbert spar over Reagan, marriage

Sep 22, 2015 3:02 PM by News Staff

"The Late Show" host Stephen Colbert pushed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to a place uncomfortable for most Republicans: Talking about differences with former President Ronald Reagan.

Cruz, a 2016 presidential candidate, was singing Reagan's praises in an interview on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Monday.

"If you think about the last 50 years, there is one Republican who has a group of Democrats named after him: Reagan Democrats," he said. "Those Democrats didn't come over because he was the squishiest, middle-of-the-road candidate; they came over because he represented principles that were appealing."

But, Colbert was quick to respond, "Reagan raised taxes...Reagan actually had an amnesty program for illegal immigrants. Neither of those things would allow Reagan to be elected today."

"Could you agree with Reagan on those two things?" Colbert asked.

"No, of course not," Cruz responded.

Colbert pressed him on whether he could consider compromising and working with Democrats, as Reagan did, without feeling like he had "capitulated with the devil." Cruz didn't exactly embrace bipartisanship, but conceded that there is "nothing diabolical" about the other side.

Colbert found himself defending Cruz when the conversation turned to same-sex marriage and the audience began booing Cruz's responses.

"Guys, however you feel, he's my guest so please don't boo him," Colbert told his audience.

"Let's be precise: Under the Constitution marriage is a question for the states," Cruz said. He defended his stance that the 10th Amendment gives only states the right to weigh in on the issue.

He also had a request for businessman and fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who will appear on the show Tuesday evening.

"I like Donald a lot and if you could, ask him if he could possibly consider donating $1 billion to our campaign," he said.


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