Stephen Colbert was still recovering from his pair of live shows that followed CNN’s two back-to-back Democratic debates this week when he took the stage for his monologue Thursday night.
Explaining that because those live shows have to come together too quickly, Colbert said there wasn’t a lot of room for “complex analysis.” But after “some reflection” and time to “digest what happened,” the host said he could “confidently say, what happened?”
“Here’s the deal,” the Late Show host added. “Networks have a vested interest in getting the candidates to fight with each other for the drama. So frontrunners stand up there and get brutally horse-whipped for hours. While the man Democrats really want them to attack, Donald Trump, is barely mentioned!”
“But you know who has the courage to talk about Donald Trump?” he asked. “Donald Trump.”
With that, Colbert pivoted to the impromptu press gaggle the president held before heading to his Ohio rally earlier in the afternoon. It is his first campaign rally since his supporters chanted “Send Her Back” about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
“Fun fact: she’s still here,” Colbert said of the congresswoman to wild cheers from his crowd.
Asked by a reporter what he would do if the crowd started a similar chant this time, Trump said, “I don’t know what’s going to happen,” before bragging about the size of his arena in Cincinnati and claiming that he could have sold it out 10 times over.
As Trump, Colbert added, “I’ve got one thing and one thing only to say about those terrible, racist chants: They really put the asses in the seats.”
Pressed further by reporters on whether he would stop a chant if one started, Trump replied, “I don’t know that you can stop people.”
“I mean, what am I going to do, tell my whole audience to go back where they came from?” Colbert added. “That’s not what America’s about, folks.”