'The Colbert Report' recap - 1/23/2012

By John-Paul Helk,
The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Indecision 2012 - Newt Gingrich's South Carolina Kill
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“Congratulations Giants and Patriots – way to stick it to those dwarfs and traitors.” An amusing start to an amusing episode, which focused heavily not on the impending Super Bowl, but instead on the Republican Primaries. Laden with jokes about the nominee hopeful, Steven Colbert announced that Newt Gingrich, who had suffered in the previous primaries, won by a fairly sizable margin in South Carolina. Colbert said the gap was so sizable in fact that it could even fit Gingrich's head.

He went on to talk about some more Gingrich news. At the debate on Monday, Gingrich was asked by moderator Juan Williams if he understood that his comments about African-Americans and food stamps could be considered racist and disrespectful. The comment to which he referred had Gingrich saying “Black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps.” Gingrich responded that he in fact did not see how that could be viewed as disrespectful. Then Colbert talked about how in Thursday's debate, Gingrich “feasted on the flesh” of moderator John King. King opened the debate with a question about the recent interview with Gingrich's second wife in which she accused him of asking her for an “open marriage.” Gingrich lashed back at King, saying that while he did not want to spend time addressing that situation, he would. After King did some backpedaling, Gingrich backed him down even further by making it seem shameful to begin a presidential debate in such a way. Throughout all this, Colbert used video clips to set up King as a helpless animal and Gingrich as the lion who goes in for the kill.

He then went on to talk about Herman Cain...and, of course, himself. Colbert had previously told fans that if they thought he should consider a run for office that they should show him it would be worth his while by way of the South Carolina Primary. Due to the laws surrounding registration for the primary ballot, Colbert was too late to put his name on. But he told fans that voting for Herman Cain would send him the message loud and clear. Cain/Colbert pulled 1% of the votes in the primary, but that's considerably better than Cain had done in the past. Cain got 205 votes in the past two primaries combined, but received 6324 in South Carolina. Colbert then announced that he would “re-suspend Herman Cain's suspended campaign,” and that he would not in fact pursue office himself.

Always one to look at the positives, Colbert said that since he was no longer running for office, there was no longer a need for Jon Stewart to run his Super Pac. In an amusing bit, Stewart refused to return the Super Pac, and more importantly the money. The bit involved Stewart counting out large stacks of money, flipping Colbert the finger when asked about transferring back control, and flying away in a zeppelin.

Next on Colbert's agenda was the “Rock you like a Herman-Cain/South Cain-olina primary rally” which was held on Friday. The bit involved video from the rally of Herman Cain singing, at audience prompting, the song from the Pokemon movie he had previously quoted while on the campaign trail, Colbert joking about the other candidates, and Cain quipping such lines as “Oh I know me some Pokemon words” and “My brother from another mother, Steven Colbert.” Colbert showed the hypocrisy in the campaign funding system and how the media portrayed his exploration into running for office.

Colbert's guest on the show was Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, author of “The Dictator's Handbook” and a professor at NYU. Mesquita likened Democrats to dictators, even saying he believed Obama would like to be a dictator since it is easier to run the country when you don't have to worry about being popular or seeking re-election. Mesquita has predicted many political shifts in the past and has proven effective at doing so using “game theory”, leading Colbert to ask Mesquita who he think will win the Republican nomination, to which Mesquita responded with confidence that Gingrich will get the nomination, and even offered the opinion that Gingrich would not win the presidency after obtaining the nomination.

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