Late Show host Stephen Colbert quieted the audience during Monday night’s episode while conducting an interview with Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz.
While the two engaged in a frank discussion about the legalization of gay marriage in the United States, Cruz drew some jeers from the Late Show audience for suggesting marriage laws should be left to individual states to legislate.
“The 10th Amendment says if it doesn’t mention it, it’s a question for the states,” Cruz explained of his position on gay marriage. “That’s in the Bill of Rights.”
After some in the audience began booing in response, Colbert immediately quieted them: “Guys, however you feel, he is my guest, so please don’t boo him.”
“Why would you possibly hand over the rights of 320 million Americans to five lawyers in Washington to say, ‘We’re going to decide the rules that govern you?'” Cruz exclaimed. “If you want to win an issue, go to the ballot box and win at the ballot box. That’s the way the Constitution was designed.”
Cruz appeared to hold his own in what was a decidedly non-fluff interview.
“You’re a white conservative,” Colbert told Cruz. “If there’s someone out there who is not a very conservative voter, as President of the United States, how would you welcome those people into your administration? How would you represent them? Convince the people who are not far right why you should be someone they would consider to vote for should you get the nomination.”
“If you think about the last 50 years, there is one Republican who has a group of Democrats named after him: Reagan Democrats,” Cruz replied. “Those Democrats didn’t come over because Reagan was the squishiest, middle-of-the-road candidate. They came over because he represented principles that were appealing.”
“If you look at the base of our support, it is the Reagan Democrats. It is working men and women,” Cruz explained. He then told Colbert about a woman from the host’s home state of South Carolina who said that she had voted for Barack Obama in 2008, stayed home in 2012 and pledged to vote for Cruz in 2016.
“Does this person have a name?” Colbert joked. “I just want to fact-check that one a little bit later.”
Check out Cruz’s complete interview on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert above (booing and Colbert’s reprimand at around 9:40).