Stephen Colbert Mocks Jeb Bush with Counter Ticket Raffle

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio/Andrew Harrer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio/Andrew Harrer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
New York, NY

When Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush set up a $3 ticket raffle for his upcoming guest appearance on Stephen Colbert’s first Late Show, without permission, he likely never imagined the idea would devolve into such a colossal embarrassment for his campaign.

But it has, and if fending off attacks from GOP frontrunner Donald Trump isn’t enough, now the former Florida Governor is going to be walking into enemy territory next week, to face a bored host, who arguably doesn’t need any more ammo.

Supporters of the one-time favorite to take the party’s nomination next fall received emails Friday, asking for donations of $3 for a chance to win a “VIP ticket” to The Late Show, and the Bush camp even offered to pay for the winner’s trip to New York City.

“Running for president can be a taxing and grueling job, but it also presents you with some truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Friend, I want to share one of those opportunities with you,” the email read.

The problem for Jeb: not only are tickets to shows like Colbert’s generally free, but the establishment Republican didn’t ask for permission for the fundraiser from Colbert, or CBS.

“All guests on the show are provided audience tickets for their own use,” network spokesman Chris Ender said of the ticket raffle. “However, this promotion is not a coordinated tie-in between the show and the political campaign.”

If Ender’s statement wasn’t embarrassing enough for Jeb’s campaign, now Stephen Colbert has responded, and he hasn’t parted with his old Comedy Central persona.

During a three-minute YouTube video posted online Wednesday, Colbert took dead aim at Jeb for the unauthorized fundraiser:

“No one from Jeb’s campaign asked me if this was okay with me to raise money off my first show,” Colbert says. “Where’s my cut of that sweet three bucks, Governor?”

The host adds: “As the governor points out in his e-mail, this is a huge chance to see the very first ‘Stephen Colbert Late Show,’ which, apparently, now has ‘a new host,” adding, “I hope it’s Amy Schumer.”

Colbert then announces his own contest: The “Jeb Bush on the Stephen Colbert Late Show Raffle,” of which the winner will also land a VIP seat at the new Late Show.

Contributions from the contest will benefit the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which helps to support injured vets and their families, according to Colbert, who sweetens the deal by offering his raffle’s winner a submission of one “non-obscene” question he will ask Bush during his interview.

(His suggestion: “Don’t you wish you’d consulted Stephen before launching your contest?”)

Watch the video:

While countless fans of both men will be competing for a chance to win their respective raffles, only one person will actually lose: Jeb Bush, who attempted to join the fun on Twitter Wednesday:

Bush also tweeted out a link to the Yellow Ribbon Fund:

The new Late Show will make its debut September 8. Vice President Joe Biden, Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, UN general secretary Ban Ki-Moon, and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will all appear on the show in its second full week.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump will drop by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Friday, September 11.