Colbert tweaks ‘Emperor’ Obama on late-night TV – USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Talk show host Stephen Colbert mocked President Obama on Monday for making a special contribution to the nation’s jobs picture.
“I’ll give it to you. You’ve employed a lot of people,” Colbert said. “Mostly as secretary of Defense.”
“Well — that’s boosted our numbers a little bit,” Obama conceded just days after naming his fourth Defense chief in six years.
Obama’s appearance on the satirical Colbert Report was his first in-person appearance on the show as president — and his last. The show wraps up its nine-year run on Comedy Central at the end of the month as Colbert prepares to take over the CBS Late Show next year.
Obama opened the show by taking on the role of Colbert’s stage alter-ego, the conservative Bill O’Reilly-style pundit, poking fun at the host and himself while also promoting the open enrollment for the new, improved Obamacare website. “Remember the original HealthCare.gov website? I think that’s where Disney got the idea for Frozen,” Obama joked.
During the free-wheeling interview that followed, Colbert quizzed the president about immigration, his use of executive power, the Keystone XL pipeline and his place in history.
Colbert: “You realize you’re an emperor now; it has been declared. You are Barackus Maximus I. … Why did you burn the Constitution and become an emperor?”
Obama: “You know, actually, Stephen, everything that we have done is scrupulously within the law, and has been done by previous Democratic and Republican presidents. … We can’t deport 11 million folks who are here, the vast majority of whom are good people who are just trying to get ahead and trying to make sure their families can get ahead. So instead of devoting a whole lot of resources on separating families, grabbing some mom who’s working at a hotel or some dad who’s working in a kitchen somewhere, and separating them out, let’s focus on deporting felons.”
Colbert: “Let’s talk about the Keystone XL pipeline. … The American people want it. It’s going to create jobs. The State Department says it’s not going to raise the pollution in the atmosphere. You’re going to sign that, right?”
Obama: “We’ve got to make sure that it’s not adding to the problem of carbon and climate change. We have to examine that, and we have to weigh that against the amount of jobs that it’s actually going to create, which aren’t a lot. … Essentially, this is Canadian oil passing through the United States to be sold on the world market. It’s not going to push down gas prices here in the United States. It’s good for Canada.”
Colbert: “Barack Obama — great president? Or the greatest president?”
Obama: “I think I’m going to let somebody else decide. Not you, but somebody who knows what they’re talking about. … It’s hard to get perspective when you’re in the middle of it. And hopefully, later down the road, people will take a look and they’ll say, you know what, this guy woke up every day, he was working hard on behalf of the American people, and he got some stuff done.”