USA TODAY’s ‘On Politics’ Blog Reports: Last night’s appearance on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report by Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, probably went about like you’d expect if you’re familiar with the show.
Stephen Colbert ticked off some of Paul’s positions — against the Iraq War and against the Patriot Act, for instance — and asked with mock indignation "are you a Republican or are you not a Republican?"
He called Paul "an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, nestled in a sesame seed bun of mystery."
Paul, after saying he is a Constitutionalist, got off a line that drew cheers from Colbert’s seemingly liberal crowd — "if you obey the Constitution you’ll be a freer person than if you disobey it."
And the pair drew cheers and laughs when Colbert borrowed a page from the recent presidential debates:
Colbert asked Paul to raise his hand if he agreed as the host read a list of government agencies that could be abolished. At the mention of the Internal Revenue Service, Paul’s hand shot up high.
The host ended by saying he hopes Paul gets a "Colbert bump" in his poll numbers.
Paul, who is at the bottom of most polls of GOP voters but has gotten considerable attention for his performances at the presidential debates, appeared to enjoy his time with Colbert.
Not bad for a candidate who earlier in the day told USA TODAY’s Susan Page he had never seen the show. (Though we know he is familiar with Comedy Central.)
Here’s what Page is planning to report in an upcoming story:
Ron Paul was interviewed Wednesday as he took a train to New York from Washington to appear on a TV program.
Paul, shuffling papers to find the name, said, "Colbert."
"Yeah," he replied. "I’ve never seen his show."
This reporter cautioned that Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report sometimes tries to, well, have a little fun with its guests.
"Everybody should have a little fun," Paul said.