Stephen Colbert went in and out of character at various points during the House Democratic Caucus retreat this morning and faced friendly jabs from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, whom he called his “frenememy.” After introducing Colbert the character as a model of Bill O’Reilly, Pelosi tried to convince him to become a Democrat.
“Governor Nikki Haley rejected you; we will welcome you with open arms,” she joked.
After the introduction, Colbert ran on stage before a standing ovation, and delivered punch lines on a few topics:
“Republicans’ loss in November has them soul searching … whether or not they have souls,” he said, according to notes on the closed event circulated by Pelosi’s office.
Will Democrats win in 2014?
“Not sure if American people care either way, Congress less popular than colonoscopies … but just edging out meth labs and gonorrhea. Ironically, the last things we make in the United States.”
On Nancy Pelosi:
“We may have disagreed in the past and today we will disagree in the future.”
Pelosi also interviewed Colbert out of character on the topic of his sister’s congressional campaign. Colbert was confident in his sister’s electoral victory, and stated that she would make an appearance on the “Colbert Report” for a “Better Know a District” segment after her election.
“I have a few questions for her from her eighth-grade diary,” he said.
When asked what he thought about politicians’ going on “The Colbert Report” and making themselves look silly, Colbert said only one politician did himself in on the show. In his opinion, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., “set himself on fire” by talking about his legislation to mandate public placement of the Ten Commandments and then only being able to name three.
To finish off the gathering, Pelosi asked Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., to come up and sing with Colbert. The pair sang the “Star-Spangled Banner,” with Colbert singing in dramatic harmony.
Attending members were “thrilled” and thought the meeting was “hilarious,” according to a Democratic aide who watched it.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will “interview” Stephen Colbert in front of the full House Democratic Caucus at their retreat in Leesburg, Va., today, multiple Democratic sources confirm.
This appearance is closed to all reporters covering the retreat and Colbert is not expected to talk with the press at any point either.
The comedian is taping the “interview” for his show, “The Colbert Report,” which airs on Comedy Central.
“We assume this is Stephen Colbert’s attempt at bipartisanship,” quipped Pelosi communications director Drew Hammill. Colbert plays a conservative commentator on his show, which Pelosi has appeared on in the past.
Colbert’s appearance at the conference was first reported by Politico.
President Clinton also delivers a keynote address this morning at the taxpayer-funded retreat, which will also be closed to the media.