7:03am PT by Erin Carlson
Stephen Colbert Says Animal Cruelty Is Presidential Election's Deciding Factor (Video)
Stephen Colbert says the presidential race can be narrowed down to one issue: candidates' past behavior toward canines.
"Apparently, it comes down to whether or not it's crueler for an adult man to strap a dog to his car and then drive for 12 hours or offer a 10-year-old boy to eat dog, given to him by his stepfather. As far as I can tell, that's the biggest differentiation between the two," Colbert said of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, in a sitdown on Friday's Today show.
In an infamous personal footnote that's drawn heat from animal cruelty advocates, Republican candidate Romney once went on a 12-hour family road trip with his Irish setter fastened to the roof of his car. As for President Obama, he's acknowledged eating dog meat as a child in Indonesia.
Colbert faced a good-natured grilling from David Gregory, filling in for Matt Lauer, on Today, where he promoted his new tongue-in-cheek children's book, I Am a Pole (And So Can You) in addition to weighing in on Election 2012.
"I talk about politics a lot, but I don't actually understand politics. I make jokes about politics," he said. "That's why I, for instance, I started a Super PAC, so I could find out what it's really like."
Colbert -- or rather, his arch-conservative Comedy Central alter ego -- recently started a political action committee, the Colbert Super PAC SHH Institute, raising more than $1 million in the process and drawing attention to the unlimited ways in which campaigns get financed.
"I heard that there were laws to prevent you from doing things with campaign finance money," said Colbert, "until I went to do it. And then I found out there kind of aren't."
Watch the Colbert clip below.