Stephen Colbert Targets Biden's Gaffes and Sanders' Voice During Third Democratic Debate

The late-night host addressed highlights from the Thursday debate stage, from Andrew Yang's "Freedom Dividend" plan to Biden mistakenly calling Sanders "president."
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS
'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert'

After the third Democratic debate of 2019 finished Thursday in Houston, late-night host Stephen Colbert went live to offer his political and social commentary on the top 10 polling candidates. 

On the debate stage were Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert began with a parody to "Deep in the Heart of Texas," a fitting tribute with the debate being set in the Lone Star State. Lyrics like "Warren has a plan, Bernie needs his brain, and Yang will give you one grand" hit on some of the biggest highlights from Thursday's debate. 

At the top of Colbert's monologue, the host touched on businessman Yang's announcement to give away $1,000 a month to 10 families over the next year as part of his effort to prove the efficacy of his universal basic income campaign proposal. "Daddy's got deep pockets, vote for me and I'll make it rain," Colbert said. 

The late-night host also went after Sanders' notably raspy voice during the debate, joking that the candidate who looks the most likely to carry cough drops in his pocket truly needed one, calling him "the senator from phlegm-sylvania."

As for frontrunner Biden, Colbert brought up the former vice president's mix-up of calling Senator Sanders president. Another blunder by the 76-year-old candidate came near the end of the night when, while answering a question about racial inequality in schools, Biden said a helpful way to educate kids is to "make sure the record player is on at night."

To this, the late-night host quipped "and gather around the whole family to listen to F.D.R give it good."

There are 20 candidates still in the running but only 10 hit the Democratic National Committee’s polling and fundraising requirement by the Aug. 28 deadline.

The third debate took place at Texas Southern University in Houston, Tex., moderated by This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos, ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir, ABC news correspondent Linsey Davis and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos.