8:23am PT by Katherine Schaffstall
Stephen Colbert Recruits Triumph the Insult Comic Dog to Interview Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz
Stephen Colbert spoke about "the big race" for the Texas Senate seat on Monday's episode of The Late Show. The race is between Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke.
"The polls are incredibly close and both candidates are spending tens of millions of dollars to win this thing," said Colbert. "I wanted to send a correspondent down there who could deliver a thorough, nuanced report for The Late Show and coincidentally my friend Conan O'Brien is on hiatus right now, so he was kind enough to lend us the one reporter who I believe is able to meet those high standards."
The host then welcomed Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. "Hello white liberals," said the dog, who held a Cuban cigar between his teeth.
Triumph went "to great lengths" to interview Cruz during the 2016 primaries, including being strapped to a drone and following the politician's bus. "I never got to meet him, despite being the only person in the world who wants to," he said.
A prerecorded video then showed Triumph's first stop in Texas, which was at a rally in support of O'Rourke. The dog took the opportunity to speak poorly about the politician's former career as a musician. "Trust me, if Beto wants to stop border crossings quicker than Ted Cruz, they could just play his album down there," he told O'Rourke's supporters.
Triumph then trained some voters on how to act white before they approached their polling booths. His suggestions included talking about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Ed Sheeran.
The dog also waited outside of the polling venue and handed out stickers that read, "I think I just voted." After handing the sticker to one woman, he commented, "Just light enough to vote."
Triumph then spoke with O'Rourke. "Does it concern you that half your base thinks they can vote for you through Instagram?" asked the dog. "Yeah, it's gonna have to turn into real votes, but we're seeing a huge voter turnout so far," responded the politician.
"I'm worried about these voting machines changing Beto's name to Cruz. Tell me this, though, with the uncertainty surrounding these voting machines, is it now more important than ever for Democrats to go out there and vote twice?" asked Triumph.
O'Rourke responded, "Vote once. That's the law."
"What's Ted Cruz have that you don't have? Besides the ability to regenerate his tail," said Triumph. After laughing, O'Rourke said, "I don't know what to say."
Triumph then made his way to a Ted Cruz rally, which he compared to "a Duck Dynasty cosplay convention."
The dog asked one supporter to rank how confident he feels that Cruz will be elected, with "one is not confident and ten is the highest you can count to." The voter responded, "Seven."
"What do you think was harder? For Ted to forgive Trump for insulting Ted's wife or that mongoose for eating Ted's offspring," he asked a Cruz supporter.
He also commented on the fact that many people tend to make fun of Cruz for his looks. "They call him the Zodiac Killer," he said. "That's unfair, since his plan to repeal Obamacare would kill way more people than the Zodiac Killer." The dog's interview subjects looked at him uncomfortably as he repeated the comment.
"Ted, quick question. I have a preexisting condition that makes me vomit out of my eyes whenever I look at you," Triumph said while Cruz made his way through a crowd. "Is that in the GOP Health Care plan?"
Cruz later approached the dog. "Can you tell these people not to kill me if I make a joke or two?" Triumph asked. The politician responded, "It depends how bad a joke."
"Ted, is it true you will defend the Constitution at all costs except for when Donald Trump calls it ugly on Twitter?" he asked. "I love the Constitution and Twitter is Twitter," Cruz answered.
After being yelled at by a Cruz supporter, Triumph asked everyone to be civil. "Let's be civil here, OK, because this man — nobody should be yelling at this man in a public place. I mean, doesn't the man have the right to sit down in a restaurant and enjoy a meal that five waiters have spit in?" he said.
"Well, I will say to Triumph two things. As a Cuban American, anyone smoking a cigar can't be all bad," said Cruz. "And two, I just want to say to Triumph, my advice is walk away and just remember it wasn't the Republicans, it was the Democrats that took you in to the vet to get fixed and there is freedom on the other side."
Triumph responded, "I support spaying and neutering just like Trump did to you."
The segment concludes with Triumph leading a chant that Cruz "is the lion of the Senate" as the politician left the rally.
Watch the full segment below.