“I used to play a narcissistic conservative pundit – now I’m just a narcissist,” Colbert shot back.
Colbert wondered, if elected, could Jeb bring people together, noting that what “passes for governing now often ends up being a game of blood sport.”
“I’m going to say something heretic; I don’t think Barack Obama has bad motives,” Bush responded, proving Colbert’s blood-sport point in one short sentence. The audience paused, followed by a smattering of tepid/confused applause.
“Oh, you’re so close to getting them to clap,” Colbert joked.
Moving on, he asked about that “Jeb!” campaign poster.
“I been using ‘Jeb!’ since 1994,” Bush explained, adding, “It connotes excitement,” which caused Colbert to erupt in laughter.
After teasing Bush for having a mother who publicly announced there had already been enough Bush presidents, in advance of Jeb declaring his candidacy, Colbert segued to more talk about family. Colbert said he loves his own brother, who is in the audience, through they’re at different ends of the political spectrum. Then he asked the GOP candidate, “In what ways do you politically differ from your brother George.”
After waffling with an “I’m obviously younger, much better looking” gag, Bush says, “I think my brother didn’t control Republican Congress spending. … He should have brought the hammer down when they were spending too much. He didn’t veto things, didn’t bring fiscal restraints. He was not conservative enough.” Bush then remarked that, when he was governor of Florida, “they called me Veto Corleone,” referencing Marlon Brando’s iconic Godfather character.
Colbert explained to Bush that Vito Corleone was not exactly a good guy.
A few days ago, Colbert dinged Bush’s campaign for launching a raffle to win a ticket to be in the audience tonight. Bush camp had sent an email to supporters announcing the launch of a Colbert Late Show contest, flying one lucky winner to New York for the taping and all they had to do was donate $3 or more to enter. “But here’s the thing. No one from Jeb’s campaign asked me if this was OK with me to raise money off my first show,” Colbert snarked. “Where’s my cut of that sweet 3 bucks, Governor. Huh?!” Then, Colbert announced he was launching his very own Jeb Bush on the Stephen Colbert Show Raffle and the winner could submit one non-obscene question he will ask Jeb. That happened on the show tonight, but was not part of the broadcast: