Laughable: Colbert, Guests Try to Portray Biden, Harris as 'Rockefeller Republicans'

August 14th, 2020 9:26 PM

On The Late Show Thursday, host Stephen Colbert had two co-hosts of Showtime’s The Circus as guests: Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner. Not surprisingly, the liberal trio were ecstatic about the selection of Kamala Harris as presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate.

Wagner was obviously giddy about the selection of Harris, praising her “incredible interpersonal skills.” She also proclaimed that Harris “freshens up the ticket” and insinuated that the Biden campaign was “welcoming someone with open arms who brings diversity to the ticket.”


McKinnon appeared equally enthusiastic about the addition of Harris, a biracial woman, to the Democratic ticket. He also praised Harris’ supposed ability to push back against the “Trump death star,” proclaiming that “she can handle it.”

After Colbert asked Wagner for her thoughts on President Trump’s reaction to Harris’ addition to the Democratic ticket, Wagner began recycling liberal talking points about President Trump using “misogynist, sexist attacks” against Harris. According to Wagner, Trump calling Harris a “mad woman” was “doubling down on that...age-old stereotype of the angry black woman.” When in doubt, liberals and their allies in the media always play the race and/or gender card.

Perhaps what was most laughable was the attempt to portray Biden and Harris as moderates. According to Colbert, “When I was a kid, we would have called Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Rockefeller Republicans.” Both of his guests agreed wholeheartedly.

This line of thinking advances the narrative that the Republican Party has moved far to the right while ignoring the fact that the Democratic Party has moved far to the left. Above all else, the portrayal of Biden and Harris as moderates is just not based in reality.

It’s true that Rockefeller Republicans had a lot of overlap with liberals on certain policy positions, particularly on the social issues. While Rockefeller Republicans may have had a tepid approach to abortion, the “moderate” position on abortion does not compare to the unabashedly pro-abortion policies adopted by the Biden-Harris ticket.

As Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, explained: “Kamala Harris is an extremist who supports abortion on demand through birth, paid for by taxpayers, and even infanticide.” Dannenfelser and March for Life president Jeanne Mancini described the Biden-Harris ticket as “the most pro-abortion” in history.

In addition, Harris has expressed support for Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, gun confiscation, the elimination of private health insurance, and allowing the Boston bomber and 16-year-olds to vote. No one outside of the liberal media bubble would characterize those as “moderate” positions.

Undeterred by these facts, the late-night love fest for Harris continued, with Wagner describing her as a possibly “monumental historical leader.” Wagner excitedly declared that Biden sees himself as “connective tissue” between “the country’s first black president” and the “country’s first Asian-American, black vice president.” This segment on The Late Show should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the liberal media sees themselves as the “connective tissue” between the Democratic Party and the American people.

The Late Show lovefest for Kamala Harris was made possible by advertisers such as Target, Audi, and Amazon. To contact them, follow the links provided.

A transcript of the relevant portion of Thursday’s edition of The Late Show is below. Click “expand” to read more.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert


12:06 AM


STEPHEN COLBERT: Welcome back, folks, my guests tonight are two hosts of Showtime’s political docuseries, “The Circus.” Please welcome back to “A Late Show,” Alex Wagner and Mark McKinnon. Hey, you two. 

ALEX WAGNER: Hey, Stephen. 

COLBERT: Nice to see you again. 

MARK MCKINNON: Howdy, how are you?


12:07:37 AM

COLBERT: Okay, let’s talk about the big news. Kamala Harris announced yesterday. You both interviewed her. You covered her primary run. What tone does she set for Joe Biden now? 

WAGNER: I mean, I think you saw a little bit of it yesterday. She is absolutely going to be calling on her litigate…skills as a litigator but she’s also an incredibly, in…in the way that Biden connects with voters, Harris also has incredible interpersonal skills and is a listener. You know, she has developed that part of her political muscle in a way that few others have. So, I think she’s going to be really valuable to him on that front despite the fact that COVID is preventing a lot of the retail politics we usually see. More than anything, I think she freshens up the ticket. You know, the, the, the narrative around Biden is that he’s trusted and he is a known quantity in American politics. And that’s certainly shown to have some benefits. But I think everyone on that campaign is ready and…and open, welcoming someone with open arms who brings diversity to the ticket, not just in terms of race and gender but experience and outlook. And I think it’s coming at a critical time for the campaign. 

MCKINNON: There were really three imperatives. One, that it…it needed to be a woman. It really had to be a woman of color given the times and the issues that we’re facing but it also needed to be somebody who had experience on the national stage, who’s used to the volley and the incoming that…that this ticket’s going to get. I mean…the, the, the Trump death star is unloading already and so you didn’t want somebody who’s new to the game because it’s…it’s a human microwave out there and she’s…she’s been out there, she can handle it. She’s…she’s used to it. 

COLBERT: Okay, well, let’s talk about the, the, the Trump’s supposed death star. Because it really feels like he…he’s having a little trouble finding a new game with this ticket because the first thing he did was call her nasty, that’s just retreading an attack against Hillary Clinton from 2016. What, now he’s…he’s pulling out like Hail Mary, you know, middle age man grievances like not enough pressure in my showerhead. What do you…what do you make of his reaction so far? 

WAGNER: I think he’s had a hard time figuring it out, right? I mean, this is someone, the President gave $6,000 to Kamala Harris’ re-election efforts as a…

COLBERT: Right? Donated to her twice. 

WAGNER: Exactly. And…as did his daughter. So that’s definitely a, a complicating factor. I think, you know, it…it feels like the President thinks that some of the same misogynist sexist attacks, the…the sort of dog whistles around her being a nasty…a nasty woman. This morning, he called her a mad woman; which is doubling down on that age-old stereotype of the angry black woman. He feels like it seems like that could work. I mean, I think the question is more about the American electorate. You know, what women and specifically white women tolerate this election season. Donald Trump won them by 47 percent in 2016 and the question is are they going to depart from that rhetoric, are they going to reject it in the 2020 election? I mean, I think Kamala Harris is going to be the test case for where we are in terms of gender relations in this country. 

MCKINNON: Part of the problem, Stephen, is, you know, that they’re trying to paint her as a radical lefty. And part of the reason she was unsuccessful in the Democratic Party is because she wasn’t. In fact, she has a lot of attributes that are good for a general election, like a tough former prosecutor. You think, those are Republicans and their defendants. So, that line of attack’s not going to work very well. 

COLBERT: You know, when I was a kid, we would have called Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Rockefeller Republicans. 

WAGNER: Yeah. Yeah.

MCKINNON: Exactly right. 


12:11:58 AM

WAGNER: Yesterday, in…in her remarks, you definitely saw the tenacity, she talked about Trump driving the country into the ground, leaving it in tatters. At the same time, she also burnished her credentials as Mamala, someone who goes to swim meets, someone who’s at…at home cooking on Sunday nights. These are the sort of two end points about where we ask American women to be, they…can they be professionals and moms, do they have to choose? I mean, she is going to be a test case, as I said before, about like our attitudes about women and what kind of, you know, what kind of image we want to see from the women…the women who are leading this country. 

MCKINNON: The interesting part of the coverage of the announcement was that people declared it both bold and safe at the same time. So, you have a woman of Jamaican, southeast Asian heritage who is being declared as somebody who’s a safe choice. And that says a lot about her background. She is…she’s experienced, she’s been in the Senate.

COLBERT: I think it says a lot about the Democratic Party.

MCKINNON: Exactly.

COLBERT:  That is a safe choice for them. 

MCKINNON: That’s a great point, that’s a great point. And Alex, you make a great point about the Biden kind of connection to Obama. 

WAGNER: Well, yeah, I mean, I think you can sense in Biden a real sense of almost gratitude in that Obama made him the first Vice President, the Vice President for America’s first black President. And I think in a lot of ways, he sees himself as the connective tissue between what could be two monumental historic leaders, which is to say the first…the country’s first black president and the country’s first Asian-American black vice president. And…and that tells you a lot about the Democratic Party too, that this 70-something year old quite guy from Delaware could end up being a figure of just transformation for the country and…and building a more inclusive and equitable America. 

COLBERT: Conventions start next week. We’re going to be live, are we still going to be live? We hope to be live next week. There are some challenges. So, we hope to be live, what is the point of a convention when there’s no con…convening any more. Can you still call it a convention? 

MCKINNON: You really can’t and you really shouldn’t, Stephen. You know, I had a lot of responsibilities for the 2000, 2004 campaigns, conventions. And back, even back then, almost 20 years ago we had a lot of discussions about how completely anachronistic these things are, the balloon drop and the rolling party, and the terrible speeches, and the horrible entertainment, especially on the Republican side. You know, there’s really only a few things that you have to do which is what we’re going to find out next week and I think, from now on, they’ll be forever changed. 

WAGNER: Can I…can I say one thing though, Stephen? I had a conversation with Cecile Richards, the former head of Planned Parenthood, the daughter of the late great Ann Richards of Texas. And she said “you know what I remember about Geraldine Ferraro? I was there with my mom, and the…the day, the evening she accepted the vice presidential nomination as the first female nominee Vice President for a major party, all the men on the floor gave their floor passes to women. And I remember getting that pass and going with my mom and watching Geraldine Ferraro stride to the stage in her white suffragette paint suit or blazer, that’s an incredible memory.” And…

COLBERT: It’s the reasons like that that I…I hope the conventions don’t go away. I mean, it’s important to get together. 

WAGNER: It is. 

MCKINNON: Very quaint.