Stephen Colbert interviewed GOP presidential front-running candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday night, according to NBC on Wednesday morning. From the moment Colbert informed the audience that Trump would be appearing through to the post-interview comments Colbert continued to make after Trump left the stage, the atmosphere was comfortably amicable. As one knows, many Trump interviews have not been made comfortable for the billionaire or the audiences subjected to the interviews in the past several months. Colbert was spectacular with his interviewing skills as the newest host of “The Late Show” on CBS as he allowed Trump to be human and – for lack of a better term – quite likable.
Thanks to Colbert’s delivery of questions and ability to humor Trump and the audience, Trump was untypically unpretentious while being blunt with his responses. Imagine Trump not taking “a bite” when given the national Colbert stage to trounce President Barack Obama on the ‘birther’ issue – one of Trump’s formerly trademark topics in the political arena. Colbert gave a huge forerunning introduction to his ‘birther’ question for the presidential candidate.
Colbert told Trump, via an analogy, he was going to throw him a big fat meatball for him to hit out of the park. Then he asked Trump: “Barack Obama, born in the United States?” As calmly as one can hardly imagine Trump being, he looked at Colbert and appropriately rejected the bait. He said he’s done with that question. He very civilly told Colbert that he is going to talk about issue-related topics. He said:
I don’t talk about it anymore. I talk about jobs. I talk about our veterans being horribly treated. I just don’t discuss it anymore.
Trump has obviously finally put a lid on the ‘birther’ issue after the criticism he received for not responding to one of his supporter’s comments about Obama being a Muslim last week. While Trump will likely never back down on his doubts of Obama being an American-born citizen, that part of his political narrative is apparently over and done with. Nobody can make him discuss it anymore – and apparently he simply isn’t going to do so anymore.
Basically, it’s what people have wanted to hear from Trump. The people who have taken his candidacy seriously have wanted the headline-grabbing controversies that are not about the issues to stop. They have wanted more issue-related thoughts coming from Trump as the realization that his popularity still puts him at the front of the GOP presidential candidate’s list in this this election cycle.
Colbert apologized to Trump for having taken aim at him with his jokes in the past. Anyone who has watched Colbert in the recent past knows he has ruthlessly mocked the presidential candidate. After apologizing to Trump, Colbert sheepishly asked him if he had anyone ‘he’ would now like to apologize to, as well. Again, Trump wouldn’t even nibble at the bait. He simply indicated that he had no one he needed to apologize to at this time. Colbert also thanked Trump by saying:
I want to thank you, not only for being here, I want to thank you for running for president. I’m not going to say this stuff writes itself, but you certainly do deliver it on time every day.
Naturally, Colbert is referring to the nearly-daily Trump headlines which have given Colbert and the other late night hosts plenty of material for their comedic monologues at the beginning of their shows. It appeared to be a calmer and more likeable side of Donald Trump that hasn’t been seen thus far during the campaign cycle. Variety called the interview non-fawning, funny, and polite. An amicable interview with a smiling Donald Trump was actually quite relaxing to have watched. If Trump continues to talk in the manner he did with Colbert during the ‘Late Night’ interview, he may become the model-candidate. Who knew he had it in him? Again, he was charming and didn’t throw any punches at his fellow-candidates this time. In the midst of this combative campaign cycle, the interview was thoroughly entertaining and refreshing – while still hitting on some substantial issues.