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Late Night: Stephen Colbert praises Rick Perry's execution record

September 9, 2011 |  9:32 am

Comedian Stephen Colbert jabs Rick Perry for his execution record that came up at the GOP debate

For many viewers, the most memorable moment of Wednesday's Republican presidential debate was the roaring applause that followed Brian Williams' question regarding the record-breaking 234 executions carried out during Rick Perry's tenure as Texas' governor.

But on Thursday night's episode of "The Colbert Report," Stephen Colbert didn't express dismay at the jubilant reaction; in fact, he joined in the revelry, gleefully wielding two syringes as if they were pistols. "Mentioning executions is a sure-fire applause line for conservatives. It's like saying 'pot' to the audience of 'The Daily Show,''" he said. Colbert cited the audience response as proof that Perry, who also happens to be the preferred candidate of Colbert's Super PAC, is "bad ass." 

Colbert also heaped (ironic) praise on Perry for his views on other issues. When asked why he is skeptical of global warming, despite overwhelming scientific consensus on the issue, Perry argued, "Just because you have a group of scientists who've stood up and said 'Here is the fact'... Galileo got out-voted for a spell."

Colbert pointed out the logic flaws in Perry's analogy. "Galileo believed the Earth revolved around the sun, but respected scientists, like the pope and his inquisitors, challenged that with their theory that hot irons would burn out his eyes."

There was also the subject of Social Security, which Perry repeatedly denounced as a "Ponzi scheme."

"He pulled no punches when it came to this universally beloved, highly effective cancer on our society," said Colbert. As stock photos of senior citizens flashed on the screen, he continued: "Millions of unsuspecting young rubes are paying in, while the fat cats at the top sit back and rake in an average of $1,177 a month, all to fund their lavish lifestyles of motorized chairs and special teeth they can take out at night."

Colbert proposed a private solution to Social Security: Send the old people to Vegas.

"We just plunk them down at the slots, and let them feed their life savings in one nickel at a time. All they need to do is get two plums and a cherry and they've got themselves another week of blood pressure meds."

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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-- Meredith Blake
Twitter.com/MeredithBlake

Photo: Stephen Colbert and Rick Perry. Credits: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times and Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

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