Ted Cruz gets booed on gay marriage in interview with Colbert

Ted Cruz appeared on the “The Late Show with Steven Colbert” last night and was booed over his remarks about gay marriage (watch above). Colbert had to turn to the crowd and ask them not to boo his guest, even though they disagreed with him. Some reflections on this appearance:

1. It is amazing how quickly the crowd turned on Cruz after he expressed reluctance about gay marriage, but it’s not surprising. We already knew this, but this is just more evidence that there is no silent majority out there supporting the Christian view of marriage. A majority of Americans and popular culture have turned decisively against supporters of traditional marriage. So much so, that even to mention a pro-traditional marriage stance will get you booed and jeered on late night TV–and that’s pretty hard to do in venues that are noted for their airy, insubstantial fare. But this is the world that we now live in.

2. Colbert treated Cruz tougher than any other politician he’s interviewed. There weren’t many laughs as Colbert grilled Cruz. As Russell Berman observes at The Atlantic:

Yet even by Colbert’s standards, his interview with Cruz featured much tougher treatment than any of his other political interviews to date. When he hosted Jeb Bush on his debut show, he mixed in some serious queries with a number of gags. Colbert steered almost completely clear of politics in his moving interview with Biden. And when Bernie Sanders appeared on the show last week, Colbert gave him space to deliver his campaign talking points with little interruption.

Indeed, Colbert seems to be developing a habit of revealing his attitude toward a politician in the different ways he shows them off his stage. Concluding his interview with Bush, he told him, by way of a compliment, that he might possibly vote for him. Colbert said goodbye to Biden by practically pleading with him to run for president. With Cruz, there were no deadpan, and no praise. “I really appreciated you sharing your views with us,” Colbert said, “and good luck with the campaign.”

I’m sure this appearance will be a lesson for conservatives who are considering an invitation to appear on this program.

3. It is going to be increasingly difficult for traditional marriage proponents to run for national office. That view of marriage–even though it was very recently the majority view–has fallen into disrepute. And that means that any faithful Christian running for office will have a de facto religious test applied to him or her on this issue. Christian or not, this issue will make the 2016 general election campaign difficult for whoever wins the GOP nomination.

27 Responses to Ted Cruz gets booed on gay marriage in interview with Colbert

  1. Ian Shaw September 22, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

    “It is amazing how quickly the crowd turned on Cruz after he expressed reluctance about gay marriage, but it’s not surprising.”

    Denny, the show is based in New York, one of the most liberal cities in the country. It’s probably one of the largest cities in the country with a high percentage of lost people. We are all born with enmity against God. If not for the saving work of Christ and the workings of the Holy Spirit, any one of us would have reacted that way.

    It’s not amazing how quickly they turned on him. I would say that response time is probably the average from lost people.

    Colbert’s true colors are showing. The person is not the persona from his previous endeavor.

    • Denny Burk September 22, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

      Keep in mind that many (if not most) audience members on shows like this are tourists. They are not New Yorkers.

  2. Bob Wilson September 22, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    It’s actually an excellent interview. Colbert asked very fair questions about Reagan’s policies as well as same-sex marriage and gave Cruz plenty of time to respond with no interruptions. And Cruz did very well.

    • Denny Burk September 22, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

      The questions are totally fair. Candidates should be expected to answer questions like this. What I’m saying is that his other interviews haven’t been this rigorous. Watch the Biden interview, for example. There wasn’t a single tough question, and he’s the sitting Vice President of the United States.

      • James Stanton September 22, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

        True, I wish this was the treatment for all Presidential candidates. Lost in the Trump nonsense is the fact that we’re trying to elect the best-qualified person to lead the nation as President. What’s nice about Cruz is that he’s very straight forward and clear about what he beliefs.

        Biden isn’t a candidate at the moment. His appearance was more notable for the human interest factor associated with his son’s death.

  3. Johnny Mason September 22, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    You may be right about the elect-ability of pro-marriage candidates, but this was a hostile crowd that was cheering tax increases and amnesty, so I wouldn’t put much stock in them. They are not exactly a representative slice of Americana.

    • buddyglass September 22, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

      When it comes to taxes, a majority of Americans favor higher taxes, with the caveat that they be applied to someone other than themselves.

      For instance, a CBS/NYT poll in May 2015 asked “Do you favor or oppose raising taxes on people earning more than $1 million per year?” 68% were in favor vs. 30% opposed.

      An ABC/WaPo poll in January 2015 asked “Overall, do you think large business corporations pay their fair share in taxes, pay too little, or pay too much?” 19% said “fair share”, 9% said “too much” and 65% said “too little”.

      On the other hand, when asked about their *own* personal tax burden, way more people feel they pay “more than their share” than feel they pay “less than their share”.

      So an across-the-board tax increase would not be widely supported. A narrow increase on a minority group (say, the wealthy) would probably enjoy broad support.

      With respect to amnesty, there’s clear majority support. Check various poll results here:

      http://pollingreport.com/immigration.htm

      The breakdown is roughly 50-55% “pathway to citizenship, i.e. amnesty”, 10-15% “let them stay but no path to citizenship” and 30% “find them and deport them”.

  4. Ken Temple September 22, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    Thanks for pointing this out. After I watched it on You Tube – there were others on the side that were very good.
    Ted Cruz did an excellent job in the hour long interview with Katie Couric – that was the first one I have ever seen that allowed enough time for him to answer everything. I was very impressed with Cruz and Katie was stumped.

    Also, Cruz did well against Chris Matthews – Matthews even agreed with him on some things.

    I did not realize the details of Cruz’s father fighting Castro until these 2 interviews. He has more of my attention now.

  5. Ken Temple September 22, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    I encourage everyone to google and search for Cruz’s interviews with Katie Couric (Yahoo News) and Chris Matthews. Very substantive.

  6. Christiane Smith September 23, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    Cruz echoes ‘the base’ with these words: ” “I don’t think we should entrust governing our society to five unelected lawyers in Washington.”

    But people are wondering about his comment because Cruz once clerked at the Supreme Court (Rehnquist), and Cruz absolutely knows that the Court is not made up of ‘lawyers’, it’s made up of judges (Justices). He is very well aware that by order of the Constitution, these justices were NOT to be elected, but appointed, and that this worked into our very valuable system of ‘checks and balances’. The Constitution provides for the structure of the Supreme Court.

    My question is this: in the manner of so many other candidates who play to the base to increase contributions to their campaign, has Cruz joined in the ‘game’ even though he is an educated man who understands the system of checks and balances and how the Supreme Court works??? It looks not so good for him, in the eyes of many Americans, if he is game-playing . . . it destroys trust in his credibility as a person of integrity. My opinion. I don’t mind others disagreeing, of course, but I thought it was important to say my piece about this because some of his comments are hurting his own image in the eyes of many.

  7. Ken Temple September 23, 2015 at 7:34 am #

    Cruz’s point, I think; is that those 5 unelected judges (the Liberals) are judicial activists who make up law out of thin air – and that that is the problem, which needs fixing.

    • Ian Shaw September 23, 2015 at 8:00 am #

      Agreed. Not just out of thin air, but their job is not to make laws at all.

    • Christiane Smith September 23, 2015 at 8:13 am #

      Hi KEN,
      thanks for responding . . . I suppose the truth is that among conservatives and liberals, the anger directed towards SCOTUS depends on whose ox is being gored. 🙂

      No one thinks that all of the decisions of the Court are good ones, no. But the institution of the Court is a part of our system of government and to change that system would mean to alter the Constitution in major ways.

      I can only imagine what would happen in our country if the system of checks and balances were done away with . . . maybe the wisdom of the Founding Fathers is greater than we know, because they had come from a time when there was a great fear of any one part of our government becoming too powerful.

      A perfect system? No. But it is what the Founding Fathers gave us. And they knew something about living under those with too much power and they tried to protect us from that when they formed our government as they did. I can respect the wisdom that came from their experiences, yes. I am grateful for what they gave us.

      • brettcody76 September 23, 2015 at 10:42 am #

        Cruz’s point is that the 5COTUS is in fact doing away with ‘interpreting’ the law and is acting out of judicial tyranny to create laws. The problem as Cruz sees it is systemic. If they were following the system and not abusing the system then no one would be in danger…and the lawyer comment is to drive home the fact that they should know better.

      • steve hays September 24, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

        Christiane takes judicial supremacy for granted. That, however, has been challenged as a historical anachronism by Constitutional scholars like Robert George, Ed Whelan , Michael Paulsen, Paul Moreno, Robert Lowry Clinton, and Larry Kramer.

        • Christiane Smith September 24, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

          Hi STEVE,
          I take the structure of the Supreme Court as it was given by the Founders as important in the way it contributes to the balance of powers. ‘For granted’ ? Those are your words, Steve. I’ll hand them back to you unharmed. 🙂

          • steve hays September 24, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

            You treat your understanding of what the founding fathers (allegedly) intended as an unquestionable given, without investigating Constitutional scholarship which would correct your assumptions.

    • James Stanton September 23, 2015 at 10:06 am #

      Ken, John Roberts is not a Liberal and you calling him one does not make it so. This is the same John Roberts, on behalf of a conservative majority, that ruled to repeal parts of the Voting Rights Act that was passed by strong majorities in Congress. If that’s not judicial activism I’m not sure what is. I find that conservatives call rulings they don’t like judicial activism and simply ignore rulings they don’t care much about.

      John Roberts is probably the smartest and most effective conservative political figure in the nation at the moment. He will continue to advance the conservative cause for years and people who do not understand what he has done and has yet to do will continue to think he is some kind of liberal. That’s absurd.

      • Ken Temple September 24, 2015 at 8:46 am #

        Hi James,
        The 5 liberals I was referring to did not include Roberts on the homosexual marriage case, since he voted rightly on that issue.

        But Roberts was wrong on the ObamaCare case, and that was very surprising.

  8. Ken Temple September 23, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    Some Supreme Court rulings have been later overturned, like the famous Dred Scott case, because they were just morally wrong to begin with.

    ObamaCare and Obergefell (said homosexuals can be “married” and redefined the meaning fo the word, “marriage”) are both morally wrong, just like the Dred Scott decision was morally wrong, and hopefully, will be over-turned in the future.

  9. Travis Henderson September 23, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    I do love how every time the Supreme Court judges don’t rule in their favor the conservatives want to get rid of them.

  10. Sam September 23, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

    “a pro-traditional marriage stance will get you booed and jeered on late night TV–and that’s pretty hard to do in venues that are noted for their airy, insubstantial fare. But this is the world that we now live in.”

    The REGION you live in, not world. Pro-LGBT Marriage viewpoints are a global minority. At best if the entire western world (NA, Oceania and Europe) supports LGBT marriage, that represents 18% of the globe. South & Central America and the Caribbean largely do not support LGBT marriage (notable exceptions include Argentina and Uruguay). Asia and Africa are largely against LGBT marriage.

    So in essence perhaps 10-15% of the globe supports gay marriage (50% of 18% plus marginal percentages for SA, Asia and Africa).

    • Denny Burk September 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

      Good point.

    • Christiane Smith September 24, 2015 at 3:09 am #

      I am looking at the ‘great divide’ and I’m thinking, how does the Church minister to families that are not ‘traditional’ ? In the old days, if you were a divorced and remarried person, you were ‘outside of the fold’ so to speak. Today, after our society is primarily made up of broken families, the Church has found a place for divorced and remarried folks, and their children.

      What is the future role of the Church towards other ‘families’ which today are very much ‘outside the fold’? They still need ministry. They still need community. Their children still need the Word. And they themselves need the encouragement of the Christian community around them in caring for their children and in supporting one another in times of sickness and in times of grieving.

      So maybe, rather than being worried about how ‘the culture’ views marriage and families, should we not be thinking about what the Church needs to do to bring Christ into the lives of those who are now ‘outside the fold’ and sitting in the place of the lepers of our day? We are called into service just as Our Lord came to serve, and in His Words, He teaches us about our own calling as His Church: “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

      So what is next for the Church? What is the place of these ‘sinners’ in Our Lord’s Church? What is the place of the Christian family called to serve them? Easy to condemn. Hard to reach out when we see ourselves as ‘better than that other sinner’. But I think we are called to reach out and take the hand of the leper who is sick, and we need to do this as Church, in His Name, because that is the work He came to accomplish.

  11. Curt Day September 24, 2015 at 8:04 am #

    Why is it considered Christian to prohibit same-sex marriage in society? Why isn’t it just as Biblical to preach traditional marriage but to allow for same-sex marriage in society? And note that I am saying in society because we must maintain exclusive traditional marriage in the Church and when we evangelize and teach God’s Word to the world.

    If Cruz and others are booed it is because they are trying to prohibit others from enjoying marriage with the person they choose simply because it doesn’t fit his religious views of what marriage should be.

    As for Colbert’s interview, it is the kind he should have been conducting with Bush, but didn’t. The reason(s) why Cruz was interviewed that way while Bush wasn’t are unknown.

  12. Chris Ryan September 24, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    People who support discrimination against LGBT people might find themselves increasingly booed. To wit, I found this poll: “Among its many findings, the poll reported that majorities of every major religious group now support legal nondiscrimination policies to protect LGBT people: of those surveyed, 71 percent of Catholics, 67 percent of white mainline Protestants, 60 percent of white evangelical Protestants, and 59 percent of non-white Protestants said they would back laws to shield LGBT individuals against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing.” 74% of Americans think its more important to prevent the discrimination against LGBT people than it is to support religious liberty. This argues that if evangelicals want to remain relevant in the future then we need to adopt the political tactics (not the religious beliefs) of the Mormon Church which has struck political compromises on this issue.

  13. senecagriggs September 24, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    As an Evangelical, I’m not actually concerned about staying “relevant.” I’m very concerned about loving God and following Biblical mandates. I’m not interested in political compromises.

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