Stephen Colbert on Trump’s 2024 bid launch: ‘Even his family didn’t show’

Late-night hosts talk Trump’s 2024 presidential announcement at Mar-a-Lago, absent most of his children or GOP politicians

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert lamented the official start of Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign on Wednesday evening, following the ex-president’s Tuesday announcement. “It’s 2016 all over again,” he joked, “crank up Beyoncé’s Lemonade, throw on the all-female Ghostbusters, because we are Pokémon Go-ing back to hell.”

Trump’s announcement at Mar-a-Lago, a 63-minute speech during which attendees unsuccessfully tried to leave the ballroom, was near universally reviewed as boring even in the conservative press. “It’s true, he seems disinterested, low energy, and frankly spent,” the Late Night host said. “That mob is gonna have to change their chant to ‘wake him up!’”

Trump’s speech “was such a lame event, even his family didn’t show”, he added. Don Jr’s flight got “stuck in bad weather”, and Ivanka was a no-show; she posted on her Instagram story that she did not “plan to be involved in politics” because “this time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children.

“This time? You know they were also your young children last time,” said Colbert. “They were actually younger children. But you know what they say – the younger the kids are, the less they need you.

“Start to finish, this announcement was a pathetic, drowsy word shamble toward Snoozeville,” he concluded. “He didn’t ride a single escalator, and during what little I watched, I thought: I have never seen anything sadder in my life.”

Even Fox News cut away from Trump’s speech, in a style Colbert described as “real ‘stop grandpa’s toast at the wedding’ energy.”

Seth Meyers

“Even with so much in their favor, the GOP still managed to throw it all away by marching in lockstep behind the least popular politician in the history of polling, Donald Trump,” said Seth Meyers on Late Night, referring to the GOP’s disappointing performance in the midterms earlier this month.

Trump “crisscrossed the country to campaign for his hand-picked clown car of doinks and bozos in key states across the country, and with very few exceptions, they lost”, Meyers explained, prompting many Republicans to urge him to delay his 2024 campaign announcement.

“It’s funny that after six years of getting bullied and humiliated by Donald Trump and drawing red lines that they crossed over and over again with no repercussions, they suddenly thought they could start telling him what to do,” Meyers laughed. “It’s like when I tell my kids to behave because this time Daddy is serious, and they just smirk and tell me, ‘shut the fuck up, go get us some frozen yogurt.’

“I think I speak on behalf of sane people everywhere when I say we’re done with this shit,” he added of the announcement itself. “We’re not doing 2016 all over again. No more shots of empty podiums, no more hour-long interviews where he gets to lie unchallenged, no more breathlessly reading every single deranged statement he farts out on social media.”

Trump’s campaign sets up a likely showdown with his main rival in the GOP, Ron DeSantis, who handily won re-election as Florida’s governor this month. “I have no idea which of these assholes will out-asshole the other asshole and win,” said Meyers, “but it will certainly be interesting to watch them destroy each other.”

Jimmy Kimmel

Donald Trump was “back by unpopular demand”, said Jimmy Kimmel, though “if he beat Joe Biden in 2020 as he constantly said he did, he shouldn’t even be allowed to run. He’s termed out now.”

Kimmel theorized that Trump’s main motivation for a second term in office is protection from several criminal and civil investigations. “He’s basically a bank robber on the run from the cops,” he explained, “and the White House is the dumpster behind an Arby’s he’s trying to hide in.”

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago announcement was a “weird, rambling speech with so many false statements, it makes you wonder where he’s even getting them,” Kimmel noted, such as bragging that he had “gone decades” without starting a war. “Even Donald Trump thinks his four years in office felt like decades,” Kimmel laughed. “He was so low-energy, we might have to start calling him Jeb.”

Kimmel also noted Ivanka’s conspicuous absence from Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday; the former president’s daughter said in a statement that “while I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena”.

“I don’t know, he can’t do this without Ivanka,” said Kimmel. “That’s like rebooting Sex & the City without Samantha. I mean, you need that character.”

Guardian staff

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