(Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert said during an interview that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is on fire and on "a rocket ride to plausible" since he outperformed President Barack Obama in the first presidential debate earlier this month.
Colbert told NBC's David Gregory on "Meet the Press" on Sunday morning Romney is "on a rocket ride to plausible at this point," and that he believes the GOP candidate and Obama would govern differently.
"I'm not Ralph Nader. You know what I mean? I don't think that there's no difference. There is a difference. I don't know what the difference is, though," said the comedian.
Colbert added there is a possibility that Obama would be "a more aggressive reformer or changer in the second act of his presidency. "And I don't really know how – I also don't know how Mitt Romney would govern."
He went on to say that Romney might govern as a technocrat. "You know, that sort of seems to have been his career – as, like, the guy from Pepsi who comes in to run G.M. You know, he can't tell us what he's going to do, because he hasn't seen the books yet."
Romney, Colbert said, "seems absolutely sincere as a moderate, and he also seemed sincere as a severe conservative." And that's not a dig, he insisted. "It's honest confusion, because he has a good shot at winning, and if he does, I hope he's a good president."
Before the first debate on Oct. 3, the Republican candidate "was just a walking, shambling mound of weakness." But now, "that guy is on fire," he said. "Now he's the man, he's got these long, luscious coattails and everybody's jumping on board."
And if Obama wins, Colbert added, "I hope he keeps some of the promises he didn't keep the first time." He repeated there's got to be a difference between the two candidates or "we're all part of a huge cruel joke."
Meanwhile, on the eve of the second of the three presidential debates set for Tuesday at Hofstra University near New York City, the race remains tight nationally.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll has Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 46 percent among likely voters. However, the latest Gallup daily tracking poll shows Romney ahead of the president with 49 percent support to 47 percent among likely voters.