Late Night: Colbert rips Santorum's false claims about California schools

  • April 4, 2012

Rick Santorum, watch out: Stephen Colbert is watching you. 

In recent weeks, the satirical host has made it his mission to fact-check the hyperbole-prone presidential candidate; he even launched a Twitter hashtag, #inmyheart, ridiculing Santorum's tall tales about Dutch euthanasia.

On Tuesday night, Colbert once again criticized Santorum, this time for his false claim that "seven or eight of the California system of universities don’t even teach an American history course."

"That is an outrage. American history should be one of the cornerstones of college education," Colbert said with feigned indignance. "The only thing that would be more outrageous is if this were true."

As it turns out, all the California state universities and all but one UC school offer American history courses; the only one that doesn't, UC San Francisco, is a medical school. Santorum's outlandish charge was enough to make Nancy Thompson, chair of Cal State East Bay's history department and a Republican, remark, "I think he just kind of pulled it out... I don’t know where he pulled it out of."

Colbert presented a different theory: that Santorum had, once again, pulled the allegations out of "his heart." 

He also took aim at Santorum's dubious sourcing. "Like all critics of higher education, Rick subscribes to the same West Coast newspaper I do. It’s the Something From the State of California News," Colbert said, as he scanned the headlines of the fake newspaper. "Oh, what do you know? At UC Davis you get an 'F' if you’re not gay."

He ended the segment with a word of warning for the candidate. "I certainly hope that when Rick Santorum moves on to the California primary June 5th, he does not get an intestinal blockage, because I do not think the doctors out there are as qualified as Santorum to pull things out of his [rear end]."

SEE ARTICLE AND THE VIDEO CLIP PICKED UP BY COMEDY CENTRAL (Nancy Thompson soundbite picked after 90 seconds of the Colbert clip)

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