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Stephen Colbert tried very hard to take John Kasich’s campaign seriously on Tuesday’s Late Show the day before Kasich ended his bid for the Republican nomination. Kasich had absolutely no chance of defeating Donald Trump before he dropped out of the race. He was so far behind, even Marco Rubio, who ended his campaign in March, was ahead of him in the delegate count.
“It’s like the old saying: Quitters never win, but they still beat John Kasich,” Colbert says in the clip above. He then cuts to a very real, and very surreal, campaign ad—released by pro-Kasich Super PAC New Day for America — that imagines Kasich winning the Republican nomination.
“Why stop with the nomination?” Colbert wonders. “I can imagine an ad that’s even more optimistic.” Cue the Late Show‘s fake ad imagining a win for President Kasich. “What a long, strange trip it’s been,” says the narrator. “How did he go from third place in the 2016 Republican primary to the most successful five-term president in American history? Through charisma that can only be gained by years of eating deli meat.”
“After Barack Obama resigned early to make way for President Kasich, he balanced the budget, defeated ISIS, and repelled the spider-beasts from space,” the narrator says, as the video also shows Kasich winning a Super Bowl, an Oscar, and being crowned Bishop of Rome.