Earlier this week, Ted Cruz appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  It was an interesting appearance in a few respects, but what stood out to me is how confident and relaxed Cruz remained in the face of Colbert’s questions and an often hostile audience.

When faced with Colbert’s regurgitation of common talking points among the left about Ronald Reagan (he raised taxes and supported amnesty), Cruz took the questions in stride and explained his own stance on both issues and on conservatism more generally.

Watch:

Cruz reminds Colbert that Reagan did things with which he can agree:

But Ronald Reagan also signed the largest tax cut in history. He reduced government regulations from Washington. And economic growth exploded. You know, when Reagan came in, from 1978 to 1982 economic growth averaged less than one percent a year. There is only one other four-year period where that is true. That is true from 2008 to 2012 and what Reagan did, he cut taxes. He cut regulations, he unchained small businesses, and economic growth boomed. Millions of people were lifted out of poverty and prosperity in the middle class.

Much of the audience applause comes when Colbert mentions compromise, but it’s interesting that in his interview with Bernie Sanders, Colbert doesn’t push him on compromise at all.  Apparently, compromise is only attractive when it’s Republicans doing the “compromising.”

Last night, Bill O’Reilly did an interesting segment on the Colbert-Cruz interview in which he and his panel review many of Reagan’s policies and how things have changed since then.

The segment begins at about the ten minute mark, watch:

We can’t know what Reagan would do in today’s political and global climate, but one reason that conservatives resist amnesty today is that it was, for a variety of reasons, a failure in 1986.  It’s hard to imagine that Reagan would suggest repeating today the same sort of comprehensive plan that didn’t achieve its intended goals nearly 30 years ago.

Here’s the full Cruz interview on the Late Show: