While Mike Pence is widely believed to have won this week’s vice presidential debate, the record could be marred by using what he claimed to be an old Russian proverb. Stephen Colbert decided to look into the matter on Wednesday’s “Late Show.”
“This could be the biggest Trump campaign scandal since Melania quoted the ancient proverbs of Michelle Obama,” Colbert said, alluding to Melania Trump’s plagiarism of the First Lady’s convention speech.
The proverb in question? As Pence stated it during the debate, “A Russian bear never dies, it just hibernates.” It’s a pretty good Russian proverb. The trouble is that it’s allegedly neither Russian, nor old.
“Normally when you hear a proverb, you smile,” Colbert said, “you wait for grandpa to nod off, then rifle through his wallet before you tiptoe out of his room. He’s not going to miss a 20. But this one deserves a little more attention, because it has come to light that Mike Pence may have just made up that proverb about Russia.”
Buzzfeed rounded up the reactions to Pence’s proverb, which included some razzing on social media, and some fact-checking by experts who said the alleged Russian proverb didn’t exit until Pence brought it into existence. Furthermore, the site discovered that the only other instance of its use was by Mike Pence in a 2014 interview.
“Those were the ancient days, 2014,” Colbert said. “Those were the ancient times when we cured diseases by pouring ice buckets on our heads.”
Colbert then read from a book called, “Mike Pence’s Fake Russian Proverbs.” For example, he read, “The wise polar bear pretends to be deaf when asked to defend the orange jacka–.”
Watch the whole Colbert segment below:
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