Sen. Elizabeth Warren stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week to chat over a South Carolina-themed meal and play a game of guess-the-billionaire — with help from humorous clues from the host himself.
One of the Massachusetts presidential candidate’s signature plans is to increase taxes on the richest Americans in order to pay for her her sweeping proposals, including expanding health care and making public college free.
But before she pursues any of that, Stephen Colbert told her he wanted to make sure she knew exactly who she was planning to tax.
Colbert, 55, had Warren, 70, hold cards in front of her with pictures of prominent billionaires’ faces on them as she tried to guess whose photo she was holding with some helpful (if mocking) clues from Colbert.
“Never shows emotion … looks like he cut his own bangs with toenail clippers …” Colbert said, trying to lead Warren to name Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
“Uh, uh… Bill Gates!” she guessed, drawing laughter from the crowd, before correctly guessing Zuckerberg when Colbert gave her the clue: “[He] knows everything about you.”
The segment saw the senator make a handful of her own wisecracks, as Colbert helped her guess names like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and her fellow Democratic candidates Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer.
“[He’s] like the underbelly of a hairless cat,” Colbert jokingly said, trying to get Warren to guess Bezos.
“Oh god, that’s so many . ..,” she replied, seemingly stumped and drawing even more laughter from the audience.
When Warren first announced her presidential bid, she also unveiled her proposed Ultra-Millionaire Tax on Americans with more than $50 million. (There is some debate about whether it would be constitutional.)
“The richest 130,000 families in America now hold nearly as much wealth as the bottom 117 million families combined,” her campaign website states, arguing that “a small group of families has taken a massive amount of the wealth American workers have produced, while America’s middle class has been hollowed out.”
Wealth — who deserves it, how much it should be taxed — has been a key issue sorting the various Democratic presidential candidates.
Front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders has molded his campaign around the ideology of closing the country’s wealth gap with similar plans to Warren to tax the nation’s richest “1 percent,” while Bloomberg’s and Steyer’s bids have offered an unusual contrast in the party’s race for the nomination.
Bloomberg, who is one of the richest people in the world and has a net worth of about $60 billion, according to Forbes, launched a late bid for the presidency in November and is projected to have spent well over $500 million in political ads heading into the “Super Tuesday” primaries on March 3, according to media tracking firm Advertising Analytics.
Unusually, Bloomberg abstained from the presidential race until nearly a year after most other Democratic candidates and isn’t on state primary tickets until the March 3 voting.
Instead, the former New York City mayor has spent big on a nationwide ad blitz in hopes of winning equally big on March 3.
“He hasn’t been part of this squabbling and bickering,” fashion designer and TV host Tim Gunn told PEOPLE earlier this year when announcing his endorsement for Bloomberg. “Now he can just ride in like a knight in shining armor.”
Colbert nudged the criticism against Bloomberg during Warren’s appearance as he tried to get her to guess his name.
“He’s spending so much money on this election that right now this might actually be a commercial for him and we don’t know it,” Colbert said. Warren knew his name immediately.
The Democratic race continues this Saturday with the South Carolina primary.
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