TV

SNL Cold Open Mocks Republican Senators “Ride or Die” Support for Trump

Show asks "What would it take?" to lose GOP support—and finds no answers

NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' cold open sketch, May 11, 2019. (Screenshot via NBC)
NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' cold open sketch, May 11, 2019. (Screenshot via NBC)
By Reed Richardson / May 12, 2019 9:53 am

Saturday Night Live‘s cold open sketch this week took dead aim at the increasingly absurd depths Republican Senators will stoop to to support President Trump, even when his rhetoric, personal behavior, and administration policies directly contradict their own.

Cast members Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Beck Bennett played Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, and Mitch McConnell, respectively, being interviewed on NBC’s Meet the Press by Kyle Mooney’s Chuck Todd.

Beginning with tariffs, which Republican free trade orthodoxy has long opposed, Todd points out the hypocrisy of the current GOP’s sudden conversion to Trump’s protectionist trade war policies.

“When you have a president that is a financial genius and a business Jesus like Donald Trump, you just gotta trust him,” McKinnon’s Graham warbles. “So, you’ve done a complete 180 on the president, even after calling him a jackass during the [2016] campaign?” Todd asks. Graham’s response: “Listen, I am a man of convictions and principles…unless he can help me then it’s ‘New Lindsey, who dis?”

Strong’s Collins impression skewered the Maine Senator’s consistently feckless and milquetoast responses to Trump’s misconduct and anti-abortion policies. “Chuck, I’ll be the first to admit that some of the things this administration is doing makes me want to shake my head vigorously and even wag my finger once…perhaps twice.”

Todd then runs through a number of increasingly absurd scenarios in a “What Would It Take?” segment to gauge the blind fealty of the GOP Senators on the panel.

“What if the president open-hand slaps you right in the face—what would you say then?” Todd asks. McKinnon’s Graham offers the deadpan reply: “Harder, Daddy.”

Then, he offers up various alternate futures where Trump announces he’s not Christian but is instead Jewish, then Muslim, or he divorces Melania and then marries Stormy Daniels or Kathy Griffin or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But still, he gets no takers in abandoning Trump.

Finally, McConnell offered up a possible deal breaker for his caucus “Let’s say hypothetically [Trump] got gay married…” then Graham chimed in “…yeah, uh, to the leader of ISIS…” and Collins added on “…and they had matching diapers fashioned out of the original Constitution.” To which McConnell concluded: “Well, then maybe…oh who are we kidding? We’ll always be ‘ride or die’ bitches” for Trump.

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