Stephen Colbert questioned the political wisdom of sending Mitt Romney -- the personification of the Republican establishment -- out to make a reasoned appeal to stop Donald Trump.
The "Late Show" host said the GOP "broke the seal on Mitt's hyperbaric dignity chamber," and the failed 2012 presidential candidate tried to shake Trump supporters out of their infatuation by listing all of the real estate tycoon and reality TV star's failed investments.
"True, he has put his name on some terrible investments," Colbert said. "For example, four years ago he endorsed Mitt Romney for president."
Colbert said Trump voters reacted to Romney's logic like a horde of angry, howling orcs.
"They want to feast on your flesh, Mitt," he said.
Romney urged GOP voters to thwart Trump by voting for the strongest challenger in each state, to block the frontrunner from gaining the delegates he needed to win the presidential nomination.
"What an inspiring message for the world's greatest democracy," Colbert said. "Don't vote for who you think should be president, vote for whichever candidate in your state has the best chance of keeping Trump from getting enough delegates. It's a system often employed by bros in bars that rhymes with clock block."
Colbert, who has been highly critical of Trump, slammed Romney's undemocratic approach.
"This guy says that's the only way to save democracy from the voters," Colbert said. "After you vote, maybe they'll give you a sticker that says, 'I did what Mitt Romney told me to do.' This game of ganging up on the popular guy that's actually winning, that's not democracy -- that's a reality show strategy. And that's Trump's home turf. Do you honestly think you're going to be better at this than him?"
Republicans are playing a losing hand by trying to play politics with Trump, Colbert said.
"Trump is not running a political campaign," he said. "He's a reality show contestant who has established himself as a villain to polarize the audience and then do whatever it takes to get to the final tribal council to get the rose that lets him have sex with the top chef. Then you get to name a Supreme Court justice in the fantasy suite."
Even if the GOP's strategy works, Colbert wondered who would become the presidential nominee.
"Who's going to run?" he said. "The guys who lost? That doesn't seem right. You need someone who has been legitimately nominated by the voters."
"Hold on a minute!" Colbert said in a flash of inspiration. "Mitt, I don't know if it's occurred to you -- but you fit that description. Oh, do it, Mitt. Don't think about it -- just gather up the whole gang, the family. Get Tagg and Blitt and Guff and Tupp and just strap the dog to the top of the car and head to the convention in Cleveland. Please. I'm ready."
Watch the entire segment posted online by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: