Stephen Colbert, onstage recently at Comedy Central's "Night… (Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty…)
WASHINGTON — Comedian Stephen Colbert said Mitt Romney's debate performance put the Republican presidential nominee on a "rocket ride to plausible," even though it remains unclear whether the candidate is a moderate or conservative politician.
"We don't know, because he seems absolutely sincere as a moderate. And he also seems pretty sincere as a severe conservative," Colbert said on "Meet the Press." "That's not a dig. It's honest confusion. Because he's got a good shot of winning."
The Comedy Central star said Romney's game-changing debate performance against President Obama reversed the prospects of the candidate who until then "was just a walking, shambling mound of weakness."
"That guy is on fire," he said. "Now he's the man, he's got these long, luscious coattails and everybody's jumping on board."
PHOTOS: Memorable presidential debate moments
Colbert, who once launched his own exploratory bid for president and has created a political action committee as a way to showcase the power of money in politics, said he has no interest in running for office.
But he believes the choice before voters this fall offers a difference — even though "I don't know what the difference is."
"I think that there is a possibility that Obama would be, say, more aggressive — a more aggressive reformer or changer in the second act of his presidency. And I don't really know how. I also don't know how Mitt Romney would govern. He might govern as a technocrat," he said.
"I know there's got to be a difference between these two men or we're all part of a huge cruel joke."
Follow Politics Now on Twitter and Facebook