October 22nd, 2007
11:30 AM ET
11 years ago

Colbert on presidential run: I am serious

Colbert insisted he's serious about getting on the South Carolina ballot.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Is Stephen Colbert serious when he says he wants to run for president in South Carolina?

Yes, according to the fake-news host himself who appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday after the very-real presidential candidate Barack Obama.

“I think a lot of people are asking whether—they say is this, is this real, you know? And to which I would say to everybody, this is not a dream, you’re not going to wake up from this,” Colbert told host Tim Russert. “I’m far real-er than Sam Brownback, let me put it that way.”

“I don’t want to be president,” he added. “I want to run for president. There’s a difference.”

Brownback, a Republican senator from Kansas, dropped his bid Friday after disappointing fundraising and low placement in most polls.

Colbert acknowledged his presidential campaign wouldn’t extend past his home state of South Carolina and said he will consider it successful if he just captures one state delegate.

“It’s proportional voting on the Democratic side - all I need is enough votes on the Democratic side to get one delegate, and I’ll feel like I’ve won. Because if, at the Democratic National Convention, somebody has to stand up and say, “The proud state of South Carolina, the palmetto state, the home of the greatest peaches and shrimp in the world, casts one vote for native son, Stephen Colbert,” I’d say I won.

Colbert has said he will seek to be a candidate in both the Democratic and Republican primaries in the Palmetto state. On his show Wednesday, he signed paperwork for both ballots. But as The Ticker reported last week, it remains to be seen whether the State parties will allow that to happen.

But Colbert, who didn’t break from his conservative-TV host act during the entire Meet the Press interview, gave plenty of hints he might not be too serious after all, including the revelation that he would consider embattled Idaho Sen. Larry Craig as his running-mate.

Though the Comedy Central host refused to say if he’d met “in the same room” with Craig to discuss the potential ticket.

“Sorry, my lawyer’s telling me to say no more,” he said.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Stephen Colbert
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Chris, Tustin CA

    I don't live in South Carolina,
    but Dr. Colbert is getting my
    vote as a write-in. If anyone doubts he's gutly enough to run a foreign policy, just go watch that correspondant's dinner speech again.

    October 22, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. Tom, Texas, USA

    Whose audience has the bigger collection of kooks, dupes, freaks, fools and idiots: Colbutt's, Jon Stewart's or Bill Maher's?

    October 22, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. looneytune

    I'll be writing in Stephen Colbail(this is Amercia) for the national election too. He beats Rudy and Hillary's comic act hands down..

    October 22, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. PollM, Dallas Tx

    As wonderful as it maybe.....

    Is Stephen Colbert Electable or a Dream?
    -–> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=766

    October 22, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. therealist

    Whose audience has the bigger collection of kooks, dupes, freaks, fools and idiots: – Tom, Texas, USA

    Ummm..., that would be the Clintons and their CNN fan base.

    October 22, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    Tom, Texas, USA

    The answer to your question is...FOX News!

    October 22, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. Steve

    Perfect, If Colbert got up there and raised some good points that made the other politicians realize some things... Was't there a Robin Williams movie something like this?

    October 22, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. David, Arlington, VA

    To Tom from Texas, lighten up. If you think Colbert's, Stewart's, or Maher's audiences are kooks, dupes, or idiots, you obviously don't pay attention to who's watching their shows. I'd argue that Bush's "audience," and similarly like-minded reactionary conservatives, are kookier and much more idiotic than the fans of the above. Those guys expose hypocrisy and speak truth to power, so if Colbert wants to inject himself into the presidential race, I'm all for it.

    October 22, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Kyle, Miami,FL


    the answer to your question would be Fox's Bill O' Reilly.

    October 22, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. Scott, Richmond, Va

    Colbutt... that's clever... did you get that from Faux News?

    October 22, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Tamar, Walkersville, MD

    Yay! Stephen Colbert definately gets my vote!!! Finally, a REAL American!

    October 22, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Chad, Kansas City MO

    Dear Tom from Texas; USA,

    I believe that we could insert the audiences of Rush 'the biggot' Limbaugh, Anne 'the biggot' Coulter or maybe Bill 'the anit-christ' O'Reilly.... If the ticket was Stewart and Col'butt' I would be pretty certain they would garner more votes than you would expect. That is how much our nation hates our current leader from TEXAS USA......By the way, I bought 'I am America, and so can you' absolutely histerical, puts the right wing into such a clearer light for me now!! Colbutt for President in SC BABY!!!!

    October 22, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. Todd, Merritt Island, FL

    The guy acts like the idea of a comic or other type of celebrity announcing they are running for president is something new. Truth is, this is totally PLAYED! (And, as usual,somewhat annoying) Why this got any media attention at all is a mystery.

    October 22, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. J, Tallahassee, FL

    I bet Tom from Texas voted for Bush both times...thanks a bunch Tom, I would rather be a kook, dupe (WTF is a dupe) freak, fool, or idiot by your standards than be like you ignorant, follow the main stream, conservatives that are allowing this great nation to be run into the ground by the worst president in recent history.

    October 22, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Ryan, Boston

    This is great because it shows what a sham the whole election process has become. I'd consider his acting no less phoney than Hillary's southern accent.

    October 22, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Angry- Lansing, Mi

    Just what we need, a joke maker preventing us from a possibly great candidate from SC. Way to waste more of America's time. Move to Canada, would you!

    October 22, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. American Way, NYC

    "Whose audience has the bigger collection of kooks, dupes, freaks, fools and idiots: Colbutt's, Jon Stewart's or Bill Maher's?" Actually none compared to FOX News...

    October 22, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. palex

    please, colbert for president. his skinny little butt might be suited for queer eye for the straight guy but not for presidency....

    October 22, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Cella, ny ny

    I am proud to be the kook, dupe, freak, fool and idiot all in one.
    And really, considering all three of them (Colbert, Stewart, Maher) all share the same manner of connecting with their audience, while still having different views, is what draws us to them. While the rest of the political candidates hee-haw about pretending like they have what it takes to save this god-forsaken world, colbert makes no excuses and isnt trying to build a utopia. Fact is, if he messes up at any point, he will be much easier forgiven than any of the other candidates. If the US isn't stabilized and the War in Iraq still ongoing even a year into the new president's term, believe me, we'll be so angry with ourselves for voting that person in, but the fact is, no one is perfect and all the candidates will make mistakes. Colbert's the only one with the humanity and the humor to keep it from escalating. Humor breaks tension, and frankly, thats really what we need right now.

    October 22, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Katie, Eastpointe, MI

    Maybe this is all just like that movie where Robin Williams ran for president. "Man of the Year"

    October 22, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. Davis, NJ

    ....i'd say Bill Oreilly's...
    listening to him requires a willing suspension of disbelief. His "news" is often untrue and leading. Sometimes i wonders whether the bozos who listen to him can sort through the facts from the avalanche of fiction.

    October 22, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Nathan, Bronx

    Ladies and Gents...we have a pure genious here. Colbert – "One deleg8 in '08"

    October 22, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Kate, Aurora CO

    This is very telling of our current times where the most prestigeous role in our society has been resorted to nothing but a joke. Our current president has the vocabulary and intelligence of a 15 year old highschool drop out and that has also contributed to the demise of the presidency. I can't imagine people would vote for this man not because he is a comedian but he has 0 experience in politics and thinks it is all a joke. The next president's role is so important because he/she must clean up the mess left by the current administration and if the current administration takes military action against Iran, which looks very likely, than the next president has a lot of work to do.

    October 22, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Seth, Minneapolis, MN

    "Whose audience has the bigger collection of kooks, dupes, freaks, fools and idiots: Colbutt's, Jon Stewart's or Bill Maher's?"

    I would have to go with either Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannidy.

    October 22, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. Scott, Boston, MA


    The answer to that question would be "anyone on Fox News", as has been proving by statistics numerous times.

    When the fake news shows on Comedy Central have a far more intelligent audience base than the fake news shows on Fox News, you know it's an odd time to be an American.

    October 22, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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