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. Texrat, Fort Worth, TX

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

    You left out the worst of the bunch, ie, Coulter, Limbaugh, O' Reilly, et al.

    And Colbert doesn't belong in your list. His show is OBVIOUS satire. I'm betting the show hosts you prefer are those engaging in the unintentional variety. Talk about fools!

    October 22, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    "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."

    By Kate, Aurora CO :

    This is an insult to all 15 yr old highschool drop outs. Bussh has the intelligence of a retarded puppy.

    October 22, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. R.L. Giarrusso, Springfield, VA

    let's hear it for the ONE candidate with the cajones to tell America that he's making everything up! The joke is really on the Repugnicans and the Dimwitcrats that there are enough people out there to take Colbert seriously to make this viable. He represents an actual alternative to the special interest group-driven, corporation endorsed and funded ballot box stuffers who have kept a stranglehold on elected offices for the past 50 years! Run as an Independent, Steve- in every state. Having somebody that can speak proper English, who actually understands history, and doesn't have an agenda dictated by the 1% who control the wealth of this country might just mean that America gets a leader who looks out for the rest of us! To co-opt another successful campaign slogan, "Give 'em Hell, Steven!"

    October 22, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Anonymous

    This is totally awesome. haha

    October 22, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    This is the direction the country is headed though, because now more than ever there is incredibly liberal pressure applied to every student when they go online.

    Posted By Oliver, Louisville, K

    I think its funny that people keep complaining that colleges are becoming more and more libral. Take a hint dummy, if the smartest thinkers in the country all seem to agree on a topic and you dont.... maybe something is wrong with you

    October 22, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |


    October 22, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Jon, Kansas

    It suprises me that so many people feel that a candidate needs to have some great resume of political experience.
    Does not the root of our country's problems come from all of our politicians being corrupt from being too long in politics?
    I would gladly take integrity, sincerety, intellect and LEADERSHIP over experience and a known last name.
    Hooray for Colbert for exposing how many people vote scared and uninformed in this country.

    October 22, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Russ C. (not from Texas)

    Yes, Colbert is a comedian....but our current President is a joke!

    October 22, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. David, Arlington, VA

    To Oliver from Louisville,

    I'm one of those so-called "young know-nothings" you referred to, so please explain to me why my generation and I are any less qualified to participate in political discourse and choose the next president than you or your generation? Young, college-aged people are already unenthusiastic about politics because we are so disillusioned about the political process. Thus, we end being under-represented and no one in politics or government pays attention to the issues we care about. While attitudes like yours show a frank disregard for young people and their opinions, they will only encourage us to get more involved. After all, maybe the future leaders of our country should actually have a say in our county's future. What's so bad about that, given that your generation, and our current political establishment, isn't exactly doing such a bang-up job at running the country.

    October 22, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Nikki, Denton Texas

    Just because someone is from Texas, doesn't mean we approve of the way GWB is handling this presidency.

    Colbert in '08'!!!

    October 22, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Anonymous

    As much as I love Colbert and love his show, I'm absolutely terrified of him running because people will vote for him. He will divert votes cast by young people (like me) from actual candidates. Because of it the election in SC (one of the important early states) might have the outcome of an unpopular choice winning because the youth vote was stolen by Colbert. However this is all totally hypothetical since there's still a 95% chance he wouldn't actually run.

    October 22, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Dave, New York, NY

    I do not think he is serious & the Presidential Campaign is a serious thing. Let's not mock our country please!

    October 22, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. R.L. Giarrusso, Springfield, VA

    personally, this old geezer is delighted with the prospect of a POSSIBILITY that someone who would do what's in the best interests of his country might actually get enough votes to WIN, rather than the certainty that without him, we can only at best vote defensively to elect the lesser of two evils...
    if he ACTUALLY takes this seriously, Colbert could surround himself with some decent people that don't already "owe their souls to the company store..."
    As for experience, it doesn't matter who rocks a boat that's already sinking, just that we GET OUT and START FRESH when the opportunity is there...

    October 22, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. leo, LA, CA

    To anonymous:

    I don't consider myself young, but I'm sure you do. I've been out of high school for almost 13 years so if that's young then so be it. I would vote for Colbert. Why? Because he's more real than anyone of the repub's or democrats running. There isn't a single one running that I really want to vote for! The least evil is Rudy. But if Colbert actually runs, it is someone real. So if he makes it past SC he's got my vote!

    October 22, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Ames Tiedmean, Austin, TEXAS

    Perhaps this is just what America needs!

    October 22, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Larry, West Covina CA

    Did any of you Colbert disciples see him buckle on Meet the Press. Tim Rusert broke him in half. The guy is making a total mockery of the Office of the President of the United States. He' a TOTAL JOKE!

    October 22, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. jules, Greenville NC

    Colbert is a Man's man. I hope he really does run in the future, I'd vote for him.

    October 22, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |


    October 22, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. solid

    I like Colbert just fine, but I'm going to vote for Pat Paulsen.

    October 22, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. Jeremy, Portland OR

    I really enjoy reading the many comments from people who are deeply concerned that Colbert will draw attention away from the "serious canidates." How can anyone look at the horse-and-pony show both parites are putting on right now and see "serious canidates?" I see a dozen power-hungry liars in $1200 suits. Why not vote for Colbert, there is no way he could be worse than what's already on the menu.

    Plus I like his strong stance against bears...

    October 22, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Angela, WPB, Fl

    I have several problems with him running.

    1) he said " he doesn't want to President, he just wants to run."
    2)Allowing a Comedian to run for the most important position in the world is not going to help earn back the respect of the world.
    3) He will take valuable votes away from another candidate who actually wants to be Pres. – like the young voters as cited in the earlier post by Anonymous.

    We need someone serious and willing to tackle the serious issues with a serious attitude.
    War, global warming, health care etc., etc. are not sit-coms – they're not funny.
    Stephen is taking his satirical attitude too far. We need him to make us laugh after a hard day – not have him effect world policy with his flippant, superficial comedy style.

    That being said, I really like his show.

    October 22, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Rex

    Steven Colbert for President and George Carolyn as Vice President. It is time we have some serious candidates with agendas—whatever they may be.

    October 22, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. C. K. Justus Wi

    This is America, we are suppose to be a free country and if he wants to run for president he should be able to get his name on any and all states he wishes to compete it without any restrictions whatsoever.
    I am tired of the rich and power setting up rules that you can't run on a party label unless we say so or a state putting in roadblocks to keep you off the ballot.

    October 22, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Even tongue-in-cheek, Colbert is better than anybody on the GOP-side!

    And when you think about it, that's sad.

    Of course, Bush has made running for president from the GOP side as inviting as captaining the Titanic.

    October 22, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    To Dave in new York:

    Colbert can't make a mockery of running.

    Bush has corned the market on that!!!

    October 22, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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