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. JC, Motor City MI

    "Kooks, dupes, freaks, fools"...I guess I'm all of the above.

    I like 'em all...Colbert, Stewart, Coulter, Hannity and the factor.

    No denying Fox News, NBC, etc all have a certain slant to them, but everybody needs to get over it.

    Good thing my self worth isn't defined by all you jerks.

    Steve gets an electoral vote for sure. This guy is a master at self-promotion.

    Hey Angry from Lansing, MI. I bet Steve could do a better job than those jokers we got in Lansing. They are the real joke. What a great opportunity they had this year with all the changes in the tax law and they blew it. Made us the laughing stock of the country.

    October 22, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Mark. Shreveport, LA

    Mr. Colbert, you're no Pat Paulson.

    CNN, we are at war, we're inching towards socialism, fires are raging in the west, the south is in drought, and you can't find anything better to report?

    October 22, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Andrew, Newberg OR

    To Tom from Texas...

    Thank you for being every Republican conservative in America embodied into one idiot. If you can't find fault with the man's policy, attack his character or that of his audience.

    October 22, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Jon, East Longmeadow MA

    "we're inching towards socialism"

    Really? Didn't Bush veto the SCHIP bill because that would be "socializing" medicine? Don't worry, Republicans, we're a lot closer to the full-on plutocracy you're fighting for than socilism. Too bad you'll find out too late that you, average joe republican, were never part of the "priviliaged" class that was meant to be worshipped.

    October 22, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. josh

    Hey, isn't this guy one of those peoples who were arrested protesting in DC over the weekend?

    October 22, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Colbert should be checked by a qualified psychiatrist!

    Has this man no shame? Has he no allegiance or loyalty to his Nation?

    Has he no pride for himself?

    Has he no respect for the political procedures that elect his next Leader/President to office?

    The world in case you have not noticed is in PERIL. America if you have not noticed is at the lowest rung of the ladder it has ever stood a foot on!


    I'll tell you what is not funny...Our world on brink of being thrown into another War that has a guarantee of a NO WIN. Our world in the throes of the current war with no end in sight and no success eminent. Our military are losing their lives fighting a war that should have never happened. The numbers of those who perished are in the thousands as we speak.

    IN FACT, I don't think your funny at all. I think your shameful. And you have about as much chance in being electing President of America as Donald Duck in the Disney Quack Movies.

    GO HOME and stop embarrassing America and our Nato Military members.

    There is nothing vagely funny or cute
    encompassing your childish, outlandish, sick, perception of comedy.

    Hear anyone applauding? I Don't ...

    October 22, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Mike, Phila, PA

    yes, Tricia, comedians and satire are SHAMEFUL. political humor is incredibly damaging. the terrible grammar YOU'RE using is probably a result of the devastation done to YOUR school system by comedians such as Colbert. lighten up, will ya?

    October 22, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. sairam

    Run, Stephen, Run.

    This is a free country, and any citizen over 35, taking any stance, can do so. Your two-sided stance, ably supported by Larry 'Wide Stance' Craig, gives the biggest platform possible for your campaign. Go for it Stephen.

    Please consider running in Florida also – Retired congressman Mark Foley is looking to add some new pages to the history of his service to our nation.

    Rev. Ted Haggart will no doubt provide the religious oommph needed for this campaign.

    October 22, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Chris, College Park, MD

    Anyone trying to take this too seriously, come on this is just more excellent satire by a talented comedian. I'm just curious how far he will take the joke. Hopefully not as far as Schwartzenneger or Jesse Ventura. Because in all seriousness, our country needs a real leader now more than perhaps ever in our history. While there are plenty of competant politicians in this field on both sides of the aisle (which is more than can be said of our current leader) I don't think any of them is our Lincoln, FDR, or JFK.

    October 22, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Lou Dobbs, Plano TX

    Who cares if Colbert is running. Why don't we report on how Larry Craig is looking in bathrooms for Dumbledore!! GOP VALUES!

    October 22, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Kim. Dallas, TX

    I have to agree with Kate in Aurora,

    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.

    I knew before reading the comments that we would have some supporting this kook. I watched this guy on Meet the Press yesterday and if he were to get elected we may as well kiss our country goodbye. We cannot handle many more years of poor leadership. Yet we have a population that is very ignorant and easily mislead who would vote just because this guy is running as an afterthought. It reminds me of when Ross Perot decided to run-at least he had a brain. Watching Culbert on Meet The Press clearly showed how mental this guy is. Do you think you would ever get a straight answer out of him. He wouldn't even answer Russert's questions. I really fear for the direction our country is taking. I do believe the empire is falling.

    October 22, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Luke, Chicago, IL

    To Tom:

    A direct quote from the article "Daily Show Viewers Ace Political Quiz"

    "Daily Show viewers are 78 percent more likely than the average adult to have four or more years of college education, while O'Reilly's audience is only 24 percent more likely to have that much schooling."

    October 22, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. E.W.

    Its amazing how people actually believe that the rest of the readers really give a **** about their opinions.

    "i think he is an idiot. i think that is all that needs to be said."

    Posted By Ahmad Zubair Sahar, New York, NY : October 22, 2007 11:10 am

    Who cares Ahmad, I think youre an idiot now...but do you really think Sally from Ohio gives two ****'s?

    "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!"

    Posted By Larry, West Covina CA : October 22, 2007 12:02 pm

    The sad fact is that the PotUS is ALREADY a joke to the majority of the world.

    He speaks worse than KoKo when he would get drunk and sign dirty limericks.

    GWB is by far the least intelligent, least competent, most embarrassing, and most dangerous president we have ever had the misfortune of electing.

    I find it sad too though, I mean...how long can a person live in a vegetative state and not suffer for it?

    October 22, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Julie, PA

    Why are so people so worried? Get real, people: Colbert is running in South Carolina. One state. That's all. I have a hard time believing that this will have a profound negative impact on the presidential race. The more anyone can do to expose the hypocracy of the current candidates the better! Run, Stephen, Run!

    October 22, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Mike, Somerset, NJ

    Didn't someone once on the Colbert Report encourage Stephen to run as a Unity08 candidate?

    As for those who don't get this, he's already showing what a mockery our democracy has come. Loved the Doritos bit.

    October 22, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    I want equal time for Stephanie Miller's campaign for Vice President of the United States. She is the running mate for Barry Goldwater's granddaughter C.C. Goldwater just like Miller's father was Goldwater's running mate in the 60s. Their campaign slogan is "Family Name, No Skills, Just Like W." Their website is GOLDWATERMILLER08.COM.

    October 22, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Rob, Minneapolis, MN

    I read an interesting excerpt a few years ago that was written by this British guy named James Bryce. He wrote a book that examined our political system and titled a chapter, appropriately: "Why Great Men are not Chosen President." (from "The American Commonwealth," 1910). I find myself thinking back to it whenever I hear the inevitable hand-wringing that ensues when the parties put forth their inevitably sub-par slough of candidates. Bryce's main conclusion in the chapter is that, among other things, great men (and 'women' also, in our day) are not selected because the dictates of our system make it unnecessary. Basically, our government is set up so that we do not need a "great" man or woman in the White House. I think that it is a compelling theory, especially when you consider the Framers' fear of a unitary executive. Now of course in our current day, and in light of the current state of checks-and-balances, this theory's continued relevance is debatable, but I still think back to it whenever I see stories like this: In the eyes of our democratic forefathers, perhaps Mr. Colbert is not too far off the mark =)

    October 22, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Jeff, Rochester

    Colbert is an idiot focused on drumming up viewers for his lame show.

    Pat Paulsen, rest his soul, was the original comedian turned candidate. Colbert is a poor impression.

    Note to Colbert, why don't you try something original.

    October 22, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. E. Elliott, Orlando, FL

    To Tom in Texas, try adding Chaney to that list and watch who wins. They are comedians, Chaney is a profound discrace. In a person just could not get a chance to change their registration and was stuck voting in the GOP primary, only Ron Paul could be viewed as a responsible vote.

    October 22, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. George, Billerica, Mass.

    I know he's a comedian, but... I wonder who is going to whisper in his ear that he's gonna need 15% of the vote, either statewide or in a Congressional District, to be entitled to any delegates to the Convention.

    Gee, you'd think Mr. Colbert, and certainly CNN, would have read the rules before claiming that all he needs is 2.5% to get a delegate. Just more proof that lack of education, misinformation, and blissful ignorance have become the hallmarks of journalism AND our political system.

    October 22, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Luke Brown, Charleston SC

    I love Colbert, but think what he is doing is demeaning to the political process. There are serious issues out there, including the fact that dozens of young Americans are dying in Iraq everyday for nothing. The only way we are going to get them out is by electing a sane President.

    That great American and Egotist Ralph Nader ran in 2000 and gave the election to George Bush. Do we really need someone else using personal celebrity to screw up the process?

    October 22, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Robert, Vivian, LA

    There is a war going on. US servicemen and women are dying and getting injured. The next President will have to deal with this very real and very serious issue.
    Colbert's run for the Presidency is an insult to the brave men and women dying for his right to belittle the Presidency.
    The media that gives him coverage is complicet in this travesty.


    October 22, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Matthew, Murfreesboro, TN

    People need to do a google search for Jacob Haugård. He pulled a stunt like this for the Dannish Parliament. He spent his campaign money on beer and hotdogs, promised bigger Christmas parties, and better weather. He did this to make fun of the governments elected officials.
    He won the seat and split the parliament with 89 seats on the left and right and him in the middle.
    So it could happen.
    I just moved to TN from SC, so I can't vote there anymore, but he would have my vote in a heartbeat. He has to be better than the joke we have in Whitehouse right now.

    October 22, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. Cathy Lee, Fort Myers, Florida

    What is great about America is that this can happen at all. Freedom to run for the highest office makes every citizen a potential Colbert. Where responsibility takes over is in the voting. With the latitude we have, every American has the responsibility to be informed from more than one source and to take THE VOTE very, very seriously.

    October 22, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. Nolan, Jupiter FL

    I think this is pretty funny (ha, pun). For one, It shows just how far American Politics have fallen. First, an actor makes it as Govenor, and now a Comedian thinks he can run for president. Don't get me wrong, i love Colbert, he's a hilarious guy (although i do prefer Stewart, just an opinion), but I wouldn't vote for Colbert even if I could, because he is just lookin at all of this as a joke.

    And people... why do you keep answering Tom from Texas. I've seen like 8 people make a comeback envolving Fox... do you reeeeeally think he's going to come back here and read all of those comments?

    October 22, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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