October 29th, 2007
10:40 AM ET
2 years ago

Colbert campaigns in S.C.; Edwards camp attacks Doritos link

Watch Stephen Colbert in South Carolina.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Comedian Stephen Colbert brought his mock presidential campaign to the capital of South Carolina Sunday, where he was declared "favorite son" by the mayor of Columbia and given the key to the city.

Colbert, a native of Charleston, told the raucous crowd of several hundred gathered on the University of South Carolina campus that, "I love South Carolina almost as much as South Carolina loves me."

The host of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report" is seeking to get his name on both the Republican and Democratic ballots for the South Carolina primaries in January.

"I am here not only to accept the honor you have given me but to prove to everyone that this campaign is real," Colbert said. "To put an end to the vicious rumors that this is not a serious candidacy."

He joked that, "Over the past 18 hours, this campaign has gone everywhere in this state, from Charleston to Columbia."

After spending several minutes espousing the quality of South Carolina peaches, Colbert laid out his vision for the future of the state.

"In the 19th century, South Carolina was the first to secede," he said. "In the 21st we will the first to succeed. First to secede. First to succeed. I own the copyright on that phrase, if you use it you must pay me a royalty."

Mayor Bob Coble also declared October 28th "Stephen Colbert Day." Coble has endorsed another South Carolina native for President, the Democratic former Sen. John Edwards.

Asked about this apparent conflict, the Edwards campaign said that until Colbert wins the primary like Edwards did in 2004, he cannot claim to be a favorite son.

Edwards spokesperson Teresa Wells also ribbed Colbert for his ties to the snack food industry. Colbert has said his campaign will be sponsored by Doritos.

"What is more troubling than his quest for a status his own mother won't grant him (favorite son) are his ties to the salty food industry," Wells said. "As the candidate of Doritos, his hands are stained by corporate corruption and nacho cheese. John Edwards has never taken a dime from taco chip lobbyists and America deserves a President who isn't in the pocket of the snack food special interests."

– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: John Edwards • South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. DW, Thousand Oaks, CA

    Edwards is definitely hitting below the belt...the Dorito's comments are another jab at Colbert's alleged "stoned" viewers. Say what you will about Colbert, That he is in this race at all underscores the serious deficiencies present in all of the candidates, GOP and democratic.

    October 28, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. HAWK,TEXAS

    IT IS VERY SAD THAT A PERSON CAN LAUGH AND JOKE AT A TIME WHEN THIS COUNTRY IS IN SO MUCH TROUBLE. WE NEED SERIOUS PEOPLE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT TO TURN US AROUND FROM ALL THE TROUBLE AND HATE AGAINST AMERICA THAT THE BUSH BUNCH HAS CAUSED.WHAT DO WE GET. ANOTHER NUT CASE. WAKE UP AMERICANS IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOU LIVELY HOOD AND THE VERY LIVES OF YOUR CHILDREN. A NUT LIKE THIS GUY, AND THE REPUBLICANS WILL KEEP US AT WAR FOREVER IF IT MAKES THEM A DOLLAR.

    October 28, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. AviewAM, Blow's Peak, Arizona

    Hehehehehe....someone doesn't get the joke....I guess they make 'em thicker in Texas....denser, if you will...also louder, apparently, although maybe his caps lock key was just stuck. Who am i to say?

    October 28, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    I wish Colbert WAS running, as I'm sick to death of the imbeciles on the Democratic side and the corrupt hypocrite, Bush-wannabees on the Republican side.

    October 28, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    I have to agree with Hawk, TX. This is NOT funny at all. We are a Country that is CURRENTLY at WAR with no clear way of getting out. We need to choose a new leader for 2008.
    Nothing is funny about that. He should get back on his show and interviewing the serious candidates on their stance on Major issues. So the voter can determine whom they will vote for. Like "The Daily Show” has done. And I hate to say this but, instead of doing this and making himself look like just one more IDIOT!. Who ever in your circle that is telling you this is Funny, is WRONG!

    October 28, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Marlene, Charlotte NC

    At least we have Colbert to lighten up these dreadful election campaigns run by too many serious candidates. You gotta admit, the "response" from Wells was pretty cute. Hawk, this isn't the first time a comedian has mocked presidential races. Oops, showing my age here . . .

    October 28, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. Kap, Chicago, IL

    Is he going to fight Obama for the ex-gay vote?

    October 28, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Mark, DC

    Um.....DW, the Doritos bit was part of the Colbert Report, which he accepted sponsorship to raise money cause he had "zero millions" so far. You should probably watch the show before you get all upset. I thought the Edwards campaign response was funny. To others who actually take this run seriously....c'mon, it's always good to laugh a little, it normally helps you keep away from the caps Lock.

    October 28, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. jane,charlestown,s.c

    Colbet is nothing but a campaigner of John Edwards and this is to hurt Obama! That is the trick! Then he will endose John edwards who will be a running mate with clinton. Watch out the game unfold!

    October 28, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. trez, New York, NY

    Colbert's satire works precisely because he IS serious about the issues and then distills it into comedy. His faux campaign is a swift kick in the butt to all the cliche spouting hypocrites at the campaign stump who refuse to address anything real.

    October 28, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Jeff Lorton,Va

    This is a way funny. We need a good laugh, since our country is so messed up now.

    Laugh to keep from crying.

    October 28, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Benjamin NYC

    Colbert is going to bring much needed humor to this otherwise incredibly boring, uninteresting, Stepford wives political campaign. Of COURSE he's spoofing the campaign. It deserves to be spoofed. The current crop of both R and D campaigners is so trite it makes one's skin crawl. There's not a statesman in the lot, only sold out politicians.

    October 28, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Ian

    Say what you will about Edwards and his camp – but they do have a sense of humor and it can be a refreshing change of pace.

    October 28, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Ally, Lawrence, Ks

    I think its cool that Cobert is polling higher than any republican candidates among the 18-30 demographic. His candidacy can really be a wake up call to both sides about the ways that campaigns should reach out to young people

    October 28, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. David, Township City, South Carolina

    The nerve of some of you people. Are you not Americans? Do you not realize that EVERY CITIZEN HAS A RIGHT TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT, no matter what their qualifications? Anyone here could do it, and that's their constitutional right. Leave Stephen Colbert alone.

    October 28, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Peter Gao, Vancouver, British Columbia

    You're right, the US does need a good leader when 2008 rolls around. That's why if I had the ability to vote (I don't; I'm Canadian), I'd vote for Colbert. Given what I've seen of the other candidates, they all suck, to put it bluntly. They're all cookie-cutter politicians, and if you think they will keep their promises of ending the war or whatever trash they've talked, don't bet on it.

    The comments of Wells just show how uptight and self-righteous these other candidates are. I mean, didn't Kerry have ties to Heinz or something? Talk about blatant hypocricy. Sickening. I hope Colbert makes fun of this on his show.

    October 28, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. jessica,charlestown,s.c

    Hehehehehehe,lol,hahahaha, CNN just return my post that I said Colbert is nothing but John Edward Campaigner and the game is to bring Edward closer to clinton and leave Obama to 3rd place of which if Clinton wins Edward will be the running mate, Or what do you think CNN?

    October 28, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. Gilby, Chicago IL

    Not to say the presidential race is a joke, but what is a joke is the scandals
    that have surrounded our administrations for decades. Our vice president shot some one in his face, FEMA led by a Arabian horse farmer with no credentials totally forgot about New Orleans FOR LIKE 3 DAYS.. Oops..I could go on forever.. You have my support Colbert.. and i do love Doritos

    October 28, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Don, Columbia SC

    I was at this event this morning. I think most level headed people know exactly what is going on. Yes, maybe this should not be a joke, but Colbert is exciting younger voters who will make a serious choice down the line. Colbert is not a nut. Anyone who says that, does not pay attention. He and Jon Stuart are probably the two most honest men in "media" these days. I am backing a serious canidate, but it was wonderful to see young and old so happy in Columbia this morning. Keep up the good work Stephen.

    October 28, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. C. K. Justus SC

    If Colbert wants to build his ego in his own mind and spending the money he apparently does not need or maybe he is trying to raise some to increase his bank account so be it. He will not get any from any thinking resident of this state or any other as far as I can see, unless of course we have some here as far out on a limb as he is.

    October 28, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. Christian, Tampa FL

    Everyone should be happy that Stephen Colbert is getting involved as he is. He adds a humorous element to an otherwise long, bitter, emotional campaign season and he gets people interested in the process.

    Would he make a good President on the extremely, extremely slim chance that he'd be elected? Perhaps so! At any rate, let's not underestimate the power that an ironic comedian can have on the way we look at issues. Some of his "The Word" segments and other items on his show are quite insightful in the way they look at current events.

    Obviously, Colbert is not going to become President, but at least he's adding a brand new dimension to the whole political discussion that is otherwise monotonous, cliche, and aggravating to the American public.

    October 28, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Will, Tampa, Florida

    Colbert is as much a "serious" candidate as anyone else in the field. The whole election process is a joke and Colbert is simply in the position to openly ridicule it.

    October 28, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. ROSE CHARLESTON SC

    Actually Hawk this country needs some humor. Go Colbert! Bush has brought this country down so much. We have Iraq, Afghanistan, the economy, health care and illegal immigration to contend with. Oh yeah, lets not forget the gas prices and the foreclosures on homes.
    GO COLBERT! SC FAVORITE SON!!
    We need the laughs right about now.

    October 28, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Brett, Jenkintown PA

    Oh, come on people! If you think this was a real criticism by the Edwards Campaign, you've got another thing coming.

    "His hands are stained by corporate corruption and nacho cheese."
    "... Edwards has never taken money from taco chip lobbyists..."

    That quip is just like something off of Colbert's own show. They are clearly having fun with it.

    Lighten Up.

    October 28, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Matt B, Columbia South Carolina

    First let me say, I was at the rally this morning, I enjoyed it because I've never seen so many people not bound by political rancor involved and interested. I must say I find it puzzling and very much ANTI-AMERICAN that people would say that in these 'desperate times' we can't make room for laughter. If you want to decry the seriousness of this candidate than look to the rest of them, all of them in bed with warmongering contractors, big corporations, big business – that is a more sad situation than a political satirist trying to do nothing more than make people 1) aware of the process and interested in politics and 2)give this country a moments pause to breath and laugh. You hard-nosers need to get a grip and lighten up.

    October 28, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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