October 29th, 2007
10:40 AM ET
5 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. CM, Grand Prairie, TX

    A comedian shouldn't be joking? Or did you mean the Edwards campaign should be as humorless and robotic as the Repugs? I, for one, have adjusted my opinion of John Edwards quite a few notches upward for having a sense of humor. We need a normal person in the White House, not another psychopath.

    October 28, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    Colbert is not running for president; he is running to win the SC primary. I don't watch his show. I found this funny for the first week, but now it's old. Drop this, Colbert, and get back to your show. We get your point, and the gig isn't funny anymore.

    October 28, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. ED Denson, Alderpoint, California

    While I am a Colbert fan, I would consider voting for him (if I lived in South Carolina, where my mother once considered buying a house) only because Jon Stewart is not on the ballot. I have learned over the many years of political activity that sometimes compromise is a necessary evil, morally repugnant as it may be. Should Colbert fail to make it to the national elections, I will grit my teeth and vote for Hilary.

    October 28, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Bob, Knoxville TN

    Look – Colbert is funny, and some people need to lighten up. Yes we have serious issues that need to be adressed but sometimes humor is the best way to reach people. Colbert will bring people into the process who haven't been involved and entertains many who are. Good for the Edwards folks for playing along with the joke. I say keep it up Stephen, I'll be voting for Obama, but I'll always be laughing at Colbert.

    October 28, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. T, Austin Texas

    This is fantastic. Edwards clearly has some great people on his team. Parlaying Coble's comments into a great P.R. opportunity was a wonderful idea. Whoever writes for Wells is very clever, and whoever authorized the light-hearted response has set an excellent precedent for their relations with Colbert. His viewers know that he loves engaging in these kinds of competitions, and it'll be a great way for Edwards to get airtime on Doritos' dime. Kudos.

    October 28, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |


    October 28, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Drew, Kent, Ohio

    Thats right, we do need a serious candidate, someone with courage. Stephen Colbert is the only presidential candidate that I have seen stand up to Bush and the press and point out how ridiculous they really are. Just watch his speech at the 2006 Correspondents Dinner. I find it appalling that people do not do that sort of thing more often. If 66%(or is it higher now?) of the country really does disapprove of the job the president is doing right now then I would think that there would be just a bit more of a public outcry for change.
    Since there's no real candidates who are willing to stand up for us than sure I'll take a comedian, the message is still the same. Although I cant speak for everyone else what I can say is this I'm are sick of seeing these same coached candidates who think more about what they need to say to stay in everyones good graces than what really needs to be done to make the changes necessary to make our country a better place to live for everyone.

    October 28, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. jeremy schleicher, tallahassee fl

    "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."

    You have got to be kidding me, snack food special interests. Wells should have just laughed this off.

    October 28, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. linda, bella vista, ar

    LOL, good response.

    Sure beats the so sad round of 'TV talker sell your book here' interviews that fell to the depths of 'totally humorless'. Even Colber seemed to have lost his sense of humor, but it didn't seem to hurt the book sales which had to be the purpose of his 'candidate spoof'.

    Follow the $$$.

    October 28, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Chris, Pensacola FL

    Good for a laugh, but we need to get to business and fight our government and stop the wars.

    October 28, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    I love how the edwards camp can join in on a funny joke that has given us a breath of fresh air in this tumultuous campaign process.

    October 28, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Matt, Joliet IL

    How can someone laugh and joke at a time when this country is in almost no trouble? I don't know.

    Also, for thou interests. America is not at war. War has never been declared, therefore there is no war in Iraq. The media has coined it a war on terror and so has Bush. Also, our country isn't in trouble... Really. Relax.

    October 28, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. Karen, Bloomington, IL

    The press is getting the whole Doritos thing wrong– he never said that Doritos would sponsor his campaign. He said that they are sponsoring his *coverage* of his campaign on his show. Big difference– check your facts, CNN!

    October 28, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Randy, Bethlehem, PA

    Dear HAWK,
    First of all, thank you for your service to our country. However, I doubt you've ever seen The Colbert Report because you're really missing the point. He's trying to get on the ballot for the South Carolina primary. The whole 'running for president' thing is just to get ratings. He's trying to run as both a Democrat and a Republican. He'll be lucky to even get on the ballot, let alone take a primary election away from a 'real' candidate.

    And finally, please lighten up a little. It's times like these when we NEED to laugh. Yes, the country's a mess right now, our foreign policy is a disaster, and the world thinks we're a bunch of arrogant a-holes who believe our way is the ONLY way. But Colbert's little 'diversion' isn't going to change anything. If I were you, I'd be more worried about the nutcases that listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. They're more likely to influence the election that Stephen Colbert.

    October 28, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. Rick, Thorold Ontario Canada

    As a fan of the Colbert Report, I can say for sometime I have been unsure of the seriousness of Mr. Colbert. This is right out of Robin William's movie. If he was elected, would he accept? Has he even filed paperwork? Just because he pretended to on his show does not mean anything was filed.
    which leads us to tonights word, Vote. As for the side of the debate who says this election isn't a joking matter, look at the democrats... the beginning of a joke. A spanish guy a woman a metrosexual and a half african american are all running for president.... can't remember the end but was it funny!
    typical republicans though a mormon a chicken little (9/11...9/11 is falling) and an actor... that joke not as funny but come on...
    the reality in politics is that people still vote based on which side they sit not the candidates... i'm a republican or a democrat and that who i am voting for. they don't need to discuss current issues or future plans they just need to be on the winning side at the right time. ignore the politics of politics and send a message, NO vote!!! its the same in every democracy... and that's the word!

    October 28, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. Rummy

    Just as a little tidbit, I do find it ironic that the part of the country that was so ready to tear it apart in the 1860's is the part that espouses the most uber patriotism now. Is this the result of cousins marrying cousins for a hundred years or what?

    October 28, 2007 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Phil San Filippo San Diego, Ca

    It AMAZES me that that clowns like Edwards actually think people are stupid! These rich guys 'slamming' corporations and capitalism that made them rich in the first place! He's a true phony baloney

    October 28, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. Phil San Filippo San Diego, Ca

    This country doesn't need a islamic apeaser or a socialist running this country. It makes me sick when these rich SOB's blame corporations for everything!

    October 28, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. TRM

    Go Stephen!

    October 28, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. Steve Sumter, SC

    Edwards is expending a lot of energy, oxygen, and money attacking anything that moves. Does he realize it is ideas that will win this election? Ease up John! Let's hear why we should elect you!

    October 28, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  21. DT, Comstock Park, MI

    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.

    That we do. Unfortunately, many Democrats and Republicans think that we, as voters, will sit down, shut up, and take the options given to us by them.

    If Colbert draws enough following, it may finally show the Dems and Repubs how dissatisfied America truly is with lackluster leadership that panders to PACs/special interests, and lobbyists rather than voters, who use shallow-depth hot-button issues to campaign on rather than addressing our true problems, people who promise, but rarely listen and rarer still deliver.

    If Colbert wakes up the bankrupt political society that makes up much of Washington DC, perhaps we'll get somewhere and remind those there that this is a nation of VOTERS, and that voters are who they should be responsible to.

    October 28, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. Yury, NYC

    This is going to be one of the biggest things political history.

    Many of the politicians on both sides of the party have a lot of love for Colbert. They will make sure that he is heard, loudly and clearly. Mostly loudly.

    October 28, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  23. David, Encinitas, CA

    This is not funny. It's hilarious. Political satire is a very useful expression of our first amendment rights. We take ourselves way too seriously. Comedy allows us to look at ourselves and our culture in a critical way – if we want to grow as a people and institute positive change, this is an important tool.

    October 28, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. Jane, Portland, Maine

    OK, some seem to be missing the point. The Colbert candidacy is a JOKE. He (the writers on his show, Comedy Central, their lawyers, etc.) carefully planned it so there wouldn't be actual disruption to the campaigns. I.E. he's running in both parties (attempting to), has a corporate sponsor (a clear and obvious violation of the election rules), and, he's only running (though not even officially) in one state – and, oh, he's a comedian on a political satire TV show! Yeah, maybe this “says something” about politics, but mostly, it’s a joke. Get it now?

    The Edwards response was quite funny ... "his hands are stained by corporate corruption and nacho cheese" ... Good for them.

    October 28, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  25. anna, houston, texas

    I love it! Colbert is hilarious, and I don't think he is going to ruin anything. He is not running as an independent, just as a repub and dem nominee, and he is not going to win either, so settle down. To the person that said the joke is old and not funny anymore, i disagree. Please continue Clobert!

    October 28, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
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