October 29th, 2007
10:40 AM ET
6 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. Mark, Harrisburg, PA

    If I lived in SC I would vote Colbert!

    October 28, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  2. Liberal Chic

    Gees. People need to lighten up. Edwards's campaign was just playing along with the joke. I give the guy and his staff credit for being good natured.

    October 28, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. Joe, Chapel Hill, NC

    The Edwards spokesperson was CLEARLY making a joke. How stupid are you people?

    October 28, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  4. Jesse, Beaumont TX

    Yes – how can someone joke at this time? We should all be dour and humorless as long as our nation has problems. Maybe we should start wearing hair shirts and whipping ourselves as well...

    October 28, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  5. linda, bella vista, ar

    Did Colber actually 'steal this comedy routine'? Smothers Brothers 101: Pat Paulsen's biography:


    Deadpan Pat Paulsen in 1968 played this same 'joke'. Those were very, very serious times, too. Maybe the Daily Show can resurrect the 'Flying Fickle Finger of Fate' and really 'Sock it to 'em'. [Google: rowan & martin's laugh-in]

    October 29, 2007 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  6. linda, bella vista, ar

    Oops, forgot to mention that Pat Paulsen WON the EMMY in 1968.

    October 29, 2007 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  7. Jen, Washington DC

    wow. first of all, he is only running in SC, so it's not like he has a chance of winning the actual nomination. secondly, as an independent, again – no chance. maybe if you understood his politics and what he was trying to accomplish with this, you'd feel better. he points out the failed policy and hypocrisy on both sides of the political spectrum, which is something most in the media fail to do.

    October 29, 2007 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  8. Joe, Springfield MA

    THIS IS NOT A JOKE. You people who seem to think he is hurting the country are missing the point. Colbert is Honest and believes in the good that is America. And He is using his status as a public TV figure to point out the absurdities in our system. And besides, if he raises awareness and gets more people to vote, old or young, he has done something useful. The "Real Issues" we should get back to should not include trivial trite like banning gay marriage, banning flag burning, or trying to make abortion illegal. We need to get back to the core issues of uniting the country, getting out of this war and back on track to worrying about us, not worrying about the next terror attack, or worse that your marriage might suddenly somehow be destroyed because two people with the same genitalia are now allowed to get married. Colbert's satire is much needed to point out the huge issue in today's politics, that we are avoiding the real issues.

    October 29, 2007 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  9. Sam, IA

    Colbert is a hoot. The Edwards camp showed thier light side by playing along. America needs to chuckle once in a while. All you rightwing prudes need to take some exlax and get a grip!!

    October 29, 2007 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  10. Tikara, Warsaw, Indiana

    He's not the first comedian to do this.. nether was Pat Paulsen. Gracie Allen did this in 1940 and got some votes in that years Nov election, now this was before WWII would start for the US but everyone else was fighting at that time, and she did then what Colbert is now, trying to bring a little bit of humor. Kudos to the Edwards campaign for understanding this, this and his recient apperance on Real Time with Bill Maher is making me an Edwards voter, the man knows serious, but can be humorous.

    October 29, 2007 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  11. jw, canadian,ok

    I knew Pat Paulson and I assure you Colbert, you are no Pat Paulson.

    October 29, 2007 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  12. Stephen, Naples, Florida

    It is really sad that some people are so f'd up that they cannot see the humour in Wells' response. Edwards has certainly risen in my estimation. I can't wait for the response when Colbert goes after the Hillary campaign, though.
    And HAWK, do the rest of us a favour and please get some reading glasses. Then you can go back to lower case.

    October 29, 2007 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  13. Dr Atomic

    Hawk, what they mean is that when you type in all caps you are SHOUTING! DON"T SHOUT – IT'S RUDE! Also nobody's going to vote for Colbert except in SC, and GOP is guaranteed to win SC.

    October 29, 2007 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  14. PSK Lakeside, AZ

    If Mr. Colbert can keep me laughing every day of his presidency like I did today- well, darn it he HAS my vote. I don't even care if he fixes half of the problems we're facing. If he keeps me laughing, I won't notice half the problems anyway. YEA DORITOS!!!

    October 29, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  15. Stan, Toronto, Canada

    You know what? Colbert is EXACTLY what the US needs right now. He will not seriously win, but after the last seven years.....I would think a good laugh is just what the doctor ordered and an opportunity to lighten up if only just for a while...enjoy it for what it is.....don't you think your are entitled to a little FUN now and again?

    October 29, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. Levar, Richmond, Virginia

    I am simply amazed at how dense people can be. Allow a little humor into your lives people! I find Colbert hillarious; certainly a welcomed relief from the blowhards actually running.

    October 29, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  17. Joyce McClurg

    I cannot believe that you're actuallr running this piece. How absurd!

    October 29, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. paul allen, Isle Of Palms, SC

    The truthiness of the matter is Stephen T Colbert is a great candidate for our next president. He's getting younger people into politics at a time when they probably wouldn't be.
    Not to mention he has over 1.1 million people supporting him on Facebook....versus Obama's measly ~300k supporters.

    October 29, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Mark Winchester VA

    By the looks of Elizabeth Edwards, she might be linked to Doritos and nacho cheese or should I say they are linked to her.

    October 29, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. Hannah, Burnsville, MN

    I think that Colbert is simply giving the defunct government and our inept President the finger. If anything he is trying to expose the flaws in our society and is possibly trying to point out that even a T.V. "Anchor" from Comedy Central could run for President.

    October 29, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. demwit

    Stephen Colbert can not be the favorite son of South Carolina because he pronouns his name Stephen Colbair.
    Maybe France but not South Carolina..

    October 29, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  22. Ben K., Austin, TX

    I think it's okay for people to not like Colbert. It is understandable that he will be viewed as not serious and that this is merely a ploy for ratings. However, the Colbert Report is one of the biggest generators of political interest in young adults. In this age of political apathy, he sparks interest in the issues. There are also some points that I think need to be made.

    1) He is not running a national campaign. He is only on the South Carolina ticket (whether it be Dem/Reb/Both), and therefore it will be impossible to win either party's nomination.
    2) Just because Colbert is a comedian doesn't mean he isn't serious. He is a political analyst of sorts, and I think it is obvious to any who watch his show that he cares about the issues of this country. His campaign brings to light serious misgivings people have about the major politicians and the way campaigning is done in general.
    3) Lighten up a bit. You may not like that he is running, but he has every right to do so. America is not going to be any less guarded just because he is running, and he helps voters understand more of the issues which will, in turn, encourage them to vote in elections, a thing this country needs.

    October 29, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. Sam, Lutz, FL

    It's very sad when a person doesn't know how to turn off CAPS LOCK.

    October 29, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  24. April,Camden,SC

    That is really imature Peter! Just becuase your jelous that you aren't as smart, sexy, or achieved a Stephen!! Please lets keep our personal problems at home! Doritos original flavor and triangular shape really satisfiy my hunger!!


    October 29, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. Mark. Shreveport, La

    Can someone explain how the deaths in Iraq are funny or can be made funny?

    If we were not at war, "I'd say go have fun with it, Colbert," but we are at war. We need someone who will speak to the injured soldiers with no legs, arms, or eyes. We need someone who will speak to the widows, and parents, and children of the fallen soldiers and give serious answers to serious questions.

    We need to focus on an exit strategy from the mess in Iraq and defeating Al Quaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Yes, anyone who qualifies can run, but does the media have to waste time covering it? Why isn't the media assembling wounded soldiers or widows and having them ask the candidates questions? I'd love to see Colbert joke about war casualties.

    This election is no joking matter. WE ARE AT WAR, AND PEOPLE ARE DYING! Not funny, Colbert.

    October 29, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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