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. Adam, Austin, TX

    People really need to read things before they respond about it.

    Stephen Colbert is not running for president. He is running to get 1 vote at either the Republican or Democratic convention. He has stated bluntly that he does not want to be president. While his campaigning is serious, people need to realize the scope of the campaign. His ambitions are small. This should not insult or offend any citizen of this country if they know the facts behind it. Although I'm sure this comment won't stop the influx of ignorant comments.

    Also, I'm sure more than a few young military vets would find this amusing to say the least. My brother is a warrant officer in the army and he finds it hilarious.

    October 29, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Disgusted, Austin, TX

    To those of you complaining that the media should not be covering him or that he is diverting from the elections or issues-

    Your insistence that only experienced, seasoned politicians should be given coverage is the reason our government is in the state of unproductivness that it is in. Some of us want change, not your Democratic or Republican lifetime Senator or Congressman who know how to "work" the system so they can accumulate the most lobby dollarrs for the least amount of work. You politico hacks actually have the nerve to tell us who can and can run based on how many Washington ties someone has?

    Hillary Clinton says we are not tough enough on Iran. Does that tell you ANYTHING? Romney and Giuliani are also tools of the lobbysist system. Don't force your politics on us, it has already been shoved down our throats for the last 20 years throughout the BUSH/Clinton dynasty. Time for change.

    October 29, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. al, Lima, Ohio

    You're right, this isn't a joke. But many of the current candidates and the news media are. Problem is, they are just not funny. Like Fox News. One sided reporting..now there's a joke.

    October 29, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. Bud

    On the contrary to the feelings of Hawk and other like-minded posters, one can actually cut through all the crap of the "serious" candidates simply by watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Is what Colbert is doing any more dangerous than the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and others that clog up the airways with vile hatred and actually do influence elections and what "serious" politicians think and do? That filth chokes up the airwaves and little is done about it (even when Rush can bash a real soldier for having the audacity to base his feelings about the war on his personal experiences in Iraq). Please. Lighten up. If there was real leader in the mass of automatons running in both parties, maybe Colbert and Stewart would be out of jobs. Seems to me they have a lifetime of job security and the rest of us have a lifetime of incompetent, selfish, ego-driven "leaders" to deal with.

    October 29, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Brian J, Marrietta GA

    I think its about time America got a president who's not afraid to defend The Truth, whether or not its actually under attack. This man, doesn't just stand for things, he stands on them... like podiums, the ground, and the backs of the lower middle class. Vote Colbert for a nation with more Truthiness and less bears!

    October 29, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Wendy, Durham, NC

    I personally wish he was serious about running. He's far more intelligent than half the people on here are giving him credit for. The candidates so far aren't hitting on too much, and sadly we will likely have to vote for the "lesser of two evils" come election time. John Edwards and his team are quite humorous. I love how upset they get over small things. I'm asshamed that he's living in my state.

    October 29, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Joe, St. Paul, MN

    Colbert is GOD! He skewers the political imbeciles and president by showing their innate stupidity. His speech at last years' Press Dinner was pure GENIUS! If any of the presidential candidates had half the brains of Stephen Colbert, we might actually have a choice, but the Republicans keep giving us corrupt, corporate cronies and the Democrats keep offering bozos. GO, Stephen, GO!

    October 29, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. WMDAggie, Texas

    To HAWK, one, we all know its satire, obviously you don't. Two: Stop typing in all caps, we can see your an idiot, you dont have to shout it at us. If you REALLY want to make a point, be semi-literate, Livelyhood is one word. You are an embarrasment to real Texans.

    October 29, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. Riverman Brookston, In

    We are the "now" generation and we are sick of politicians!!! I've seen it my entire life. I tried voting for yes Perot hoping for a change. We can make a change now if we all work together.

    You pick a President:
    A)Stephen Colbert
    B)Rudy G
    C)Hillary C

    The Choice is plan to see.
    Indiana Wants you Stephen
    Colbert '08

    October 29, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. John Rigney, Miller PLace, New York

    Hello I am here to say to hawk and people who agree with him that you are IDIOTS!!!! I am what you would call a youth you have no idea what a big impact Colbert has made on youth voteing. I am 20 and for the first time I have heard my peers talk about voteing. Sure we shall be voteing for a comedian in 2008 but he has started a new generation of people to care about politics.

    October 29, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. Disgusted, Austin, TX

    Pools are showing that if Colbert ran as in Independent, against Clinton and Giuliani/Thompson, he would get 12-13% of the vote.

    Food for thought.

    October 29, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. It's good to be the King, Canton MI

    Gimme a break people! Oh no, we're at war! Well, Boo Hoo. When was the last time this country wasn't at war or had our troops supporting some effort abroad? Maybe we should never have let Reagan, Schwartzenegger, or Jessie Ventura run b/c they were entertainers? Colbert's campaign may be a joke, but who says he couldn't lead the country any better than the other candidates? Just as other leaders have done, he is smart enough to surround himself with the right people.

    Colbert is a breath of fresh air compared to the same old boring dolts in these elections. I hope he can get them to address serious issues and honestly speak their minds rather than catering to the Right or Left wing freaks. If Colbert wins the primary, great; Maybe it will get the others to realize some of us are tired of listening to the same old garbage year-in year-out. If he doesn't (which I expect) I am looking forward to the entertainment.

    Hawk, Thanks for supporting our country. BTW, is it possible that your "disabled" status requires software that only types in CAPS? Keep on keeping on.

    October 29, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Stephanie Perry, Jefferson City, Mo

    As a young (26), college educated( B.S.) female soldier, I LOVE what Steven is doing.
    My husband and I are going to war, it doesn't get any more serious than that, and we would STILL vote for Stephen Colbert!
    I learned two elections ago that my voted doesn't count & when someone is elected they can twist and turn things to make events go the way they would like.
    At least if Stephen was elected president we could blame all his mistakes on the fact he is inexperienced comedian, instead of a political moron.

    October 29, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. john harper, geneva ny

    My god, can you people please write an article that doesn't have spelling errors. Every day CNN, the NY Times, and every other bastion of news integrity can't go without ridiculous errors in their articles. It's called proofreading, and it used to be popular and important when you actually had a news staff and credibility mattered.

    October 29, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. eric, hot springs, arkansas

    i cried tears of joy when colbert said he was mounting a campaign...
    maybe we should write doritos and thank them for sponsoring the most intelligent candidate...
    also nice to see the edwards camp has a sense of humour...

    October 29, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Randy S. Lawton, OK

    To WMDAggie in Texas: He who is without sin...

    Livelyhood is spelled livelihood. Check your fact before criticising others, otherwise you lose credibility.

    Although, I agree that HAWK is an embarrassment, not just to Texas but to other DAV's like myself.

    October 29, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Greg, Mechanicsville, MD

    The scariest part of all of this is not that some people missed the fact that the "comment" from the Edwards campaign was a joke (and the sentence even used the verb "ribbed", no less!). The scariest part is that these same "reading-for-comprehension-and-context challenged" folks have the right to vote. That's scarier than anything we'll see on Halloween or in the movie theaters.

    October 29, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. james buda tx

    John Rigney, Miller PLace, New York
    Tossing around that IDIOT word like you're not one. you arent going to vote who are you kidding. You couldnt tell me what stephens' positions are on things like immigration, the "war on terror" etc. So save it with the Im interested in politcs crap, smoke another one, and enjoy the rest of your college years, because it wont be funny any more when you enter the real world.

    October 29, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Jeremy in Beaverton, OR

    First, I haven't read all 111 comments, just about the first 30 or 40. I did want to say that satire is necessary in a democracy... at least it has been around since colonial times in this country to skewer the policies of those in power (i.e. England). So although what Colbert is doing is humorous, it is political, and I believe a healthy thing for our democracy in pointing out the faults in our political system. I wouldn't say that it's some thing that folks haven't already known. McCain and Lieberman have sponsored campaign finance bills as I'm sure others have. There should be serious debate about free speech and campaign spending since that seems to be the crux of the matter. As for all the Rep and Dem candidates being cookie cutter candidates, isn't that the point? How else do you appeal to broad enough spectrum of highly diverse voters to secure yourself a win? We are a nation of special interests, like it or not. That's what happens when you have 300 million plus citizens in a highly diverse population with different needs and desires. It makes a cumbersome political process. Remember Churchill: Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest. (I'm sure that's a paraphrase.)

    October 29, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. Anonymous guy, Austin, TX

    It's good to be king, john, and riverman are so right.

    We have handed over and catered to the left and right wings so much in the last few decades, that the middle (the middle calss, the working man, the moderates)...the foundation of America, has lost their voice. The left and right winger voters, the Democrats and Republicans, have shown that they are indeed incapable of running this country. This election, I urge all of us "regular folk" to go out and vote.

    Colbert in 2008!

    October 29, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. Em, Ontario, Canada

    As a Canadian looking in, I cannot believe that anyone would be upset at a comedian running for president, serious or not...have you seen the other candidates you have down there? And compared to Bush, wow, Stephen Colbert would be a Godsend in the Whitehouse.
    Whether this is a "serious" bid or just a "spoof", at this point I think that anything that gets voters out, young and old is a good thing...even if he doesn't follow right through, just to get potential voters interested in the political system is a step up.
    We just had a provincial election here, and sadly, only 52% of all eligible voters excersised their right to vote! Instead of people complaining about Stephen Colbert being a "Nut Case" maybe they should spend their energy getting involved and volunteering trying to attract new voters!

    October 29, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. Michael, Kent, OH

    This kinda feels like "Man of the Year" again. Good feeling. The question Colbert should pose to the other candidates, would you rather be sponsored in public by a tasty cheese chip or be given millions in bribes by Halliburton or Drug Companies? I'll stick to supporting the chips

    October 29, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. LP, Atlanta, GA

    Dear Hawk: You have seen it, haven't you? You have observed a lot in your 69 years. And, it is also a pain to worry about typing upper and lower case when EVERONE is squinting at the little computer screen past the age of 40. You are right, and it is so tough out there for Americans to make a decision in 2008 with what we have available. Maybe that is the answer to the question. You are one of the SO many Americans I have been reading making comments on
    http://www.draftgore.com
    No, he is not running....they want to "draft" him, like DDE. The stories they are writing in the signature comments are serious, funny and filled with hope from people from around the world who actually care about our future. I am not a Democrat or a Republican, I define myself as "concerned citizen of the Earth with one vote". By the way, the Colbert Report is very funny – we are going to need it to cheer us up all next year.

    October 29, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Anonymous guy, Austin, TX

    John from New York, don't worry about james in Buda and his supposed concern for the issues...go ahead and vote for your first time, we are pround of you...if you'd ever been to Buda you'd understand.

    October 29, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Humor has always played a part in politics. Politicians are themselves very serious, with a few exceptions, and they take themselves VERY seriously. The political pageants that we are presented with have all the mock solemnity of a homecoming queen coronation.

    Humorists are able to present thoughts about politics that we would never hear otherwise.

    Will Rogers said, "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer."

    Mark Twain said...
    "The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet."

    "In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing." – Twain

    "...one of the first achievements of the legislature was to institute a ten-thousand-dollar agricultural fair to show off forty dollars' worth of pumpkins..." – Twain

    "Look at the tyranny of party–at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty–a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes–and which turns voters into chattles, slaves, rabbits, and all the while their masters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master." – Twain

    "The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that's out always looks the best." – Will Rogers

    "It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." – Abraham Lincoln

    "Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." – Lincoln

    October 29, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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