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. Laura, Baltimore MD

    "Taco chip lobbyists!" "Salty snack industry!" OMG the response from the Edwards campaign is too funny! I love it!

    Nice that he can have a sense of humor at the same time, while running a serious campaign to take Washington back from lobbyists.

    October 29, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Marty, Salt Lake City, UT

    Long live the Colbert Nation!!! Long live Steven Colbert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Truthiness for all and all for America!

    October 29, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. MLS, Yorktown, NY

    I don't think you can write this off as just a joke. Colbert's presidential run is a tactical way of exposing what the current problems are in the U.S. His run, while arguably not serious (because of his show and his limitation of the campaign to one state) demonstrates the problem with linking the media so closely to presidential campaigns. Yes, the election and the war are serious issues. But more importantly, the public needs to be aware of what the media can do to a campaign. After all, Howard Dean lost because of a small scream...possibly 2 seconds ruined his entire campaign! Colbert is trying to show us the demise of campaigning because of corporate sponsorship (though with other candidates its HMOs, oil companies, and international contractors instead of Doritos) through satire, and I commend him for that.

    October 29, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. ed

    hey hawk, texas...ever think thats the point of colbert running for president?

    October 29, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. Eric Beck, Reseda, CA

    FIRST OF ALL, Colberts viewers skew HIGHER in political knowledge than EVERY other news source audience, except...The Daily Show, per several polling sources. SO, to HAWK and the rest who think this is a laughing matter to Colberts supporters, you are DEAD wrong. The fact is, what Colbert is doing is VITALLY important to the political process, which has INEED become a JOKE and a SLAP in the face to the American People. Colbert, through humor, is shining a light on this very real crisis. And he pulls no punches to wither side of the aisle, both of which have SCREWED this country, but good!

    October 29, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. aj, Washington dc

    if we abandon our sense of humor, the terrorists have won...

    October 29, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. Jim Tucson, AZ

    I really don't think that our country/world is in so much trouble. I'm sure Mr. HAWK will recall that 40 years ago we were fighting a war with a non-voluntary military and there were enough fingers on "the button" to end the world.

    I think it's great that we have a whole generation of young people that don't know what a fall-out shelter is or the nearest one is located. I hope no one tells them either so there's room for me. teehee

    October 29, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Dan, Brooklyn NY

    I think a Colbert-Edwards ticket would be amazing. I would vote for that.

    October 29, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. Kit, Austin, TX

    Nice to see someone REAL in the running. Too much BS political plays on all the other sides. This country is in BAD shape and needs someone to ask the questions, the others are afraid to ask.

    Good for Cobert to stir it up.

    Ron Paul, although odd.. says the stuff that none of the other candidates have the balls or (ovaries) to say.

    Tired of the buddy system taking the govt apart, even though it has always been this way!

    October 29, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. The Colbert for President Campaign

    Hawk, TX

    Something everyone living in my lively hood realizes is that Colbert is exposing the process for what it is through satire....

    Where "legit" candidates have to project sincerity and dour concern in order to be perceived as "presidential", Colbert projects "truthiness" and in so doing indirectly teaches what happens during a campaign. Steven Colbert's campaign has more to offer when viewed as a lesson in politics – rather than something to be ethically judged.

    October 29, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Emily, Columbia, SC

    I was so grateful to be at the event, and I loved Colbert. He is a fun alternative, and honestly, him and Jon Stewart are what made me interested in politics. Not that I take what they say at face value, however, it does make me look at things and a different light and reevaluate my position

    October 29, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. ed

    its interesting, we are here talking about the presidential elections...wonder if tahts the point?

    October 29, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. therealist

    Hillary's CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC and NY times sponsorships are much worse than Stephan's Doritos' sponsorship. To bad their not illegal too..

    October 29, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Troy Purdue University Grad student

    Randy S Lawton, OK: You are an idiot!
    Correct soemone else's spelling error and follow it up with your own, nice! I do respect your service to OUR country however your ignorance to our current political crisis is amazing. We need someone to get something done, we don't need a woman who didn't have enough balls to throw Bill out when he cheated on her to run this Great, Great country you fought to protect!
    Think about it!

    October 29, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Cheryl Des Moines Iowa

    I guess America just needs to lighten up a little...calm down everyone...he is just having fun...i dont think he will win the presidency or anything..maybe if we all laughed a little more things would turn around in this country..

    October 29, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. Molly Felth, New Britain, CT

    Colbert is a genius cloaked in hilarity, and the most singularly effective force that has attracted America's youth to actually paying attention to the real issues that we have felt so alienated from before.

    And parents just don't understand.

    We of newly-legal voting age are not dense, and seem to be absorbing the core of his antics better than many unnecessarily alarmed 'grown-ups.' Behind his goofy, self-obsessed persona, there's a man, a dad, a dude, and we know that. The recent interview in Vanity Fair, featuring him in rare form– which is to say, out of character– solidifies my respect for the man. Even the accompanying photograph to the article reveals his humanity: it's just Stephen Colbert, devoid of his faux-hyper-conservative persona. He's in a regular dad sweater with bags under his eyes– it's a hauntingly honest portrait. The fact that he has become such a notorious cultural icon is astounding, considering the horrendous losses that he suffered earlier in his life. I respect his comedy, for it has helped me, and many of my peers, feel connected and involved in the true, grim issues plaguing this country.

    We are not taking him literally, and we understand the wry winks behind his actions. Chill out, everybody. He is not doing this to seriously sabatoge the elections! And even if he were, I'd still love him– he's made me feel connected to our country and concerned for its future.

    October 29, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Zero, Los Angeles,California

    Well assuming he won
    wouldn't it be like a bad Robin Williams movie?

    October 29, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. spinstopper

    No Ed, we're talking about Stephen Colbert. His point, self-advertisement, just like the other candidates..

    October 29, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Kevin BG, Montreal, QC, Canada

    I'm sorry to say this, but reading up on this thread is funny and sad at the same time. Colbert IS a comedian. But, as one of you said here, he does bring good, covertly unbiast information to a demographic that otherwise wouldn't much care. So while his methods are unorthodox, no one can blame him for trying to bring a few smiles and laughs into a process that is otherwise dull and dreary. And watching your early televised debates, news stories, etc, there's one thing you have to say and that's they all pretty much cookie-cutter politicians, that will say (or won't say) just about anything to make sure they can sucker you into voting for them. "Shake hands, kiss the babies, wave for the cameras, don't point with your fingers.." They've all been trained to look a certain way to an extent that they loose who and what they really were and just become.. *shudder*.. politicians. All this to say that Colbert's (jokingly) honesty is refreshing and while he won't be imitated by any career politicians, well, it's nice to know that a glimmer of what a real election would look like is shining through this year. So please people, take a deep breath, and loosen up a little.

    October 29, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Some American, Baghdad, Iraq

    If you people think Colbert's campaign is the joke, you need to take another look at the rest of the candidates.

    October 29, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Kevin, Chicago, IL

    If anyone really cares about the Presidency then abolish the electoral college and truely let America choose our leader.

    October 29, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Ford, Atlanta, GA

    Dave, Cheverly, MD,
    To get the funny you need to realize the irony in your "one more IDIOT!" statement. The idiots Colbert joins, per your assertion, are the politicians with the (largely) ultra-conservative, uber-Republican politicians he emulates on his show. Now, if you think Colbert is just "one more IDIOT"...

    October 29, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. Stefan Gaithersburg, MD

    Am I the only one who thinks this guy is so not funny? Why is he getting all this attention? To say his jokes suck is putting it mildly, and what is with the pronunciation of his name? This is stupid.

    October 29, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. RF

    I find it kind of ironic that John Edwards says that by accepting campain money from Doritos, Stephen Colbert's hands "are stained by corporate corruption and nacho cheese." Especially when John Edwards' hands are stained with corporate corruption and the deaths of all the people who can't afford health care. I wonder how much cash is in his coffers from the health care industry? Hmm, responsibility for the sickness and deaths of millions of poor people or Nacho Cheese... I'm having trouble deciding which is worse.

    October 29, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Andy, Chicago IL

    Newsflash: Stephen Colbert and the Colbert Report are entertainment, not news. They have no responsibility to the voting public, and the fact that they can underscore the show with political tones and still be entertaining is wonderful. Yes we are at war, but it is not the job of entertainment programs to fix the country, it's up to the government and more importantly, the people. Also, I loved the response from the Edwards campaign, it was refreshing to hear someone running for office satire the current election process.

    October 29, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10