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. Red Taylor Rexburg, Idaho

    Hawk, try to get over it... you are sounding like a Republican. We have pills for that kind of thing now.
    Red Idaho

    October 29, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Rocco, NH

    I can't even believe the hatred around over something so comedic! a few of you get it! You can't run for President in SC...That's the joke!!! PEOPLE. Lighten up you finatics! Go back and watch your Entertainment tonight I'm sure Britney misses your attention! If you want your vote to count, vote for R. Paul. He's the only true candidate who is on the side of the people. Cooky? Sure! Honest YES! No flip-flopping, No sigle date harping here Guliani! Peace to all the people!

    October 29, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. MB, CP, NY

    If the American people cannot understand the joke Colbert is making, then honestly I'm not sure we can claim to be the greatest country on earth, nor can we even make a serious claim to deserving to exist. Where did this country go soo wrong.

    October 29, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Terri, Boulder, CO

    I understand what Colbert is doing–I find it highly comical. He's not running for president, period. I agree with everyone, we need a president would will restore this country to greatness. I have to trust in the intelligence of the masses (hopefully the unintelligent who voted for our current present have learned from their mistake).

    October 29, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Andy, Simpsonville SC

    I'll definitely vote for Stephen Colbert, even if it's only a write in. I hope he campaigns in Greenville so i can go see him!

    October 29, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Mike Fresener, Mesa AZ

    It won't be too late after the primaries for him to still run outside SC, will it? He still could run as an independent even if he doesn't make the repube or democrab tickets. He has FAR more knowledge of politics then most up there but Hillary! (after living there for 8 years you're going to claim she doesn't know "the game"?). I think he's quite serious and those who think he doesn't know the real issues don't watch his show. Someone posted that they wanted to know his views. Do you watch his show? While it may be satire anyone with 1/2 a brain can see his "smirk" and understand what he's REALLY thinking about issues.

    The REAL reason that some people are upset is that deeeeep deeeep down, they KNOW he's actually got a chance. They can tell by how much people like him and talk about him. Ronald Regan? Arnold Schwarzenegger? Fred Thompson? Don't tell me that someone in media can't win or isn't being serious!

    GO COLBERT!!!

    YOU HAVE MY VOTE! (even though I already cast it by eating that HUGE bag of Doritos yesterday! MMMmmmmmmm Cheese!!!)

    October 29, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. e.e. Syracuse, NY

    Why is everyone wasting their time arguing over this? So what, the Edwards campaign is showing a little sense of humor over Colbert's SC campaign. How is this endangering our national welfare again? Yes, there are important issues that some unfortunate people are forced to deal with every day of their lives, but why does that mean that we can't all take a deep breath and have a laugh? Did the Bushies declare a sense of humor unpatriotic as well?

    My favorites are the idiots that think he really is a conservative.

    October 29, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. John Stewart, Hollywood, CA

    It wouldn't be the first time that someone with no qualifications got into politics and won. Do you need to be reminded of Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger, & Ronald Regan, all entertainers. Look a Bush for Christ sake, the guy couldn't keep an oil company running in TEXAS, and he got the job. I agree with Hawk that this is a serious situation, but history dictates that Mickey Mouse has a better chance of running and winning then a truly qualified and deserving candidate. More power to ya Steve!

    October 29, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. Scott, Stamford, CT

    Thank you Greg from Mechanicsville, MD. I too was shocked to see that so many people missed the fact that the Edwards campaign had a sense of humor. No wonder we've been stuck with the current administration.

    October 29, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Dan, Fitchburg, MA

    So it's wrong for Doritos to donate to the Colbert campaign but it's ok for Big Tobacco, Oil companies, government contractors, and other lobbyists to donate to "legitimate" polititians? What sort of conflict of interest will the snackfood industry have with him running the country? Will he feel obligated to go into the middle east and start a war to get a piece of big oil and to give his buddies in construction and the mercenary business multi-billion dollar contracts? Does Pepsico (owner of Doritos) have a stance on gay marriage or have some sort of agenda to make sure it can or cannot happen? The worst thing that could come from Colbert taking campaign money from Doritos would be that they might want naming rights to the White House, as if it were a sports stadium. He would be able to sleep at night AND still have a conscience.

    October 29, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Todd Dixon, Belle Plaine, KS

    I would just like to point out one thing.

    To Hawk, TX, okay so its supposedly "not funny." That's your opinion and you're entitled to it. However, don't yell at every other American who does think it's funny. After all, here in America, we're ALL entitled to our opinions. That's what makes America worth fighting for. If that entitlement is gone, then the country is no longer worth it and it should go down the drain.

    Besides that, calling Colbert a joke is exactly right. The difference between Colbert and all these other candidates is that Colbert very clearly lets you know he's a joke with that dry sense of humor. Anybody who believes that the character Colbert has created for himself is the actual Stephen Colbert is highly delusional and has access to some very good medications.

    Furthermore, Colbert has brought up some good points in a humorous fashion. In case the rest of you don't get it, let me spell this out for you. The YOUTH is the future and it is the YOUTH that the campaigns should be trying to reach. YOUR generation had its time and messed up the whole world, just like the generation before you did to you. Now OUR generation gets handed this absolutely terrible state of the world and I for one am hoping that we don't turn out to be the same hypocritical generation (complaining about what the gen before did and then showing a complete lack of care for how our actions affect the future generations) that yours did.

    October 29, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Terry, El Paso, TX

    The ancient Athenians had a wonderful method of filling political offices. From a list of qualified (free, male) candidates, they drew names at random. The citizen was bound by oath to fulfill the duties of his office with dedication and honesty. After his term in office, a judgment was made as to how well he performed.

    Random selection from a list of qualified candidates (not self-qualified candidates, but candidates chosen by others) is not a bad method. The problem we have with the presidency is that no stable, mature personality would want the job. Most presidents express their relief on leaving the job. Harry Truman, in his wonderful Memoirs, expressed doubt that any man could perform the job as voters expected. Some men have run for president over and over, making it obvious to us that the presidency is or was the ambition of their lives.

    Perhaps we could make use of the Electoral College by voting for electors who would then choose a president.

    Our greatest presidents have mostly been accidents. Lincoln could have only been elected during the peculiar circumstances of 1860. Teddy Roosevelt was vice president when President McKinley was assassinated. Woodrow Wilson could have only been elected if Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote. Harry Truman was chosen as vice president rather casually as a compromise candidate with no one really considering that he might become president if the aged, ailing FDR died. Johnson, whose greatness was poisoned by the Viet Nam war, had failed in his quest for the presidency. Kennedy chose him as VP to deliver Texas and a few other southern states to the Democrats in 1960.

    The presidents we chose, who were not accidental presidents, were Taft, FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, George Bush (the good one), Clinton, and George Bush (the other one). Only FDR stands out from that list as great, though Eisenhower did have two successful terms. Kennedy's presidency is hard to evaluate due to his assassination. Nixon's presidency was successful, except for the Watergate thing, but great? George Bush the elder was a stable executive and his leadership in the Gulf War was exemplary. Clinton started with a Democratic majority in both houses, but managed to hand the country over to a Conservative Republican Congress which stumbled from one scandalous disaster to another from 1994 to 2004, an unrivaled decade of theft, corruption, and scandal.

    In short, we voters tend to prefer men (so far all men) who are of limited gifts and short vision – people kind of like us.

    October 29, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Gloria CA, Urbana, Il

    Colbert will make a better president than the clown who has been running the country for the las 6 years.
    Go Colbert, I will vote for you.

    October 29, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Brett, Alberta, Canada

    He has stated that he is only running for president in SC...the danger is (as with the Rhino Party in Canada) if he put up a serious campain accross the country he would be in serious danger of actually getting elected.

    This should concern both political parties, but it appears to be business as usual.

    I actually kind of think the Edwards response was very appropriate and in keeping with Colbert's intentions.

    October 29, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. Brian Mc Daniel, Loudon, Tennessee

    Lighten up people. Those of you who are truly upset by this should check with your doctor to see if paxil is right for you.

    America needs to laugh at itself once in a while.

    October 29, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Jesse Holmes, Boise, Idaho

    IT IS VERY SAD THAT A PERSON CAN LAUGH AND JOKE AT A TIME WHEN THIS COUNTRY IS IN SO MUCH TROUBLE.
    -HAWK,TEXAS

    IT IS VERY SAD THAT A PERSON IN THIS DAY AND AGE DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.

    October 29, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Bob Calgary, AB, CAN

    I enjoy the Colbert Report very much. Having seen Stephen come out of character on "Larry King", I can see that he is a thoughtful, intelligent man. The right wing blowhard "Colbert" character had its gestation while he was a "correpsondent" on "The Daily Show". His satirical knife skewers the brain stem reactionary views espoused by BOTH sides of the policital extreme.

    However, in this 5 second soundbite world, politics has actually become more centrist, with candidates fearing their every gaff, and courting the lowest common denominator. The Mark Twain quotes cited earlier were excellent, and indicate how little has changed.

    There ARE candidates with at least a few different ideas, such as Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, but they're marginalized as cranks and nut jobs.

    I know Stephen is only taking his candidacy so far to make a point, but wouldn't a "Republocrat" or "Demopublican" ticket of Arnold and Colbert be cool?

    P.S. – I think the comment earlier about Elizabeth Edwards was uncalled for, she is battling cancer after all.

    October 29, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. ASE, Washington, DC

    Sorry to call you out DW, but Colbert actually announced Doritos as his campaign's official corporate sponsor on his show. It appears that in addition to having a sense of humor, the Edwards campaign actually does its research, unlike some people ;-)

    October 29, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Jim Tucson, AZ

    So what do you think Dan. "Notcho White House", "White Cheese House", "New White House With More Taste", or the dual flavored "Americone Dream/Peach Cobbler House"

    Colbert/Nelson '08

    October 29, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. dan, roanoke va

    a good democrat is a dead democrat

    October 29, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Andrew Steele, Vernon NY

    Hey CNN, you probably won't post this comment, but I just want to know why this, out of all the serious stories including the escalating war talk against Iran, is the only story your readers can post a comment on? Probably because this is a good distraction from the real issues, and the only thing mainstream media feels safe giving the public a voice in. Otherwise readers of this tabloid might learn that most of the public is against attacking Iran, and also questions the official story behind 9/11. (and it's not just a fringe movement consisting of nutcases, but includes pilots, government officials, and structural engineering experts, like Dr. Stephen Jones at BYU... to list just one name). Ted Turner should have never sold the station. If you care anything about this country step up and do your job.

    October 29, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. Carl, Dallas

    Those up you upset at Colbert need to remove the device from your rear end.

    He's making a political statement, as well as adding a little humor in the process.

    It's about time some of you wake up and realize how messed up politics really is lately.

    October 29, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. CA, Knoxville, TN

    Does no one remember Andy Kaufman????? The minute our society can't handle satire is the minute we're taking ourselves too seriously. Wake up and enjoy the joke. Laugh. God knows we need it given how screwed up the current administration has made things. This is freakin' hilarious!

    October 29, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. Chad, Kansas City MO

    I would like to start out by giving a shout out to my main man in Texas...HAWK!!! Keep on Keepin on....
    These stupid liberal left-wingest patronizing devils need to get on Task!!! WE ARE AT WAR!! DIG IT!!!

    Stephen COLBERT (pronounced Coal-BERT) needs to go back to his stupid little Hollywood set and report the News or write Republican how-to-books. Leave the Politicking to the real experienced patriots like Mit 'monog' Romney, Rudy '911' Guilliani and Fred 'DA' Thompson.

    We all know that Doritos is a facist left-winged brand hell bent on world cheese domination of lesser Christian souls....America, don't bend to the Colbert Nation's obvious ploys to convert Fun-Yun eaters.....

    Keep on Task America........there are Wars to be fought Now and in the Future....and we need to election our next War Monger!!!

    Stephen Colbert needs to get with the program.....fall in line....and vote for a War/Oil Lobbist-Backed Politican!!! Only then will we fear a little less at night...

    October 29, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Gayle Chappell, Farmington Hills, MI

    Thank you all for 20 minutes of non-stop laughter!

    Mr. Hawk, thank you for the sacrifice you made for your country.

    October 29, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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