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. John, Washington DC

    Any of the statements claiming that this is inappropriate or that the election isn't mean to be "comedy material" in these times of war – give me a break. Not only is Colbert making a statement but it's his darn right to do it.

    It seems the only time people get upset by this is when their own candidate can't be as refreshing as Colbert.

    October 29, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Mikhael Cohen, Winooski, VT

    Laughing and joking are peaceful methods of raising hope and moral by a serious individual. If you want a candidate like bush, or any of the candidates in the past 20 years, vote for someone else. If you want someone who is going to make a difference, and SUCCEED, vote for Colbert.

    October 29, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. G.R., Brandon, MS

    Stephen Colbert, maybe an attention hound!!!! But not as bad of an attention hound as the real candidates! Vote for Colbert in South Carolina!!

    October 29, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Matt, Chicago

    What are we allowed to laugh at?
    Are we not allowed to be amused my Colbert's cariacture + how he demonstrates how ludicrous the 21st century environment of politics is? Can satire not be enlightening?
    Can we not cheer on Colbert's hilarious antics, while at the same time looking at the policy-points of the other candidates before voting?

    Please, all you people in the comedy/seriousness police, tell me what I can + can not find amusing. And please don't let it be Larry the Cable Guy, though I expect that to be the consensus.

    October 29, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Stephen Colbert S.C. #1

    What you older "folks" don't get is exactly the problem. All you "Non-Colberters" lack the vision to see through the political fog. The new generation voters are blessed with ignorance and are voting with there hearts and not their membership cards to the country club. You don't walk out your door and not talk to your neighbor because he is of one party or the other yet that is all that Washington D.C. stands for!!! We are SCREAMING for a fresh start for our futures, our future childrens futures and to preserve the freedom many of you fought to protect and preserve.

    We want change!
    We want a fresh face with fresh ideas!
    We want a "Repocrat" ™ in office!
    We want Stephen Colbert!

    October 29, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Ravensun, Bowie, MD

    Dude, all y'all saying this isn't funny? LIGHTEN UP! What this country needs right now is a sense of humor and the ability to laugh. We have lost this. Colbert's "campaign" is a riot, and we need the fun, with all the mud-slinging even within each of the two major parties. Cheez WIZ, folks! Get a sense of humor!

    October 29, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Dave, Atlanta, GA

    This article has 210 comments more than any other article today. People may claim that Colbert is not a serious candidate, but the people who visit this site are certainly taking it more seriously than anything else posted in this ticker.

    October 29, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Justin, Madison, WI

    Oh please, I'm sure Edwards has worse sponsors than Doritos. Shall we check on his history with pharmaceutical and credit card companies?

    October 29, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. hottsie tottsie, SC

    Colbert is hot! I'm voting for him!

    October 29, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Tony B, Minneapolis, MN

    "It's entertainment, not politics."

    Funny line from Robert in Vivian, LA. You don't think politics are entertainment? The majority of the nation wouldn't pay attention to political campaigns if they weren't designed to be entertaining. Joe America wants the "gloves thrown off", "mud-slinging" type of campaigns.

    Great comments people. This was a good one.

    October 29, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. ShadowHawk


    I'm a 30 year old disabled veteran and I've seen how people can be distracted from the real issues just by listening to false promises each party tells you and the mud slinging they bring to the table. As for nut jobs, look who we have as president.

    And I clearly remember there was nothing funny about the '04 elections. In fact I barely remember the issues since there was so much mud slinging. Lighten up. Worry about him if he actually gets the primaries. Until then, at least he is getting the younger crowd into the process, the same crowd that complains about how screwed up things are, but don't really know how to change it. Maybe this might actually bring out the real issues to them in an understandable form, not in polititalk. (Wonder if he'll use that. I own that one and will want big royalties from it.)

    October 29, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Stefan,Raleigh,NC

    Colbert and Doritos for Prez...Perfect! Now if he can just get a VP with connections to Pace Picante sauce, we're all set! He'd carry Texas for sure!

    October 29, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. pat huntington ny

    Colbert is the antichrist.

    October 29, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. JB, Boston MA

    What is wrong with you people? Do you seriously not understand that the response from Edwards' camp is a joke also? A joke– as in a funny, witty response. Do you really think John Edwards' spokesperson thinks there's such a thing as "taco chip lobbyists?" Get a sense of humor. To all who thought that was a serious response, all i can say is: wow.

    October 29, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. joseph, austin, tx

    SSG Joseph T. Tobin, Bagdad, Iraq

    Not to patronize you but if you need some doritos, I can hook it up, just need to know how to get them to bagdad.

    October 29, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. B mills fairport, new york

    you guys need to lighten up!!!! the only reason anyone my age knows about anything political and anything about the campaigne is because of him and john stewert
    lighten up

    October 29, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Todd McClure, Huntingon, WV

    it sounds to me like Edwards might be a little scared. why would he attack Colbert if he wasn't? he knows that Colbert has a solid chance of beating him out in South Carolina.

    October 29, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. MIS Student, Henderson Nevada

    Some people take Colbert too seriously. What’s even more frightening are people that take themselves too seriously. Colbert, however you wish to pronounce it, does not take himself too seriously. He is mocking the madness of the political process which is, arguably, already beyond ridiculous.

    For all those who are shocked and appalled, hem and haw, or are outraged that Colbert could do such a thing in a time of war/crisis/strife you should consider some important points.

    1) Bush takes himself and his beliefs (I am not talking faith) too seriously. How did we get into Iraq this time anyway? If I recall correctly it was bogus and cherry picked intelligence reports. I am sure he believed he was right and doing the right thing and look where that got us. There is some serious ‘group think’ going on up there in the current administration and I think that is because they all take themselves a little too seriously.

    2) Humor is an important part of freedom of speech. Is that not of the most fundamental rights that sets America apart? If you are an American Veteran, your time and service was not just for the freedoms for those you agree with or like. It is for everyone here in America, no matter how much they irritate you, Colbert included. That being said, I respect your right to disagree.

    3) Good political satire is hard to find. Like Colbert or hate him, he is very good at what he does. He is obviously well read and always goes for the joke, even if the joke is ‘Colbert is an idiot.’ In an interview with Charlie Rose, Colbert said that there is no amount of prestige or respect that he won’t give up for a joke.

    4) Typing in all capital letters is poor internet etiquette. If you want people to take you seriously then put your best foot forward. Even if it takes a little time to spell check your compositions and think it through before you post it.

    Here is the most important one:

    5) Colbert is only running for president in South Carolina. Why do you all think he is only running in one state? Once you can answer that question, then you will be in on the joke.

    Just some food for thought...

    October 29, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Penniless but ambitious and hungry, St. Paul, MN

    The heck with President, we should elect Colbert King for Life. I personally love Doritos. If Colbert promises price reduced Doritos as part of his platform, I will personally give every penny to my name to the Colbert campaign.

    October 29, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    The Breck Girl needs to lighten up.

    Nacho cheese FTW!!!

    October 29, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. christian

    are you kidding me hawk?? we need a president who is capable of being a real human being. what do you want a miserable person talking about how grave our situation is or a positive person talking about how good our situation could become.i love steven colbert for TELLING GEORGE BUSH TO HIS FACE HOW BAD OF A PRESIDENT HE IS AND FOR HOW HE DESTROYED BILL OREILLY ON HIS OWN SHOW!!! CHECK HIM OUT ON YOUTUBE HE WAS BRILLIANT

    October 29, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Why is this man being allowed to make a mockery of the Presidential Election of the United States?

    Anyone who thinks this is humourous, cute, or sane they need a few therapy sessions as does Colbert!

    What a great boost to the American Image this will be!

    October 29, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. Jake, Warwick, New York

    On the contrary Hawk from Texas,

    what we need now is Stephen Colbert.

    October 29, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. Brian, Austin TX

    To all of you who are FREAKING OUT about this,

    I really don't see what the big deal is. Colbert is ONLY running in South Carolina. His campaign (though it's clear it's kind of supporting Edwards, wink, wink) ENDS in S.C.

    So everybody lighten up....
    ... and by the way..

    OBAMA 2008

    October 29, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. -Y, Philadelphia

    Edwards is trying to cash in on Colbert sudden popularity rise. By running for president, a simple joke, Colbert has been able to boost his popularity. Edwards has seen the success of this strategy and is trying to fuse comedy into his campaign. The statement by Edward's spokesman is a joking rebuttal.

    October 29, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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