November 6th, 2007
09:49 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama supporters pressed Dems to keep Colbert off ballot

Prominent Obama supporters in South Carolina pressed Democratic party officials to keep Stephen Colbert off the primary ballot.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Two prominent supporters of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign in South Carolina called state Democratic Party officials and urged them to keep funnyman Stephen Colbert's name off the primary ballot, according to party officials and Obama supporters.

The Obama campaign denied any connection to the phone calls.

"Democrats in South Carolina, including supporters of ours, had strong feelings on both sides of the ballot issue, and ultimately it was South Carolina Democrats who made this decision," said Obama's South Carolina communications director Kevin Griffis.

The South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Council voted last week 13-3 to block Colbert's bid for the Democratic primary.

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Related video: CNN producer Peter Hamby discusses this story on Newsroom

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– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. Terri, Plantation, FL

    You all MUST be kidding. Leave aside the fact that Obama's campaign clearly said they had no connection to this, does anyone seriously think a comedian doing a spoof candidacy in one state is something that should even be considered, let alone make news when some people think the electoral process should be taken just a little more seriously?

    The biggest joke is the electorate making any of this an issue to even discuss. Wake up people. This country is a freaking mess! People are dying by the day in Iraq, people are barely making ends meet, the new AG claims not to know what waterboarding is, there's every chance this administration is trying to get us into a war with Iran - THIS is making news????????

    CNN never misses an opportunity to bash Obama on anything. This is more proof.

    How about running a story about how the Clinton campaign regularly spreads derogatory articles about her opponents to the press and blogs in order to slime Obama and Edwards behind the scenes while feigning innocense to the public. THAT's something to be concerned about. Read Salon.com's article. THAT's something that should anger people. That's something that is worthy of coverage on the Political Ticker. But don't ever expect any real investigation of Hillary on this site.

    Get a clue people! You're being manipulated.

    November 6, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. james, Minneapolis, MN

    I think the age for president is 36 or 37

    November 6, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton FL

    Senator Obama had nothing to do with the phone calls...You people honestly need to learn to read...

    November 6, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Matt Nashville TN

    That's a shame, Steve Tyrone Colbert IS the truth. He would have been a good president atleast better than Hillary. If Hillary becomes president that would be a joke. So, if we are going to be "joking" around anyways why don't we just have a REAL comedian do the job? Barack is just mad cause he sees his percentage points dropping fast and needed a way to pick them back up. BARACK, STOP HATING ON COLBERT!

    November 6, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Arshad, Newburgh, NY

    CLINTON NEWS NETWORK,
    1st of all, Colbert would not have been a detraction for Obama. Obama's supporters are much more serious. As you see some are coming even from Republican because they believe in Obama. So Obama's vote would have never gone to Colbert, a comedian who is trying to make fun of presidential politics instead of taking it seriously. However, weak supporters of Hillary or Edwards might have been gone to Colbert, benefiting Obama.

    Secondly, SC democrats made the decision and they are not part of Obama campaign. If Obama had that much influence on democratic establishment on states, he would have been leading everywhere.

    One thing is true though. This story goes on to say, how pathetic CNN is, the so called trusted news network. Also it reads the pulse of fear and desperation in Clinton's campaign. Hillary is playing gender card. Bill Clinton is blaming democrats that his wife is getting swift boated by her own party. And Clinton News Network is making headlines out of anything. This is the beginning of end of Clinton candidacy. Spin all you can until IOWA caucus is over.

    November 6, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Nick, Eugene, OR

    Colbert is my hero...but you cannot try to run in both Parties. Everyone knew it was a joke. The Democratic Committee was right to keep him off. And I don't blame Obama for this...he would have had the most to lose from Colbert's comedic candidacy getting on the ballot. I still love Colbert though!

    November 6, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Angela, Alexandria, VA

    I think alot of you are forgetting that Colbert is a comedian and shouldn't be taken seriously. He is wasting people's time and that's why Obama's people dont want him. I dont know why people are so offended by this..he is NOT serious...he needs to get a life.

    November 6, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. Dave, Milwaukee WI

    This is by far the most misleading article about Obama thus far by CNN...or should I say Clinton's Nomination Network. Your journalistic integrety is going the way of Fox News. Way to go. Also, for all you ignorant Clinton backers...take it easy...sounds like you're getting nervous.

    November 6, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Brandie Ragin Tampa, FL

    From someone who doesn't believe everything she reads or hears, this story seems to be something intentionally leaked to the media in order to kill Obama's credibility. I'm not buying it & neither will intelligent Americans. I am all for abolishing Party Affiliations in general. That way, America can lighten up & vote for individuals based upon their own voices & merits. Wouldn't that be a TRUE democracy? We decide for ourselves and toss the electoral voting procedure in the mud. Make it true that EVERY INDIVIDUAL VOTE COUNTS toward the WHOLE election, not just State. There was a comment from someone stating they are black & would not waste their vote on Obama, simply because they said he wouldn't win any state below the "Mason-Dixon" line. It is a travesty that Obama, a man I truly believe to be genuine, to lose this race because of racism. Seriously? I can't believe we are STILL dealing with that. Another reason our country should be ashamed.

    November 6, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Elvis is Alive Houston

    Why was Cobert going to run again?
    Ans: Oh! to get attention for his new book.

    Who were going to vote for him?
    Ans: Dump Americans

    What happened with him getting on the Republican balot?
    Ans: He was axed

    So who is the real idiot now?
    Those who are acting on a non story
    This man had no mandate to run on. If he wants to be president he should get serious and start just like all potential candidates

    Is this worth reporting?
    Ans: Ofcourse because CNN is pro Hillary. They lack real negative stories to run against Barack Obama

    Why not talk about JOhn Edward even?
    Ans: He will reign on the big corpations and media including CNN if he wins.

    Should i boycot CNN?
    Ans: Yes because it is a disgrace to American values. I recommend you do same too.

    Please do accurate and factual articles that really inform voters. It the duty of every new network to inform correctly and faily it's audience.

    November 6, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. boink

    prez only has to be 35. ever heard of JFK?

    November 6, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Leo, VA

    Presidential campaigns rely on supporters, so don't pretend you don't see the connection. Yes, Obama could lose many votes to Colbert, but other candidates could lose too. Regardless age, Colbert makes lots of sense to many, even for making a point about the political mockery. This was a stupid move by 'supporters'..

    And don't get so worried about CNN bringing news about Obama. Get used with this, some are convenient, others not so good for his image! CNN is quite biased toward Obama anyway...

    November 6, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Theresa LV NV

    Every time I think that the human race (and I'm including the media in this) cannot sink any lower, an article like this appears.

    With the important issues that are facing this nation today, this is what you report and comment about.

    The only up side is that CNN and its Clinton robots can only come up with something as inane as Stephen Colbert in which to slam Senator Obama. Nothing of substance.

    November 6, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. TheInsider

    Posted By Ethan Austin, TX : November 6, 2007 12:46 pm

    It's THIRTY-FIVE

    November 6, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Clinton News Network

    Hey, I heard that the guy who just got arrested for murdering a Philadelphia cop had planned on voting for Hillary Clinton. Wow, Clinton and her campaign are nothing but vicious murderers. I was going to vote for her but not anymore – she's lost my vote!

    November 6, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. latifaz

    I can see why Obama would not want this guy in the mix, the only Republican that does not want troops in Iraq, It's Right, It's the perfect republican Storm and it's ingenious$!! and it might just work. http://www.latifaz.com

    November 6, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Clinton News Network

    fOR those of you who won't vote for Obama because of this it is very sad.

    Posted By Ronald Charles : November 6, 2007 12:30 pm

    Don't worry – none of these knucleheads who are saying that because of this, they won't vote for Obama "anymore" were obviously not going to vote for him to begin with...and are trying to add some anti-Obama spin in addition to CNN's own anti-Obama spin, to make it look like this "issue" will actually have an impact on Obama.

    November 6, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. Brett, Asheville, NC

    It's a shame that a high profile news organization like CNN is framing this issue in a way to unfairly hurt the Obama campaign. Obama wishes to bring real change to Washington, and because some supporters may have expressed concern over Colbert's inclusion on the ballot, he's now going to be the scapegoat for Colbert's foiled "campaign".

    Keep in mind that Colbert's "campaign" was never legitimate. SC Democratic Party rules state that in order for a candidate to be included on the ballot, they must be a "nationally viable" candidate. Only running in one primary state is not the way to prove you're "nationally viable". Colbert may be popular and well known nationwide, but his comedic attempt to run for President makes a mockery of the American political system and deserved to be prevented.

    But, this will likely not change the minds of blindly driven Colbert fans who believe their favorite comedian actually had a shot. Come on, it's time to grow up and realize that this election is entirely too serious to let something like this distract us from the REAL issues.

    November 6, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. Alex, Drexel Hill, PA

    i say good if they did. the colbert candidacy was a bad joke and people have a right to oppose it. if you're not serious about a presidential bid, then you shouldn't run. maybe Colbert figured that out and that's why he backed out. it was a joke that had gone way too far.

    November 6, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Gloria Covington, KY

    Back in the 90's, my mother told me how she was having tea with her Republican neighbors. When the subjuect of President Clinton came up, her neighbors spewed off some hateful words about the President.

    "I don't know why Republicans have to be so hateful." my mother said.

    It's kind of funny, now, that supporters of Hillary Clinton are now spewing out the same kind of hateful rhetoric- as they have been since January- against people who are simply trying to compete with her for the nomination.

    Acutally, it's not funny- it's downright sad.

    November 6, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. brandie r. buffalo, ny

    Anyone who changes their vote from Obama, simply because of this story, NEVER intended to vote for him anyway. They are brainwashable voters that are just as bad as a side-stepping, change positions every other second candidates. Hypocrites.
    I'm sick of everyone accusing Obama of doing dishonest things. It's to the point that opposers have to make up accusations & pin things on him that he HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH!!! Even the STORY said "supporters". It could have been a real phone call from anyone in the country!!! Why are people so blind? They can't just let a good man be a GOOD MAN! They have to reach for any nonsense to degrade his character. Guess what? He IS a competitor because anyone who is an honest, hard-working, human being SHOULD be voting for him...wait...maybe he's not a threat since there don't seem to be very many honest people out there these days...
    hmm?

    November 6, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. las vegas nv

    So what if even Obama himself went in to oppose Colbert?. America is a free country.

    You think Hillary wants Obama to run!?

    Please people and paid Clinton staff. We the people are smarter than to let some CNN tabloid headline sway our vote.

    Obama Republican in South Carolina

    Posted By Richard : November 6, 2007 11:02 am

    well said

    November 6, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. nelson colorado springs co

    Don't jump on Sen Barack Obama's to quick. The question should be to producer peter handy is who are these two prominent supporters. If you going to use Sen Obama picture on this statement, the names should in prints also you can ask them the question why. this is bad print on this just make people mad.

    November 6, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. Roger Row, Howell, MI

    I am a huge fan of Colbert's,but there is nothing funny about this election. If Steve were serious, I would defend his right. Eight years of tears and fears leave little room for humor. GW is both funny and tragic. Sorry for the lack of humor and tolerance but we must keep out eye on the prize. As soon as we blink, the Republicans will steal another election.

    November 6, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    What a bunch of shrill, naive idiots! I'm hopin' you're all joking around, because if most of you seriously believe Stephen Colbert was running for president and that Obama shut him down, we've got a problem.
    Colbert is a tv comedian, and he's not actually running. He's off the air due to the writers' strike, and that should give you a clue that he's not really a politician. Ask your nephew, granny. Colbert, who has lots of money right now, planned to pay to run as a Dem AND a Rep, but decided it wasn't worth it. He has always said he'd run ONLY in SC, and has made sure that he is a 'non-viable' candidate ineligible to run nationally. He just wants to be in a debate; remember, this is the guy who handed Bush his butt at the White House Correspondent's dinner.

    Obama didn't 'do anything' to Colbert. How country are some of you posters? Colbert was amazed that someone might actually earmark the twenty grand to put him on the ballot, but he always knew they wouldn't. It's a stunt to promote his book, which is already a best-seller. Seriously, OMG, did you guys think Obama was stifling a legit candidate? South Carolina just said, ok, joke's over.

    November 6, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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