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. Josh Simmons

    No surprise here. Obama has helped take out the only Democratic hopeful I would vote for. At least Steven Colbert says the Pledge of Allegiance unlike Mr. Obama.

    November 6, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Andrew, Lancaster, New York

    Wow... is CNN trying to kill the Obama campaign??? Why bothe mentioning Obama in this section. It was his supporters, not him that blocked Colbert. This could really hurt Obama if Colbert's supporters decide to not support Obama now.

    November 6, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Michael, NYC

    Sean, exactly. These people were endorsers, not official members of the campaign, and it is extremely unfair for CNN to couch this story in this way. Most aren't going to read the entire article so they are going to miss the important point that these aren't members of the Obama campaign. Ridiculous.

    November 6, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Edward Palasthy

    If Colbert meets the requirements set by the Constitution how can this be blocked. Isn't that in itself Unconstitutional? I think OBAMA needs a lesson in Government 101 as well as protocol lessons on putting your hand over your heart during the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.

    November 6, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Obama denied again, he always denied when he has troubles. Mr. Hamby told us who called but Obama still denied. Obama and his team are liars and do anything for their benefits. People are smarter than Obama and his supporters, he will be sorry soon.

    November 6, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. als, Dublin OH

    The headline "Obama team helps kill Colbert campaign" on your front page is extremely disingenous. It doesn't make any sense to immediately give the Obama "team" responsibility for all of its supporters actions. If they are actually part of Obama's campaign staff, then say so in your article, if they are not don't insinuate that they are by posting bogus headlines.

    November 6, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. Chris, Canada

    "Obama might potentially lose some votes"...so we won't allow another candidate on the ballot? I'm not even from the US, but that seems incredibly ridiculous. There are other candidates that might take votes from Obama as well, should we make some calls and get them off the ballot so he wins by default?

    November 6, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. Mike, Louisville, KY

    This is why young people are so disillusioned with politics. It's no secret that Republicans are out of touch with society, but it becomes clearer and clearer every day that Democrats aren't much closer.

    Obama just lost any chance he may have had of landing my vote.

    November 6, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Mike, Houston, TX

    You know your campaign is over when you have to take Colbert as a serious threat. Time to go home Barack.

    November 6, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Andy, Simpsonville, SC

    This is yet another example of the black man keeping the white man down!

    November 6, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Michael, NYC

    Shame on you CNN for having the headline on your main page that you do for this story. It is clear that the two people of note are supporters, NOT members of the Obama campaign. This is ridiculous. Please get out of Hillary's pocket for just a minute and correct the error.

    November 6, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Sam Lutz, FL

    Any citizen should be able to run for president, but if that citizen is not even serious about his/her candidacy, then they should be denied. Colbert said it himself, that he didn't want to be president, he wanted to 'run for president.' If he would just step out of character and run as the real person, then I wouldn't mind hearing him out. But this is the presidency, and we can't afford another mistake like Bush.

    November 6, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. jimmy, buda, tx

    Isnt it amazing that barack of all people wants everything to be exclusive now. what about politics of hope, I guess that is only for people who look like you, mr obama.

    November 6, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. Joey

    Senator Obama's volunteers obviously don't have an ounce of humor in their bodies. What a sad state this country has come to when a politician's supporters are afraid of a comedian.

    November 6, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. BD

    NOW, I get it.

    CNN is puts out these stories to test just how stupid people are so they will know how to spin their future coverage of the election. Now I get it.

    November 6, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Bob, DC

    Yet another sneaky move by Obama where his excuse is that he wasn't aware and it was staffers/supporters acting alone.

    This has nothing to do with Hillary, Sean. Obama was simply scared that Colbert might drain more votes from him than he picked up by pandering to ultra-religious homophobes.

    November 6, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. Rob

    What the heck is this. If this is true print the proof. This is a manufactured story until I see it. Is CNN in the business of lying to the American people? If this turns out to be untrue CNN runs the risk of seeing a massive boycott coming.

    November 6, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. Ralph Nader Washington, DC

    The Democratic Party as a whole fought to keep Ralph Nader off the ballot in 2004.

    November 6, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. Sami, Manassas Va

    It's situations like this that make candidates look bad, whether or not the two were staffers of Obama's, Obama has not stepped forward to say anything about it. I would never vote for Hillary so Obama was the best decision... now I'm unsure of that...

    November 6, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. Scott, Greenville, South Carolina

    Colbert was only running in one state, and that to me at least doesn't make a very viable candidate. He was running to make a mockery of the election process and to increase his ratings, nothing more. I'm glad he was not allowed on the ballot.

    Anyone CAN become president, if they actually have the intention to hold the office.

    November 6, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. Jim, Ann Arbor MI

    I really hope that CNN isn't pinning the actions of one Obama supporter on the entire campaign. The Ticker headline implies that Obama's campain had a role in blocking Colbert, while the story suggests it was just someone who happened to be a supporter of his.

    November 6, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. Jim, New Castle DE

    Granted, Colbert is probably no more a "viable candidate" than Pat Paulson was back in the 1970's. But when did we enact this "viable candidate" rule in order to get on a ballot?

    November 6, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. RealityKing

    If Colbert were serious, he would run as an independent. But that would cut against the progressive agenda of getting Hillary elected because Colbert would draw to many mindless dem voters away from Hillary in a National election.

    There are no reruns as President when your puppet masters writting the scripts go on strike..

    November 6, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Mary B, Cedar Rapids IA

    First of all, Colbert didn't meet the standards required for a candidate; he didn't have any intention of running for President; by running in only one state, there is no way he could be considered a serious candidate, which doesn't meet the standards to be accepted. Seems the committee agreed on that.

    Second of all, HE'S A COMEDIAN!!!! Don't you people get it? This is a joke on America, and FOR Americans. The fact that CNN picked this up is also a joke (tho of a different sort).

    Third, he can still run, as an Independent, Green Party candidate, or completely un-sponsored by any party. He doesn't want to be President...(get it yet? this is ONE STATE!)

    Fourth, (before I move on to some REAL news) is anyone upset that he couldn't even get the money to run for his rightful party, the Republican ticket? We all known Colbert's on air persona is a Republican; and it cost TOO MUCH for him to even get on the ballot. Where is your outrage over THAT????? Colbert can't afford to run to be President in the party in which he politically belongs. 35k to get on the ballot in ONE STATE. If you want to get outraged (and believe me there are plenty of REAL things to be outraged over) get outraged over the fact that the REPUBLICANS DON'T WANT ANY POOR OR MIDDLE CLASS CITIZENS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.

    November 6, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. John, Detroit, Michigan

    i'm not surprised his team was behind it, considering this article is completely right in saying that Colbert would have stolen Obama's constituency right out from under him. This move was pretty underhanded from someone advocating "transparent" politics.

    Let people run if they want to run! How desperate can Obama get?

    November 6, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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