Colbert for president (again)
January 12th, 2012
08:08 PM ET
2 years ago

Colbert for president (again)

(CNN) - Faux-news host and comedian Stephen Colbert announced Thursday night he was launching his second run for president in South Carolina.

"I'm proud to announce I plan to form an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my candidacy in the United States of South Carolina," Colbert said at a taping of his show Thursday evening.

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Colbert said voters in South Carolina saw him as an alternative to current GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney.

"Clearly my fellow South Caroliniacs see me as the only Mitternative," Colbert said.

However, according to South Carolina election law, Colbert may not get his way. The state's website said write-in votes are prohibited in political party primaries or for president and vice president.

South Carolina Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire told CNN with the Republican presidential primary just nine days away, there "won't even be a way for someone to do that because it's not allowed under the law."

The comedian missed the November 1 filing deadline to get his name on the GOP primary ballot. Whitmire added that, in accordance with the law, there's no write-in space on the electronic and paper primary ballots.

Colbert, who filed to run for the White House as a Democrat in 2007, lost a fight with South Carolina's Democratic Party when it removed him from the state's 2008 primary ballot, a step that ended his presidential bid.

But the comedian has been back in full force this election cycle with his own Super PAC, called "Making a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow."

In October, the Federal Election Commission allowed Colbert to form the group, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on a candidate as long as it doesn't coordinate with a candidate's campaign.

In the taping of his show Thursday, Colbert confronted that hurdle, officially signing over the super PAC to fellow Comedy Central host Jon Stewart.

As a satire on super PAC rules, the group created a commercial endorsing "Rick P(a)rry" just days before the Texas governor launched his White House bid this summer.

"So to prove we're truly uncoordinated, we're asking voters to write in Parry with an A – as in America, IowA, or PresidAnt," Colbert said. "You can feel confident he's not asking us to do that."

In the fall, Colbert also made news when he offered $500,000 of super PAC funds to cover the cost of South Carolina's primary on January 21, following a heated battle within the state over who would pay for the contest-the state party or the taxpayers.

In return, Colbert, a South Carolina native, asked for the rights to change the name of the primary to the "The Colbert Super PAC South Carolina Republican Primary."

The state did not take him up on the offer.

– CNN's Shawna Shepherd, Ashley Killough and Julian Cummings contributed to this report.

Also see:

Santorum warns voters of scary rhetoric

Rivals grudgingly defend Romney from Bain criticism

Haley warns Republicans against Romney attacks

Gingrich: South Carolina will be 'Armageddon' of attacks


Filed under: 2012 • South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (239 Responses)
  1. Recovering Republican

    Colbert is the only Conservative I would consider voting for.

    January 13, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Corn

    The article contains two errors. (1) FEC didn't "allow" Colbert to create a SuperPAC, which doesn't need FEC approval. FEC allowed Colbert to talk about his SuperPAC on his TV show under the media exception from the rule requiring financial disclosure by Corporations (Cable Company) on their in-kind contribution to a political committee. (2) State of South Carolina didn't turn down Colbert's offer, the GOP of South Carolina did.

    January 13, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. ORLY

    Great!

    Now I can bombard the comments section of every political story (until after the 11.2012 election) on all the major US news sites with:

    "OUTRAGE!

    YET ANOTHER POLITICAL STORY WITH no MENTION OF COLBERT!"

    w00t.

    January 13, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Jess Sayin

    Anybody remember Pat Paulson?

    January 13, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Mish

    Colbert 2012!!!!!

    January 13, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. rbe6f

    Get him on a ballot! He'll get my vote. Write in from New York

    January 13, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    "am amazed at the Democrats and leftists constant attempts to control the dissemination of information in a free society. "

    How does repealing Citizens United "control the dissemination of information in a free society"? Are you claiming that before Citizens United the left was in fact controlling the dissemination of information? Cause I'm not seeing any big difference here except a lot of faceless members of the hidden elite are allowed doing more media buys to disseminate propaganda with very little information content.

    January 13, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Ya got my vote, Stephen. You're way better than the flaccid field of candidates in this year's conservative clown car crop.

    January 13, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. whosurdaddie

    Genius comes in many forms and in many fields in my opinion. The fields of science, art, music, you name it. All forms of genius require a level of consideration that few others can attain in any given field. I must say in the field of comedy and satire, Colbert is a pure genius, hands down. I've never seen anyone create a character and inject it into reality the way Colbert has. Second to none, Colbert will go down in history as one of the greatest satirists in American history.

    January 13, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. daddyisback

    Genius comes in many forms and in many fields in my opinion. The fields of science, art, music, you name it. All forms of genius require a level of consideration that few others can attain in any given field. I must say in the field of comedy and satire, Colbert is a pure genius, hands down. I've never seen anyone create a character and inject it into reality the way Colbert has. Second to none, Colbert will go down in history as one of the greatest satirists in American history.

    January 13, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    Last night was great moment we came to know how super PAC works

    January 13, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. LWZRGHT

    Actually, the state DID take him up on the offer. They even flew to New York to sign the papers to get the money. But then the GOP refused it, and I suppose someone arrange an alternate source of fun-ding.

    January 13, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. Faustus

    Colbert has no chance at all. He is too moral to be elected to politcal office.

    January 13, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. TomFoolery

    When has Colbert ever even discussed anything in public when not acting as his satirical, straw man conservative character? He testified in front of Congress and couldn't even take that seriously. People in here saying they'd vote for him have never heard anything from the man on what he believes, or would do. They can assume that he's the opposite of his caricature persona, but is he?

    January 13, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    I have to admit, I'd vote for Colbert before voting for Obama. At least Colbert would be honest and admit he was not ready to be President, unlike Obama.

    January 13, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Kat

    Everyone is really missing the point... he did this to demonstrate the lax rules around and outright collusion of these superpacs. All this is happening thanks to the US supreme court.

    January 13, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. Lizzy10

    I think at this point, he couldn't be any worse than anyone else the GOP is thinking of running. Love him!

    January 13, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. lance corporal

    wow talk about missing the point.... in a comedy bit that was actually about the collusion between between candidates and pacs and the Gov't seemingly obvious allowance of that the take away is the silly anouncement that was actually the punchline of the joke and not the POINT of the joke....WOW! the discussion SHOULD be about candidates unlimited spending thru these pacs and the "wink and nod" way our regulators allow it

    January 13, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. DUDE!

    The political scene has been bombarded by religious fanatics and wishful thinkers. It's pretty sad when comedians think that they can do a better job than elected officials.

    January 13, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. JoeT

    Don't know about the Texas primaries, if we get to have them, but it would sure be nice to vote and/or caucus for Colbert.

    January 13, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Fair is Fair:

    You understood my point to Gurgi exactly as it was intended.

    January 13, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Kimberly

    WOW! I am laughing my butt off reading the comments from people that are taking this serious,hes making a fool of ALL political figures! Hes NOT pretending to be a conservative, hes an OVER THE TOP characture of a republican. Clearly the people writing these comments, dont have a CLUE who he is. In fact, hes actually a brilliant guy! And to the guy/girl that said LIBERALS vote for hollywood types, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????? Regean, AH-NOLD, trump... I am SURE there are more, but seriously, this is NOT a Liberal thing!

    January 13, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Thomas

    Who is the CNN COMMENTS editor today ?

    Please let me know why you didn't post my last five comments ,
    did I not comply with your guidelines ?

    I thought Journalism went with free speech .

    January 13, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US! - to disseminate propaganda with very little information content.
    =====================================================================================
    Who appointed YOU Commissar of Information Disemination and Accuracy?

    I think all the stuff Obama and the Democrats put out is a bunch of lies and propaganda. Can I have all that shut down?

    Welcome to America lefty... where freedom of speech and expression RULES and censorship is ABHORRED. Live with it!

    January 13, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. proudDem

    chuchsheen9 stated: "Only a liberal would vote for a Hollywood actor". AMAZING! Please don't vote, chuchsheen9. Your party has done enough to screw up this country.

    January 13, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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