October 17th, 2007
03:21 PM ET
15 years ago

Colbert announces bid for the White House

Colbert said Tuesday he will run for president in South Carolina.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He hinted at a possible run for the White House on CNN's Larry King last week, but Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert made it official Tuesday night: he's jumping into the presidential race in his home state of South Carolina.

"After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call….I am hereby declaring that I will enter the presidential primary in my native South Carolina, running as a favorite son," Colbert said on his show Tuesday night. "I defy any other candidate to pander more to the people of South Carolina - those beautiful, beautiful people."

South Carolina is one of four lead-off primary states that will likely play a crucial role in determining the eventual nominee of both parties.

On Larry King last Thursday, Colbert laid out his potential electoral strategy, saying he'd see how he did in South Carolina before deciding to move on to other states. (Watch Colbert discuss his political life on CNN's Larry King)

"I think maybe there's something I could offer the campaign on a state-by-state basis," he said. "I would target a state individually…a test run."

Colbert, author of the recently released “I Am America (And So Can You!),” also told King he'd seek to run as both a Democrat and Republican.

"I'd let the people decide what party I belong in," he said. "I don't dictate the people's actions."

In the interview with King, Colbert also brushed aside suggestions that it was a "cop out" to run in both parties, calling it instead courageous, because, "I could lose twice." (Related video: Watch more of Larry King's interview with Colbert)

In the slim chance that he wins a party's nomination, Colbert said Tuesday he'd consider either Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Russian President Vladimir Putin, or himself for a running mate.

"Colbert-Colbert - that's a strong ticket," he argued.

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    "The facts show, Lib and Liar are synonyms."
    - - -
    Please check ANY dictionary for definition of the words "facts" and "synonyms". Then look up "opinion" and "truth".

    October 17, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. Rev Kathy Speas

    Amen! Praise the Lord and pass the Rolaids! Where do I apply for an internship? (As for the suggestion of Lewis Black as VP, don't you see him more in a Secretary of Defense role?]

    October 17, 2007 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    for the love of america, vote for colbert! read between the political satire and see the vision he has for a constitutional, capitalist, fair and just american state.

    October 17, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. Stacy, San Francisco, CA

    Those of you who think he's actually running for president need a lesson in sarcasm... I feel sorry for you.

    October 17, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. Alex, Plainfield

    I will not vote for him. What's the point Colbert?

    October 17, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. Brad, Vancouver, BC

    I'd love to see him participate in a Republican debate. Most watched debate ever?

    October 17, 2007 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  7. Jeff, Kihei HI

    Finally, the race is getting interesting. Colbert comes across as better read and less manufactured than any candidate in either party.

    A good showing in South Carolina would probably kick both parties in the pants and create a minor panic. Maybe the campaign season will become issue driven and relevant to the millions who do not vote.

    Now that we don't teach civics in school anymore, apathy (and ignorance)about the government abounds. People have forgotten how to be informed voters who are interested in this precious gift of democracy. Cobert has their attention and loves the constitution. We all win if he can get his fans interested in the electoral process.

    Although I don't think he is seriously going to go past one primary, don't discount him. Ronald Reagan, the actor and Sonny Bono, the comedian both did better in their elected positions than they did in their earlier professions.

    October 17, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  8. Louie, Las Vegas, NV

    He's got my vote. Go get 'em Stephen!

    October 17, 2007 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  9. Charles in Utah

    Back in the day when Pat Poulsen ran for President it was fresh and funny. Colbert is no Pat Poulsen. Grow up and go out and get a real job. What a hack.

    October 18, 2007 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  10. Ryan, Chatham, Ontario

    To those touting that Colbert cannot run because he is Canadian; no he isn't. He was born in Washington D.C. Stephen Colbert the person and Stephen Colbert the character are very different people, with very different backgrounds.
    eg. Colbert the person has a wife, while Colbert the character has an unhealthy obsession with a high-school crush named Charlene.

    October 18, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  11. Todd, Indianapolis

    Is Colbert any more of a joke than our current White House?

    October 18, 2007 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. Syf, Chicago Illinois

    Yesssss Colbert is so awesome, that if he was even more awesome, that would make him less awesome, that is how awesome he is.

    October 18, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Philadelphia, PA

    Seems like the movie "Man of the Year" is actually going to become a reality. Colbert has my vote!

    October 19, 2007 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  14. Anonymous

    He should do it like Jay Bulworth. or Robin Williams.

    October 19, 2007 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  15. fort atkinson WI

    to the people saying that he is making a joke of the system. hes not its the politicians that have done that. its about time that someone is running who most people can relate to. ill vote for him

    October 19, 2007 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  16. MJ, Greenville SC

    This sounds like a version of the Rhinoceros Party? Is he serious or just goofing?


    October 21, 2007 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  17. not telling any one

    yall know he will loose his job if he runs or gets elected?

    October 21, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  18. Chris NRH, Tx

    I would vote for Colbert!!

    October 22, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Linda, Dixons Mills, aL

    I would vote for him. Colbert 08!!

    October 23, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Paul Beck Howell, Mi

    Wow people, genius! Either Stewart/Colbert or Colbert/Stewart, I don't care. Here's a suggestion: Write them in anyways. It's better than voting for who is actually running.

    October 25, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. Jeff Storrs CT

    He's got my vote, and among the people I've talked to he has our votes solely because we know our votes aren't going to count anyways. I found this website had some good information about Colbert's official statements, and how to write in a candidate that is not already on the ballot. http://www.WriteInColbert.org

    October 25, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. Betty Ann Charleston, South Carolina

    I'm from Charleston,South Carolina (the Colbert home-city), and I'm a HUGE Stephen Colbert fan...

    I want him to run for the Presidency, but I really don't know what it means for him to run only in South Carolina as a "favorite son". Does that mean that if he makes the ballot here that he gets to go on the big ticket?

    Tell me, CNN! I need some clarification!

    October 29, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Aubrey Hernandez

    Yeah!!!!!! Finally a real candidate.
    I can't wait to see him debate and crush all the other loser candidates.
    Colbert for President!!

    October 30, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  24. devon ramsay winnipeg manitoba canada

    i hate the fact that people dont take this guy as a serious threat!! hell if i was american and lived in south caralina i would vote stephen... WHO wouldnt!!. the man is a figgin god! :> i love the colbert report!

    November 1, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
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