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.

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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. Paul W, Portland, OR

    FINALLY...A candidate I can believe in! I'm voting for him...Colbert in 08!

    October 17, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. CG Austin, TX

    I hope he's serious. The man is articulate, intelligent, and humorous. He has the ability to blur the party line better than any other candidate. He has more charisma than any of the others for sure!

    October 17, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Gene, Barstow CA

    This news will be met with cries of "don't waste your vote on this prankster!" But seriously, LOOK AT THE ALTERNATIVES!

    COLBERT 2008!

    October 17, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Cheryl Fontaine, Lake Stevens, WA

    Finally! A candidate I can believe in!

    HOORAH for Colbert – all the way guy!

    October 17, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Clayton St.louis, Missouri

    I'd vote for him. It would be awesome to see Colbert with Lewis Black as the vice president. We'd finally see some positive change. haha

    October 17, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Mike, Virginia Beach, VA

    He will never be stuffy or tow the political party-line. I just wonder if America would be taken seriously in the international realm should he be elected President. How would he react to a threat to our National Security or a national disaster – could he be serious long enough to make a decision that could potentially impact the lives of thousands, or even millions? I'm going to consider giving him a chance, because beneath the comical exterior, I believe he CAN be a much better leader than those currently running who only have personal agendas and lobbyists to appease. Colbert – if you reveal even the slightest bit of capability, you have my vote. Of course, as you know, the people don't actually elect you – the Electoral College System does (in order to prevent people like you from getting to the top). Good luck regardless!

    October 17, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. James Jack, Atlanta, GA

    His running makes just as much sense as any other coporate crony under the guise of republican or democrat. The people are no longer truly represented in America. Political offices are all about representing coporate interests and funneling tax payer dollars to private coporations whose ceo's and board of directors constantly revolve between government and private sectors and ultimately cash in on these policies. Meanwhile, your average American is more interested in celebrity and sports news and America is going sown the toilet. Maybe the downfall of America is for the best. American's are just a bunch of sheep now...waiting for the slaughter!

    October 17, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. Damien, Reston VA

    I'd vote for Colbert. If he becomes president, at least I'd have a reason to laugh at the president without feeling ashamed that he represents myself and my country. GO COLBERT!

    October 17, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. Aaron

    As someone who has studied political science, I find this to be a sad sad day for the system.

    However, as a person, I happen to like him–and though I wouldn't vote for him, I think he'd make the race rather interesting.

    October 17, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. EM

    So, I know who I'm voting for.

    October 17, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    What a moron.

    October 17, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. Scott Schrader, Mounds View, MN

    we have our new Pat Paulson.

    Colbert will be unpleasantly surprised that his show will be hiatused. otherwise, Comedy Central would have to offer equal time to every other presidential candidate.

    and none of them INTEND to be funny, although most are a scream.

    October 17, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Jon G. Paris, TX

    Hmm, looks like the Bears of America group will try to stop his campaign. Good luck Stephen...seriously consider Jon as veep!

    October 17, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Steph, Littleton, Ma

    My fear is that he will be taken as a serious threat and the other candidates will 'hire' someone to take him 'out' of the running. Like steal his glasses or something.
    But he's got my vote.

    October 17, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. mark LA, CA

    i just dare any candidate to debate with him... any of them.

    October 17, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Tony, Napa CA

    John from St. Louis, our system is already a joke...why not have a comedian in the running for it's highest office?

    October 17, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. T. V. Rajan, Farmington, CT

    Hey, I would not only vote for him, but campaign too! Go Colbert!!!

    October 17, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Rodrigo, Madrid Spain

    It´d be great if, in reality, there was a candidate that both democrats and republicans would not only tolerate, but actually vote for.
    It would go a long way in unifying americans if politicians understood the power of humor.

    October 17, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Rick Pike, Jacksonville FL

    This reminds me of when Pat Paulson was always running for President. And he got votes too. I would think it is funny that Colbert would win. It would send a strong message to both Republicans and Democrats that the American people are tired of their political rhetoric.

    October 17, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Carole, Norfolk, VA

    I love Stephen Colbert, too. But the comments so far show exactly why we have the problem everyone is talking about. In a 2004 post-election poll, many people said they voted for Bush because he was the candidate "they'd most like to have a beer with." Well, guess what? They got exactly what they deserved. The problem is, the rest of us got it, too. If we don't take the time to find out where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to us–and then get off our asses and vote–then nothing will change. So laugh at Colbert. Absolutely. I will, too. The guy's great. But then vote for real.

    October 17, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. Fred Endicott, New York

    BRAVO!!! Colbert will be a great addition to the current field of candidates who seem to all be challenged when it comes to speaking the truth as opposed to saying what people want to hear. He has backbone!

    October 17, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. Tom, Seal Beach,CA

    Let's start a new revolution and vote for some one who is NOT a life long politician. We know he has a sense of humor. I would vote for him.

    October 17, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Pam, Long Beach, CA

    Finally, someone I can feel good about voting for! Actually, I bet Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are a helluva lot smarter than anyone else running! And I bet if they didn't know the answer, they'd find the best people to advise them...unlike this administration of arrogant elitists...If I'm going to vote for an elitist, it should be Colbert!

    October 17, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. Ken, Pisgah Forest NC

    Does that mean all the other candidates will get equal time on Comedy Central?

    October 17, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Loyda, DC


    Here is your candidate!!!


    Here is YOUR NATION!!!!!

    that Colbert-Huckabee ticket is VERY INTERESTING....

    "funny" that Huckabee is the only contender that have his support, when the rest of the conservatives are STILL looking for THE ONE!!!!

    October 17, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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