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. Eric, Orlando, FL

    This guy is a windbag and an egomaniac. I'm pretty sure the best candidate for president has yet to come forward, but I am know that he is not the one. The system and so-called legitimate candidates are making enough of a joke of our democratic system that we don't need a comedian making it even worse.

    October 17, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. That Smith, New Orleans, Louisiana

    I think Colbert's campaign will trounce Fred Thompson.
    The Colbert slogan "I have a pulse, he doesn't" will resonate with voters.

    October 17, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Peter, New Haven, CT

    He's got my vote! Reminds me of those 'Bloom County' "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Bill and Opus" stickers back in 1988.

    October 17, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. hopeful, nashville

    Now we're getting somewhere! I propose getting Mr. Cobert, Mr. Stewert and Mr. Franken to run as a team. We could call them the pioneers of the Trinitarian party.

    October 17, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. hopeful

    please pardon the misspelled names – I got so excited about this turn of events.

    October 17, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Ed B. - Philadelpiha, PA

    I know he's got my vote!

    October 17, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Shannon, Colorado Springs, CO

    Finally, someone I can vote for.

    October 17, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Andy, Washington, DC

    Lordy lordy. What have we done. HA! Hillary, Barack, Rudy and ole Mitty just better watch out. Scarier still, he might actually get elected.

    October 17, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. PJ, Charlotte, NC

    What an idiot. To make light of the office of presidency by wasting everyone's time is absurd.

    October 17, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Todd, South Haven, MI

    "Colbert-Colbert-that's a strong ticket."

    He fails to answer the question of all tickets..what if we only like Colbert but not Colbert. I hope he reads this and will take the opportunity to have Colbert explain why he should be on the ticket with Colbert. Do we really want Colbert as a Vice President in the aftermath of Dick Chenny's vice presidency? I suspect Colbert may think highly of himself but what if Colbert feels he is being upstaged by Colbert? It happens. He will be like Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower during the infamous "checkers" debacle. Eisenhower felt that Nixon tried put him in a difficult position by going to the public trying to pressure Ike to keep him on the ticket (kinda like the pressure Ellen Degeneras is putting on the dog pound now).

    While I am concerned about Colbert but less so about Colbert, I am still inclined to vote for Colbert in 2008.

    October 17, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. hopeful

    ok, ignore the comment about misspelled names – my previous post was removed. To recap:
    The Colbert announcement is welcome news. I hope he teams up with Al Franken and Jon Stewart to form the Trinitarian party. The whole world may laugh to death, but it beats the bombing we've been taking for the past several years.

    October 17, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Mary Jane, Madison, MS

    Hanging "chads" already made our democracy a joke...

    October 17, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Ben, New Orleans, LA

    This is a joke. Do he have political views??

    October 17, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. RightyTighty

    More personality, I mean qualifications than all the dem candidates combined..

    October 17, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. Alan - New Haven, CT

    I really believe the world is coming to an end. Too much selfishness. I would definately vote for Corbert because I would like to spend my remaining years laughing. I don't think the world will recover from what George W.

    October 17, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Rodney Dallas TX

    anonymous in Omaha NE:

    A goldfish is funnier than our current president.

    October 17, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. Tim, West Des Moines, IA

    At last we'd have a president who can TELL a joke, rather than one who...fill in punchline.

    October 17, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Steve Banny Toccoa GA

    There goes the Kasinish campaign. He'll have to split the whacko vote!

    October 17, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Bill, Whitefish MT

    Colbert, Franken, Stewart 08!

    October 17, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Katy Just, Hayward, Wisconsin

    This is the most brilliant move in history, whether or not it's a joke. 🙂

    October 17, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. ariel, fort lauderdale FL

    I know it's a joke, but he is a good candidate as the others, given most are nothing more than caricatures of real people.

    October 17, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  22. Lydia, Charleston SC

    So what happens when he actually WINS the primary?!

    October 17, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  23. Michael, Wallington, NJ

    I'm surprised no one even caught the similarity to the Robin Williams movie "Man of the Year".

    October 17, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. Christian, Tampa FL

    Heck yes! Colbert would be the best president ever!

    In all seriousness, though, it would be interesting to see the effect on world politics that a comedian head-of-state could have.

    October 17, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. tom, chicago, IL

    Finally! A candidate worth voting for!

    October 17, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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