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. Tom, Mount Vernon, WA

    Poor Doug. He actually thinks Ann Coulter has something to say that is worth hearing. Son, after hearing anything from her mouth, think about it for.... maybe five seconds. You will then see the absurdity of anything she spews.

    October 17, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. Harry, San Diego

    I wonder how he'll use his show for his campaign. Or how he'll use the campaign for his show.

    October 17, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Jerry, SD

    I like Colbert and watch his show almost everyday. However, if this is serious, then he is an idiot. For a man who cares about politics, this is truely undermining the political process. He is potentially taking votes away from a candidate who may need them and is serious about their bid for the presidency. What's sad is that he could do well because of his following and idiot Americans beleiving this is another reality show poll where they text in their vote.

    American politics, becoming more and more of a joke everyday. First we elect Bush, two times, and now this.

    October 17, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. dan austin, tx

    Wow, as frightening as it sounds, the guy has a real chance here. I mean, did anyone see that speech he gave at the White House Press Corps. dinner? Amazing!

    October 17, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. m T

    To whoever said "try Dennis Miller" ....please go back to 1982 and stay there. And take that humorless hack Dennis with you. Thank you.

    October 17, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Ron, TX

    I love the fact that liberal democrats are getting their news from a channel called Comedy Central.

    Nothing is funny about hate based humor, be it a joke about someones sexuality or the demo-crap propaganda coming from Cobert. If you want someone who is truly funny since his jokes are based on reality and not hate, try Dennis Miller. The person who loves Stewart and Colbert but then blasts Coulter for being hateful should have their photo in Webster's dictionary next to the word hypocrite.

    Posted By Doug, New Jersey : October 17, 2007 1:49 pm


    Hate-based couldn't be any further from what the Daily Show and the Col-bear Repore use in their shows... They use real news with real news clips. Don't be such a spiteful Republican. You still have that comedy disgrace "Redeye" or whatever it is over on Fox

    October 17, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. trent porter, tx

    holy moly, a NON-Globalist candidate??? It's either Colbert or Ron Paul for 2008 for me 🙂

    October 17, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. jeremiah, columbus, ga

    he has to know that if he seriously and officially throws his hat into the ring, he will get at least a large percentage of the vote. he still might, even if he doesn't go official. i don't know anything about his stance on anything, but i do know he's highly intelligent and looks at issues with a critical eye, which is more than you can say for anyone in the current administration.

    October 17, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Matt Cleveland, OH

    Yea, I may just be voting now... I wasn't going to before. Colbert 08!

    October 17, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. DT, Cutlerville, MI

    I'd like to see him get a serious percentage of the vote just to give a wakeup call to those currently in office. I seriously don't think he'd be any worse than the last several presidents we've had.

    I've already had my "Stewart/Colbert `08" t-shirt for months now. Maybe I can get more than comedic use out it it.

    October 17, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. PJ

    Colbert was born in Canada. He can't be a US President and my heart is breaking. If only his Jewish cousin from New Jersey would get into the race. Totally eligible, totally qualified, a little short but he can stand on the shoulders of his supporters which are many. Yes, Jon Stewart, I'm speaking to you.

    October 17, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Elizabeth, Nashville, TN

    I'm a moderate independent (not a liberal democrat) and I find the news on Comedy Central far more informative than the pablum we're subjected to by the alleged 'legitimate' media. I'd vote for Colbert–at least he isn't a politician and that puts him miles ahead of the other candidates right there.

    BTW, Ann Coulter is like a spoiled little brat who just tries to get attention being as outrageous as possible. What a joke.

    October 17, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. dave, Buffalo, NY


    I'd seriously consider voting for him. I'm a moderate. Both the "Republicans" and "Democrats" (yes, I put the names in quotes on purpose. *Neither* party stands for anything but power anymore...) have done nothing to make me think they will do one iota of good for the country this election season.

    Colbert – NOT being a career politician, is a smart, likable guy. He isn't beholden to party politics. He'd pause to think about the issues for more than 10 seconds.

    And to those who think Comedy Central is spewing liberal "hate filled dogma". Actually I remember Jon Stewart lampoooning Bill Clinton quite visciously when he was in office. They aren't particularly nice to the current round of democratic candidates either. Jon Stewart (and Stephen Colbert) both attack stupidity and political games where ever they see them – in either party.

    It's REALLY sad when the most balanced news programs out there about the American governement are on BBC and Comedy Central.

    October 17, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Heath, Hillsdale Michigan

    Colbert is pretty witty, but Bush is a pretty big joke too. If a reformed but damaged drug addict can single handedly increase our deficit more than any other two presidents, why couldn't Colbert win?

    October 17, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. jeremiah, columbus, ga

    doug from nj,
    c'mon, man. read what you just wrote. you really think you're any more open-minded and critically-thinking than the "liberal democrats"? consider that dennis miller is a frequenter of bill o'reilly's show, and that they actually agree on things. if you honestly think that a man who agrees with bill o'reilly on a regular basis is not shoveling biased propaganda, then you, my friend, have been propagandized yourself.

    October 17, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Jack Portland, OR

    So much for my Obama vote. I've been waiting for this for years.

    He should pick John Stewart for his running mate.

    Either way, whether it's Colbert/Putin or Colbert/Colbert or Colbert/?, he's getting my vote if he makes it all the way.

    This is a great day to be an American!


    October 17, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. Brandon, Nashville TN

    Don't be surprised if the Republican party has something to do with his running for presidency. If enough Dems vote Colbert, instead of a front runner Democrat candidate like Clinton, then it betters the chances of the Republicans getting in office. This is often the case with Independent voters who would be better off voting for a Democratic candidate, than wasting their votes on someone who barely has a chance.

    October 17, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Marie B, Dallas, Texas

    Yeah, Doug, New Jersey, because Coulter and Colbert / Stewart are so alike in their hate speech.

    I must've missed the part where Colbert / Stewart called for the extermination of an entire culture based on their religion, or them using homophobic slurs against someone that they disagree with politically.

    Give. me. a. break.

    October 17, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Bee

    Another liberal nightmare !!!!!!!!!
    Please run away from fire

    October 17, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. jeff, stafford, virginia

    I would vote for Colbert in a heartbeat. He is not a politician because he does'nt lie his ass off. All our politicians seem to look out for is numero uno and point the finger at the other party as the reason our country is going down the drain!

    October 17, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Kade, Phoenix, Arizona

    You know, I think Colbert would make a better Vice President with John Stewart as President.

    October 17, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. (C)ia(NN)a Sucks

    You guys stink for removing my post. It was a lot better than most of the other posts you allowed, which say a whole lot of nothing. Was it the Mickey Mouse comment that got you all up in a tizzy? Or was it me voicing my disdain for the current candidates?

    Oh no, God forbid!

    October 17, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Vlad, San Jose, CA

    I think Steven Colbert is the best and most patriotic president candidate now.
    I was not sure about my 2008 vote before. Now I am switching my selection from Hilary to Stephen. I just don’t know if he accepts election campaign donations yet. If you know an address for the Colbert for President Donation account, please make it public.

    October 17, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. David, Clemson SC

    I'm glad I live in South Carolina so I can actually vote for him if he actually runs.

    October 17, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. Shari, Los Angeles

    Stephen, you have my vote!!! You are awesome!

    October 17, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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