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. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    I'm available for VP and I've never had a relationship with Haliburton.

    October 17, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. Joe, Bronx, NY

    The guy is actually smart enough to do it. Good heart to boot.

    October 17, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. Scott, Honolulu, HI


    Quit being so darn serious. Comparing Colbert or Stewart to Coulter is apples to oranges. Colbert and Stewart are comedians who make fun of others as jokes, and most of thier "targets" are either a party to, or completely aware of the joke. Coulter, on the other hand, simply calls it as she sees it, and is often just mean and vicious, soley based on her narrow view of how the world "should" be.

    And before you try to Coulterize me, I am a Republican, always have and probably always will be. But even most of us have the ability to laugh at some of our "representatives" on the right. Right wing radio, while most points are dead-on, is full of blowhards who decry the attacks others do, while doing the same thing themselves. Our party is not the same as it was when I became part, and probably not when you did. Don't be blinded by your loyalty to a party that is evolving and is not living up to the ideals we wanted. They DESERVE to be laughed at.

    October 17, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. don

    the only person colbert loves more tahn colbert is colvert.

    October 17, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. gosteve

    hold the train. you folks that seem to be worried about this, e.g. "liberal nightmare," and conspiracy factor – voting for Colbert will be a distraction... This is comedy, satire, and apparently fuel for single-cell thought processes.

    October 17, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Miri, Philadelphia, PA

    Stephen, you have my vote. Seriously. Colbert-Stewart '08 would be awesome.

    October 17, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. jack in hippie state

    Oh no he de-ent :snap snap snap:

    Colbert>Stewart IMO

    October 17, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. a fan, VA

    Is there going to be a debate in S.C. that Colbert would have any chance of taking part in before the primary for either party?

    October 17, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. John Michael, Walpole, Massachusetts

    Well. It's about time. You can't skewer American politics as he has and not think of this move. He's all the qualities previously mentioned as well as someone who, I think, believes in the system as much as he believes in how much we've screwed it up. If he gets no votes, he wins. If he gets a lot of votes, he wins. If he wins...well, I wouldn't know whether to cry or thank God. The idea behind the presidency was that any American can be voted for to fulfill the duties of Article II of the Constitution. Is there anyone who doesn't think that maybe we need to get away from shady politics, power mongers, and politics as a way to line one's pockets over the responsibilities to the people who ARE the very power of the government to begin with. I don't know if I'd vote for him...but, God, don't I sometimes want to.

    October 17, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Fry, New New York, Megalopolis

    God Speed Colbert! You have my vote!

    October 17, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Alex Luthor, Madison, WI

    To those of you saying that Comedy Central would have to give equal time to the other candidates:
    The rule does NOT apply to CABLE channels!

    October 17, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Matthew, Manassas, VA

    I think hime running for president is a very smart way to protest how ridiculous our election system is. What will all the "real" politicians think when a big percentage of people pick Colbert over the crap the parties have given us. Oh, and to the person who said Colbert is Canadian, he's not, he was born in D.C. and raised in South Carolina.

    October 17, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. George Rodriguez, Laredo Texas

    Go Colbert!! i bet he can give anyone some compatition!! Colbert 08!

    October 17, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Alison, Pittsburgh PA

    The Word of the Day is DEMOBLICAN

    I love the fact that Doug from New Jersey, the uber Republican, Mr. “Holier Than Thou,” just shouted out that he’s too serious for his britches!

    Buddy, it’s called Comedy Central for a reason. News flash, my friend: the Bush Administration has single handedly turned this entire great nation itself into Comedy Central, and if we can’t take the bad with the good and have a laugh at the end of the day, we’re worse off than we should be. Furthermore, speaking of comments based on hatred, you might want to re-read your ramblings and take some of your own advice…your comment is speaking loud and clear to every reader that you’re not above hypocrisy yourself. You need to lighten up, laugh a little more, and not take any of this, including yourself, so seriously.

    And that’s why the word of the day is Republicrat.

    October 17, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Joe, Jacksonville NC

    If Ron Paul weren't in the picture, I would welcome Colbert's bid, because, as everyone here is commenting: Just look at the alternatives! It would have been a brilliant move as everyone is starting to realize that both parties are a joke.

    However, you people who will so easily waste your vote on Colbert must not know how desperately we need someone like Ron Paul right now. This could very well be our last chance to change things, who knows...

    I'd question the timing of this news just as Paul's popularity is picking up among young people. Seems like an obvious distraction to me. And just look at the comments; it draws attention to the fact that "all the other candidates" are the same, and there's no hope for the elections anyway. Once this turns out to be a joke, the disillusioned apathetic will go on ignoring election coverage (or making fun of it). I still thinks it's funny though.

    October 17, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    News Flash!

    Ron Paul just lost the lunatic fringe vote.

    October 17, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    I think he is trying to support his book. I try to like this guy (ever since the AT&T bit that he did on his show – hilarious!), but its hard for me to take him seriously.

    If this is a ploy to promote his book, it is definitely in bad taste.

    October 17, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Terri - Washington, DC.

    I think this is a ploy to promote his book. I have tried liking this guy (ever since the AT&T bit on his show – hilarious!), but it is hard for me to take him seriously.

    If this is a plot to promote his book, it is in bad taste.

    October 17, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Brian, Austin TX

    dude, oh my god, does this mean he will be in the debates!?! I would hope so. nothing would make the debates more interesting than having him "nail" the candidates in both parties. Especially those that definitley are long overdue to get slammed by a real American like Colbert.

    October 17, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. David, Bethesda, MD

    *Grin* This is undoubtedly the funniest piece of political news I've seen. If he's actually serious, I don't know, I might actually vote for him. It would be the most humorous campaign (and administration) in history.

    October 17, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Coach Haughton NH

    Possibly a move to take away the young vote from Obama in the democratic primary?

    A good conspiracy theory is always fun.

    October 17, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Corinthia, Portland OR

    Pat Robinson didn't have to give up his religious tv show, or give equal time. So Colbert wouldnt' have to give up his show.

    But then he is Canadian, and can't run anyway. Not to mention how the ballot rules are rigged, if a fairly large party like the Green Party can't get on every state ballot in the country after years of legal cases, no other 3rd parties could do it in a year. The process in many states to get on the ballot is rigid so it is impossible to jump all the hoops and get on if you are not a member of the two big parties.

    October 17, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Ryan, Dublin CA

    The American political system is a joke anyway, why not have a comedian running it? If Jon Stewart ran with him, I'd definitely vote for him. Heck, I'll probably vote for him anyway. No one else is worth it.

    October 17, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. Tina, St. Louis, MO

    "Dick Cheney will be well missed when he leaves office with Bush. I wish Dick Cheney were running for president. Just give it time. Americans will be sorry when he retires."

    Posted By Nick Taylor Feasterville, PA : October 17, 2007 2:14 pm

    Now THAT'S funny... Wow.

    October 17, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |

    Am next in the line please vote for me.

    What a joke.

    October 17, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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