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. Mary Naperville IL.

    Stephen Colbert and Ron Paul! it's about time something like this happend

    October 17, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Otis Whitefish, MT

    Halloween is coming.
    How 'bout DEMGOBLICRATS?

    October 17, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Justus, Orlando, FL

    He could be the spoiler Ralph Nader of the next election ... or the Pat Paulson.

    October 17, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Kristen, Boston, MA

    This is what is so great about America... anyone can run for president! It's either Colbert or Ron Paul for me! These guys stand for something different than all the other candidates and it shows by how much public (and not just the wealthy) support these guys! We need things to change here in the US and I think Colbert or Ron Paul will help the future generations of America the best. Dare to deviate.

    October 17, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Chris TMC

    I would vote for him and I am NOT joking.
    Americas could use some truthiness.

    October 17, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Ashley S. Columbus, GA

    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.
    Posted By PJ : October 17, 2007 2:30 pm

    He was born in Washington, DC and moved to South Carolina as a child.
    Sorry Canucks, you can't claim him, not yours.

    Still, he's one of eleven children – so he has to know something about diplomacy. He's a Northwestern grad. He has his own ice cream flavor – Americone Dream.

    Really, he's no less qualified than anyone else. Isn't this country supposed to be really big on the 'anyone can be president' idea?

    October 17, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Samuel Mercer Indiana

    Finally someone we SHOULD vote for!

    October 17, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. Steve, New York

    He’s ovisoly not serous. How many, for the lack of a better word “dumb” people are going to cause a swing by voting for someone who does not really want to be prez. Last thing we need is a Nader and have another 8 years of Constitution ripping parties in the white house.

    October 17, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. J.Crobuzon

    Doug, I used to watch Dennis Miller all the time. Remember when his show got cancelled and he went through the stages of grief? But he suddenly went right-wing, or pretended to, and all his humor turned to hate speech. He makes me nauseous these days, and I was one of his fans. Either slam both sides like a real comic, or retire.

    And why does everyone who likes L.Ron Paul sound like they are in a cult? "Only the Great Doctor Paul can save us from the Daleks!" Frankly, it's scary and repellent. Cut it out.

    October 17, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Doug, New Jersey

    All of the crazy hate-filled lies posted by libs, trying to put what they want into my post which is clearly not there, is modern day liberalism at its finest. The facts show, Lib and Liar are synonyms.

    Just read what the libs have posted about me here, then think back to the peace/love/tolerant left of the 60's, the hijacking of liberalism is complete.

    I never said Ann Coulter was not hateful, I just stated the fact that she like Colbert are making money off of hateful people by pedaling hate. Yeah, the example of Colbert is all over this thread but Ann's fanbois can be seen on the net with a quick search.

    The most funny part of it all is that if someone did satire about a liberal democrat, the exact same way as Colbert does to the right, every lib here screaming for me to lighten up and see his shtick as a joke, would be screaming that he/she is full of hate, unfunny, and needs to be censored for the sake of tolerance. As a conservative I would never censor Colbert, censorship is now owned by the left in America.

    If I didn't make my case for hypocrisy well enough in my first post, the comments to it by the left here have solidified its factualness beyond a doubt. Hey, thanks libs.

    If the libs here want to know why someone like me who is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro stem cell research and takes issue with religious right feels an obligation to fight and vote against democrats at all costs, pick up a mirror.

    The fact is that Coulter, O'Reilly, Rush and even Fred Phelps have far more tolerance than most liberal democrats like you will ever have. I'm not saying they are tolerant, just that almost any person compared to the average modern day liberal democrat will come out as the more tolerant person.

    The next time one of you libs starts foaming at the mouth over a Coulter comment, remember, lighten up man, it's only a joke. 😉

    October 17, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Dr Atomic

    Ponytail? That's someone standing behind him. LOL

    October 17, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Russ, Kailua-Kona, HI

    Colbert can't be elected president because his name sounds too French!

    October 17, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Artur, New York, NY

    Stephen Colbert is one of the most intelligent men out there!! I would trust this man as our president! Colbert-Giuliani 08? Republicans are bound to win now! =D

    October 17, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Marcus Harun, Hamden CT

    Very Exciting!
    This is what we have all been waiting for! I watched Larry Kings Show, and I'm reading his book now.

    October 17, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. Ryan, New York, NY

    Why do some of you think he's Canadian? He was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Charleston, SC.

    October 17, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. laurinda,ny

    What a great idea to have Putin as your running mate. They have all kinds of nuts who want to be the president. Has someone contaminated the water system.

    October 17, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    "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."
    – – –

    Here's quotes from the hypocrite with a gay daughter and the five deferments:
    (1994) "That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off...it's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq."...how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right"
    (March, 2003) “We will in fact, be greeted as liberators…I think it will go relatively quickly.. (in) weeks rather than months”.
    (May, 2005) “I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

    Cheney is probably the most disliked American by Americans. Democrates would LOVE to have him run for president. Please try to talk him into it.

    October 17, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. joe, ny, ny

    can he free us from the student loans and bring down those big bad corporations such as SALLIE MAE

    October 17, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. matthew, portland or

    we need to support him to get on the ballot in oregon. he would have a pretty good shot here in portland.

    national security issue? look at our borders and our shipping terminals. we are just sitting with our fingers crossed. the threat to our security probably would go down as the only reason we are targeted is because our leaders are all in it for the money and could care less how many lives they claim to raise their bank accounts.

    vote for someone with a soul and a heart and remember our constitution when it says separation of church and state. it has been the demise of our culture in america.

    October 17, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  20. Ark, Phoenix, AZ

    Silly people, Colbert is not Canadian. He was born in Washington, DC.

    October 17, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Jeff, Schaumburg, IL

    a few things:
    1) I'm planning on voting for Ron Paul, but I would definitely make Colbert my second choice.

    2) Most Neocons don't know what "liberal" means.

    3) Who ever heard of an actor becoming president?

    4) Colbert stands a decent chance. It is well known that the most educated among us are more likely to gather information on current events from his and Stewart's shows, which means Colbert could win a high percentage of Independent & Democratic Votes.

    Because he satirizes a neocon fascist right-wing pundit, many of the less-educated Neocons will think he's "serious" in his character and will vote for him.

    5)Its nice to hear from people who think being a career politician is NOT what we want (as opposed to anytime a Clinton or Neocon supporter refers to Obama's lack of corrupti-I mean- "Experience" as a bad thing.

    7) STEPHEN COLBERT IS NOT, AND HAS NEVER BEEN A CANADIAN CITIZEN!! (not that there's anything wrong with that)

    October 17, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. Melissa, San Antonio, TX

    I've been saying for ages someone who is NOT a politician should run. And if history is anything to go by it doesn't matter who we vote for anyway (Gore/Bush). Colbert has my vote for sure.

    October 17, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. James, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

    Why do people keep saying that anyone who votes for Colbert is "taking away votes from legitimate candidates."

    1) If those in the running are outmatched by a comedian without political experience, they don't deserve the office in the first place.

    2) If Americans do choose to elect him, it would be one of the strongest collective statements in our history. You know, a government by and for the people. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

    COLBERT 2008!!

    October 17, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Jon Stewart, Los Angeles CA

    Stephen makes jokes, Bush is the joke. The lesser evil.

    October 17, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. D. Endo, Honolulu HI

    Great! I think he can't screw up any more than the cretin that's running things now.

    October 17, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
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