October 22nd, 2007
11:30 AM ET
13 years ago

Colbert on presidential run: I am serious

Colbert insisted he's serious about getting on the South Carolina ballot.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Is Stephen Colbert serious when he says he wants to run for president in South Carolina?

Yes, according to the fake-news host himself who appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday after the very-real presidential candidate Barack Obama.

“I think a lot of people are asking whether—they say is this, is this real, you know? And to which I would say to everybody, this is not a dream, you’re not going to wake up from this,” Colbert told host Tim Russert. “I’m far real-er than Sam Brownback, let me put it that way.”

“I don’t want to be president,” he added. “I want to run for president. There’s a difference.”

Brownback, a Republican senator from Kansas, dropped his bid Friday after disappointing fundraising and low placement in most polls.

Colbert acknowledged his presidential campaign wouldn’t extend past his home state of South Carolina and said he will consider it successful if he just captures one state delegate.

“It’s proportional voting on the Democratic side - all I need is enough votes on the Democratic side to get one delegate, and I’ll feel like I’ve won. Because if, at the Democratic National Convention, somebody has to stand up and say, “The proud state of South Carolina, the palmetto state, the home of the greatest peaches and shrimp in the world, casts one vote for native son, Stephen Colbert,” I’d say I won.

Colbert has said he will seek to be a candidate in both the Democratic and Republican primaries in the Palmetto state. On his show Wednesday, he signed paperwork for both ballots. But as The Ticker reported last week, it remains to be seen whether the State parties will allow that to happen.

But Colbert, who didn’t break from his conservative-TV host act during the entire Meet the Press interview, gave plenty of hints he might not be too serious after all, including the revelation that he would consider embattled Idaho Sen. Larry Craig as his running-mate.

Though the Comedy Central host refused to say if he’d met “in the same room” with Craig to discuss the potential ticket.

“Sorry, my lawyer’s telling me to say no more,” he said.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Stephen Colbert
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Mr.M, CT

    It's at moments like this where you see that the politics fanbase has 1)no sense of humor. 2)no fair and balance view 3)their panties in a twist. The only statement being made with his candidacy is how crappy our system is, how pathetic the candidates are and if he gets that one vote he's after, it will go even further as to acknowledge that with the right push anyone with the guts and the charisma (in this case him) could go the distance. And that's the more pathetic part of it all. A comedian with enough push to move out of the way the unoriginal Bshtrs that we call candidates. Then again we can't expect republicans (and for that matter hardcore democrats) to see beyond their big wall of cow dung and their fake values and their blinded faith on stupid people running for office. Otherwise Ron Paul would be above them all (and I ain't no freaking republican).

    October 23, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Mike, Brooklyn NY

    Does anyone remember laughter? Lighten up. Geez.

    October 23, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Ralph,nashville TN.

    What the heck,It beats politics as usual.And what a great job our leaders have done so far??/I do think he should reconsider his running mate?But in picking a repukelican at least it shows he is courting the G.A.Y. party.And would get the support of spector,lol.

    October 23, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Zachary Butte, Hays KS

    Forget Democrat or Republican it is time for a 3rd Party in America and Stephen Colbert would be the man with the votes. Who knows maybe Stephen Colbert could be the Teddy Roosevelt for 21st Century politics. Move over Bull Moose Party, Stephen Colbert is going to bring the American Dream Party!!

    October 23, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Steve in Charlotte

    For anyone who has something hateful to say about Stephen, or thinks his "campaign" is not engaging young people in the political process, read this:


    Here is the text:
    Colbert making big bucks for schools
    Stephen Colbert’s fake run for the presidency — in South Carolina — is producing real results for the Palmetto State’s schools.

    The host of the Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report,” directed his supporters Thursday night to DonorsChoose.org, a Web site where teachers can appeal for help by posting an explanation of a project with the hope a donor will assist with funding it. Minimum donations of $10 are accepted and can be applied to the projects of choice detailed on the site.

    The home page states, “Nation! Show your support for Stephen Colbert while helping South Carolina classrooms!” The donations are part of a straw poll that shows the presidential candidate generating the most money for teachers.

    To Colbert’s delight, his total — more than $13,000 by Friday afternoon — dwarfed those dollars donated in the names of his presidential competitors. He noted that he was “kicking Barack and Hillary’s butt.”

    As Colbert continues his push to get on the ballot in both the Republican and Democratic primaries in his home state, he was able to point with pride at the ballot he is on. This is one race he could clearly win.

    “Let’s make me No. 1,” he said.

    His goal is to raise a lofty $1 million, so the site also has this exhortation:

    “Vote Colbert for President ... or he’ll put you on notice!”

    — Neil White

    If his campaign does nothing more than this, he has done more good in it than most of us could hope to achieve in a lifetime.

    October 23, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. SSG Joseph T. Tobin

    Ok ...Satire is obviously dead. I remember when books died...and my beloved beta-max, too. They, like satire, could only survive if people related to other people through them. Almost medianess in it's ability to spread from person to person, satire was the earliest known form of 'cracking wise'. From Roman Emporer to backstreet beggars (sounds like a good name for a band...no?) satire was the common way to comunicate discontent without a quick trip to the lion's den. That trip took longer thanks to irony/satire due to the length of time required for someone to realize they were just insulted. Voting has seen nothing but record declines over the last 30 years. Every once in a while we need a 'Native Son' to remind us to not only rock the vote but to, when needed, ROCK THE BOAT. I will defend freedom and satire with every ounce of my blood. (Just don't let my boss know).

    October 23, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    We've had an actor in the White House before, and Colbert would be a better president than Reagan was.

    October 23, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Leo, LA, CA

    Well this blog must not be free speech. I posted a nice long thought out post and it gets pulled off. Why? Because I said that people on welfare should have their welfare revoked and their children taken away if they have another child while on welfare? Well guess what, someone has to do something and say something about these people who live off welfare. And when they aren't getting enough money they have another child so they can get more welfare. So yeah there is nothing wrong with that remark. Or was it because I told Tricia I don't know anyone who wouldn't have went to war after the Sept 11 attacks? I don't like Bush but yeah I don't think anyone would have made a different choice at the time. I may not like Bush but yeah I'm glad the SCHIP bill was killed. Why? They already take hundreds of dollars out of people's pay (their hard earned money that noone should have a right to but them), why would I want to support something that adds to that hundreds? There should be NO income tax. Property taxes and all the other taxes should be enough for our government. If it's not then they should learn not to waste our money on stupid junk like that woodstock museum and such. As for child healthcare, it's not that I don't care about the children. It's that people have got to learn to take care of themselves, instead of expecting us to take care of them. I will vote for Colbert if he makes it because at least he is real. The democrats will always take more of our money. The republicans are always lying and putting religion into politics when it should not be. None of the candidates running are even remotely good. And I'll probably see this post deleted again.

    October 23, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Ryan, Mount Pleasant, MI

    Colbert is getting my vote in '08 for sure. I'd love to see him get elected just to prove the obvious yet unseen truth about our government and election systems in this country - they are a joke; and not a very funny one either.

    Look at Bush, he has done nothing good for this country; vetoing child health care bills, running like a scared little child at the first sign of trouble instead of standing tall and being a REAL leader for American's to look upto (remember 911??), and has already spent over half a TRILLION dollars on this PSEUDO-WAR in Iraq, while the military have to pick through garbage dumps in Iraq just to fortify their vehicles. AND YOU IDIOTS ELECTED THIS JOKE OF A PRESIDENT - TWICE!!

    If your president is going to be a joke, then he might as well be a funny joke. Colbert in '08!!

    BTW, RAINIE FT MYERS, FL, you wouldn't happen to be Wayland's mother, would you?

    October 23, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Lynda West Chester, PA

    I bet Tom from Texas is a 2x Bush supporter. Way to go Tom!

    October 23, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. Daniel, San Antonio, TX

    Its interesting to see the different comments on this message board. I'm from Texas – born and bred here. Let me tell you something about Colbert...he's clearly no dummy. He's a great comedian but both he and Stewart do an excellent job of asking smart questions and providing edgy sarcasm to put a spotlight on those elected and appointed officials whom presumably are supposed to be putting this country and the world in a position to prosper. While – very left leaning...they do an EXCELLENT job and I love to watch them. I find their show to be much more politically honest than FOX news without question – they just do it with comedy. I am continually amazed that so many people watch FOX news when it clearly should be the FOX entertainment channel – they're is simply no balance to their commentary. But – that being said – I will not insult their viewers simply because they prefer it or "buy in" to that channel...

    You shouldn't either. I say good job to Colbert for jumping in even as a media ploy...he may be able to inject some humor into this race. I think he already has.

    October 23, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. Ben, Edinburg, TX

    To Mark from Shreveport:

    You are complaining that CNN has this story!! At least be honest about this. This story is funny and CNN has loads of stories talking about all the serious topics around the country and the world!! Why are you reading about Colbert when there are other more important stories to read??

    Go complain about FoxNews. See Ya!

    October 23, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Alison Rashedi, Truth or Consequences, NM

    'conservative' act. i would say definitely he is not a conservative!

    October 23, 2007 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. Bryan South Dakota

    Before anyone gets up in arms about this, let me offer a few thoughts...as far as seriousness goes, we've had two cast members of the movie Predator serve as governors (the one who said "a good pump is better than sex" is still serving-and fighting wildfires). As far as experience-Colbert has seen as much active military duty as our last two presidents, that is to say none. Is Colbert's candidacy a joke? No more of a joke then sending our troops to war without proper armor. We, as a nation, should feel pretty guilty on that one. But I digress.
    In any case, both jack-booted conservatives and liberal whackos should rest easy knowing that American Idol has more people particpating in the voting process. I'd say that little fact might makes us look far more idiotic to the rest of the world than any satirist's run for office, no?

    October 23, 2007 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. anon

    Do yourselves a favor. Get your political information from a site other than CNN. They lie by omitting the truths.

    October 23, 2007 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  16. Emerson, Jericho Vermont

    The truth is that Colbert's run for the presidency will increase voter turnout or at least promote interest in the election for an age group that is notorious for its apathy. If mocking the political system is what it takes to increase participation in elections, maybe Comedy Central should create its own 24 hour news channel.

    October 24, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  17. DK

    "Whose audience has the bigger collection of kooks, dupes, freaks, fools and idiots: Colbutt's, Jon Stewart's or Bill Maher's?

    Posted By Tom, Texas, USA : October 22, 2007 10:17 am"

    Funny how we ask a question like this yet fail to include the audience of Limbaugh, Robertson, Hannity, etc. The good lord knows the people who listen to that crew is certainly sane and centered.............

    October 24, 2007 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  18. MB, Minneapolis, MN

    Those criticizing Colbert and John Stewart should be aware that in multiple surveys conducted during the 2004 election found people who stated "The Daily Show" as their primary news source knew more about current world and political events than those who stated "Fox News" or the "O' Reilly Show".

    October 24, 2007 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  19. raven reno nevada

    if i was from south carolina i vote he makes a lot more points GOOD points and we all love him

    October 24, 2007 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  20. timothy, san antonio tx

    Stephen has my vote...

    I urge all who have not to by the book "I AM AMERICA (and so can you!)"

    Colbert's absurdly fake TV reality is still more real and meaningful than most of the "kooks, dupes, freaks, fools and idiots" running this country.

    October 24, 2007 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  21. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Reply: Mike, Phila, PA

    There is nothing shameful about comedians and satire. But political humour depending on it's content can be damaging.

    However, neither are my bone of contention regarding Colbert.

    Colbert's unique brand of comedy in this arena reeks of the type of mentality found among high school students. It is in extremely poor taste given America's less than credible image world wide to date.

    So yes, Mike comedians and satire can be shameful and damaging. And in this case, even asinine at the worst of times.

    And in my view, it's not comedy that is needed in light of this Presidential Race it is credability.
    And Colbert is certainly lacking in that arena.

    PS Grammar...ummmmm interesting comment given your sentence structure. Note: Sentences do begin with a Capitalized first word.

    "yes, Tricia, comedians and satire are SHAMEFUL. political humor is incredibly damaging. the terrible grammar YOU'RE using is probably a result of the devastation done to YOUR school system by comedians such as Colbert. lighten up, will ya?"

    October 24, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  22. Brandon, Tampa, FL

    Tom, no one you listed could match the idiocy of Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, or any major personality on Faux Noise.

    October 24, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. triston, T.O., california(the burning state)

    okay. anybody can be president if they meet certain requirements of the law.

    we need someone to fix the mechanics of this place, the machine we have now obviously isn't working. Colberts a smart guy. hes a passionate guy. i believe that his intentions are to make this a great country again, i really do. America has lost much of what we stand for. freedom. freedoms are dwindling, and he knows it, just like so many of us know it. the majority of us are sickened by the way this place has been run into the ground by a madman/blithering idiot. the rest of the planet either hates or fears us and the mass has degenerated into consumption hives.

    Colbert could easily run this place better than any one of the ballotdrones.

    i really think he's one of us.


    October 27, 2007 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
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