November 1st, 2007
03:21 PM ET
13 years ago

South Carolina Democrats say no to Colbert

Colbert's presidential bid is likely over.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - The South Carolina Democratic Party voted Thursday to keep comedian Stephen Colbert's name off the Democratic Primary ballot, according to Executive Director Joe Werner.

This essentially means that Colbert’s short lived White House run in the Palmetto State will come to an end, because he has said that he would not try to be placed on the Republican Party primary ballot.

The state party's executive council met this afternoon in Columbia to decide which Democratic candidates met the criteria to be placed on the ballot. To be placed on the South Carolina ballot a candidate must demonstrate national viability as well as campaign in the state.

Colbert, who officially filed papers to get on the ballot this morning, lost a roll call vote, 13-3.

Meanwhile, presidential long shots, Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, made the cut.

State Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler suggested Wednesday that Colbert does not meet the standard of national viability.

"He does not appear to be campaigning to win if he is only running in one state," she said.

Werner confirmed Thursday that viablity was the issue - because Colbert only sought to run in South Carolina and has essentially acknowledged his bid was a joke, the party could not deem him viable.

Full story

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    I think they were afraid Colbert would actually win. I think he should run as an independant.

    Colbert in '08!!!!!!

    November 1, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Siskita, Los Angeles, CA

    You'll always be President in my heart, Stephen. Call me.

    November 1, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. KLowe, Huntsville, AL

    This is lunacy! Why can't Colbert run as a Democrat? His idea's are just as viable as the rest of the Democratic candidates. Colbert is also about as genuine as John Edwards and as truthful as Billary. A real Colbert run would be great for this country.

    November 1, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. David, Berkeley CA

    Expect a massive write-in campaign the likes of which we have never seen.

    November 1, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Scott Mahrle, Sacramento, California

    And just 5 days ago Tim Russert showed a NATIONAL poll on Meet the Press with Colbert polling 5th, ahead of most of The Pack of Democrats who also have no "national viability". Maybe if he won South Carolina we could draft a movement to take his candidacy Nationwide??? In my humble opinion he offers a lot more truthiness than most candidates, either Democrat or Republican.

    November 1, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Tony P. Newark, California

    To Mike in Cleveland Ohio; How is it you believe our two party system should allow anybody to run for President(our nation's highest position)? Even though, there is still a selection process for applicants at McDonald's... Now I know why your state was responsible in selecting George Bush for a second term. Your mentality in Ohio says it all. Try reading about the facts once in a while.

    November 1, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    While this is a shame, I can't wait to see how this plays out on his show tonight.

    November 1, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Christian, Tampa FL

    I could understand the viability argument a lot more if they had also rejected Kucinich and Gravel, who at this point are as much of a joke in the race as Colbert.

    Way to be a buzzkill, South Carolina Democratic party!

    November 1, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Kim, Charleston, SC

    Neill C.:

    cost to appear on Democratic party ballot in SC: $2,000.

    cost to appear on Republican party ballot in SC: $38,000.

    The more important point, though, is that if there is a "party of inclusion" in this country, it's certainly not either of the two that control and therefore win our elections.

    November 1, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Josh, Columbia, MD

    Back in the day, most candidates would only run in a few states to test their viability. In the past, some presidents didn't even campaign in early primary states. Bill Clinton skipped the Iowa Caucass, as did JFK. So I don't buy the national viability test.

    November 1, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Aaron (Norton, VA)

    #1 – It's Democratic, not Democrat. "Democratic bid." Secondly, it's our party. We get to decide who is nationally viable. Kucinich and Gravel have at least tried to reach out to a national base. Colbert said he'd run in SC. That's not viable for President of the United States.

    November 1, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. boston, ma

    I am a Democrat and a Colbert fan; I also had the experience of living in South Carolina for two years. South Carolina was right in keeping Colbert off the ticket; it's about time they did something that the rest of the country won't laugh at them for and then place them at the bottom of some national education poll.

    November 1, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Len, Fallbrook, CA

    Maybe they have enough comedians on the ballot?

    November 1, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Myron

    So what they think Steven Colbert is the only JOKE on the ballot, or do they think that he is the only JOKE that knows he is Joking.

    November 1, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Cooper, Canada

    Thats is your local Democratic Party for ye, So SC write Stephen Colbert in and i'm sure he'll be funnier than Dubya

    November 1, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. b

    We got Bush as president – the cruelist joke of all, and Colbert can't have fun with the system?!!

    Funny, the "system" had fun with Valerie Plame, and that was alright?!

    November 1, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. rudie, CA

    It would have been interesting to see how's Colbert's conservative views fared on the Democratic ticket. Unfortunately we'll never get to see.

    November 1, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Leslie in South Carolina

    Say it ain't so!
    But Mike Gravel made the cut? Thank goodness. There is still SOME justice in the world.

    November 1, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. corbett, Washington DC

    South Carolina voters should write-in Colbert... in both primaries!-

    November 1, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. Sean, Cincinnati, OH

    Wow, that's the most ridiculous thing I've read. I guess they don't want him to steal votes from Obama and Clinton. Because seriously, if on that ballot, he would have finished in the top 2. Yeah, for American politics! Another great shining example! I will be writing him in in Ohio.

    November 1, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. Jed in Texas

    If only he had claimed to smoke Marlboros,back the tobacco lobby and go to Nascar races,he would have made it!

    November 1, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. joseph, austin, tx

    just another case of the man keeping people down. does he get his money back that he paid for the paperwork he filed?

    November 1, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. John, Greenville, SC

    On behalf of Dems in South Carolina, I apologize for the action of our Executive Committee to keep Colbert's name off of the ballot. It would have been much less of a story for him to be on the ballot and get 0.01% of the votes.

    In a related story, Strom Thurmond has decided not to run for re-election in 2008.

    November 1, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Ky, Walnut Ridge, AR

    Honestly, it seems that by denying Colbert the chance to run, the SC Dem Party pretty much made his point for him.

    November 1, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Julie, PA

    Oh, cmon Neill from AL. You're not really going to claim that THIS makes the Dems an exclusionary party?! I can only guess by the phrase "your democratic party" that you really are serious.

    While I've loved this entire Colbert nacho-cheesy campaign, I think the Dems have every right to exclude someone who really isn't trying to win the presidency. I wish the fun could have gone on a bit longer (and maybe it will aiming for that write-in vote).

    November 1, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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