November 3rd, 2007
09:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Edwards would have liked Colbert candidacy

John Edwards said Stephen Colbert are both South Carolina natives.

CHERAW, South Carolina (CNN) - Former Sen. John Edwards said Friday that having comedian and fellow South Carolina native Stephen Colbert on the Democratic presidential primary ballot would have made the electoral process a little more fun.

Asked by CNN about the state Democratic party's decision Thursday to keep Colbert off the ballot, Edwards laughed and said he had not heard the news.

"Is that true?" he asked, smiling and looking around at reporters. "I hadn't heard about that."

Edwards, whose campaign issued a light-hearted statement last week saying they would "kick Colbert's butt" in South Carolina, said he would have liked to see Colbert run.

"I kind of like Colbert on the ballot myself," Edwards said. "I think it adds a little bit of interest. I like it though. I think it's fun."

Related video: Watch Edwards discuss Sen. Clinton and Stephen Colbert

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: John Edwards • South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. harry,boston,ma

    Daniel from Florida, I applaud your comment. I think Americans have never felt left alone in a lonely plannet any other time than now....It is so clear that you can not be a postman and run for presidency. I feel that the American people have been so much controlled and this is more than a monarchy. Then can we say that there is no more freedom in this country and Other countries are better off at least they don't have the freedom that they might feel some day has been taken away from them?

    November 3, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Tom, Raleign, NC

    It's ridiculous and sad that people are criticizing Edwards for saying Colbert's campaign was fun or even accusing him of promoting Colbert in order to gain ground on Obama. You can criticize Edwards for many things, but for having a sense of humor? And to those who say that his calling the campaign "fun" is inappropriate or even dangerous at a time of national crisis, one has to wonder who is really more dangerous: the man who pays attention to key issues and occasionally jokes about non-important issues (like a "campaign" by a political satirist) or candidates who continue to harp on things which only distract from the dire issues facing our country, raising a stink about gay marriage and immigration, for example, when they should be focused on health care (private or public), poverty, and the environment.

    November 3, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Justin-Arlington, TX

    Terry, El Paso-

    Actually I think Michael may have been refering to the national landscape as a whole, rather than this specific incident. While our situation may not be as dire as an Orwellian future, it does have some striking simularities. For example, the transition from our attacks on Al Qaida to our attacks on Iraq smacks of the Two-Minute Hate transition from hatred towards East Asia to hatred of Eurasia (if I remember the countries correctly). In addition, the Bush administration's mentality of "You're either with us or against us" also strongly correlates with the mentality of Oceania in 1984. Overall, it may be hyperbole, but the comparison is valid.

    November 3, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Den Burke, Gettysburg, PA

    Careful, Democrats: your actions here seem almost Republican.

    November 3, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Katie, Poolesville, MD

    "It'll be a slap in the face to democracy."

    Honestly, I think it's about time it got slapped in the face. The entire system needs to wake up and get its act together.

    And that's what Colbert did. He slapped 'em good.

    November 3, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Chris, Pensacola FL

    That's what Colbert gets for being in the pockets of snack foods. Hey Colbert, out kids are fat! Didn't you get the memo?

    November 3, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. MH, Fredericksburg, VA

    What a shame it is that SC Democrats have refused Colbert his Constitutional right to run for elected office.
    It would appear that "democracy" and "democrats" are mutually exclusive terms. And individual rights, And political philosophy.

    November 3, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. colbearfan, nyc, ny

    Well, if people really want to go the distance for Colbert, I recommend a protest. Not just calling and leaving voicemails or e-mails. Or even just writing letters. We know those are just going to be trashed.

    I recommend a Jericho style protest. Not that I was a fan, but Jericho fans got CBS to reverse their decision by sending in bags of peanuts. When CBS was inundated with peanutes, they reversed their decision.

    Similarly, I propose sending in empty Doritos bags to the S.C. dem hq. (full ones might be too cumbersome to mail). That'll send a message.

    November 3, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. George, Billerica, Mass.

    There is no Constitutional right to run for office. The two parties write election law and "enforce" election law. And they don't want any input from "The People", unless they can have our votes. We are not a democracy and never have been. And any candidate who dares say that the system should fundamentally change is deemed by the parties, the media, and those who gain more wealth from both, to be "unelectable", "extremist", "out of the mainstream", "fringe", and so on.

    Colbert's "run" was and is a joke, for ratings and personal fame, disguised as satire but never intended to be anything more than a way to have him and his show get a lot of free advertising. The not-so-funny thing is that the joke is, and has always been, on us.

    November 3, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. kyle

    you cannot win Edwards,2004 proves it you cannot win,your home state,said no.

    November 3, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. Jon Nadelberg

    It's interesting to see some of the responses here. People seem to be more than willing to throw away their ability to run for office, and allowing a small group of individuals to hand pick who is allowed to run.

    Of course he can run as an independent. But that does not usually get very far, and if he can legally run as a Democrat, then the people of the Democratic party should have the chance to vote for him.

    This is supposedly a country of the people. Not a country of a backroom committee. And if anyone wants to run, they should be allowed to. You don't need a national campaign. History is replete with "native son" candidates. The lack of historical perspective on this is simply disgraceful.

    But what is most disgraceful of all is the cheering on of the failure of American democracy, and the confiscation of power from the public by a few members of the ruling elite.

    Those of you who wish to chastise me for actually thinking this is still a free country are right. I should stop being so naive. This is now an oligarchy, and the public at large is rapidly becoming completely powerless in how it is run.

    Good for the USA. Turning into the Soviet Union one day at a time.

    November 3, 2007 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  12. Koki, Miami

    Not very democratic... Not inclusive. Don't we want to attract young people to the polls?

    November 4, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Mark, Taunton MA

    @Jon –

    You still don't get it, and it's appalling. The Democratic Party is not a public organization and as such has EVERY RIGHT to determine for itself who can and cannot run under it's banner. In this nations history there have been many political parties in this country, some more successful then others. If Colbert truly wishes to run for president then he is more then FREE TO DO SO, all he has to to is either pick an organization that will have him (maybe the Green party would want him) or run as an independent, or even start his own political party. Whether that is successful or not is entirely up to the candidate but at the end of the day, his rights were not impugned and to think that they were shows a startling lack of understanding on how the political process in this country works, and has worked for over 200 years. You sir, should be ashamed of yourself.

    November 4, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Jon Nadelberg

    What I get is that people are more than willing to let others decide who can and can not run for office, and give themselves basically no say in who runs for office.

    The Democratic party is not just a private organization, as some would like to deem it. What this simply means is that the average person can not run. If Colbert is a member of the party, and is otherwise legally entitled to place his name on the ballot, he simply should, period.

    The fact that people are OK with this slap to all of us, and that they are making weak excuses and being insulting shows that the claims to the contrary are weak, and must be backed up with personal attack.

    That is what is appalling. People willingly handing over the reigns of government to a cabal. Today it's Colbert, next time, who is it going to be? Someone else they don't happen to like for whatever reason?

    This is truly a disgraceful behavior, and that people support it are the ones who should be ashamed, for they are helping to destroy whatever vestige of democratic ideals we have left in this country.

    The country as an experiment in democracy is rapidly failing, and people seem to be willing to cheer on its demise.

    But hey, what do I know. I'm appallingly ignorant of history, right? I think that was the best argument made by anyone about this whole thing. Concise, to the point, and logical. Or not.

    November 4, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Mark, Taunton MA

    @Jon –

    Claiming that a political party isn't a private organization is absurdity at it's finest. Truly you have no grasp of how the electoral process works or how political organization fit into that and until you do, your continued assertions that someones rights have been violated are simply stupid. Sorry if that's harsh to hear but reality is seldom pleasant for people too ignorant to do basic research. Since the rest of your "argument" is based upon flawed understanding of the political system, whatever else you try to say is pointless to argue.

    November 4, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Jon Davis, Las Cruces, NM

    What's novel about Colbert? Didn't a comedian (Pat Paulsen) already do this bit?

    November 4, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    Because who reads this?

    The party system is against the oath of office taken by every official in office. It is against the oath, such as it is: not allowed to swear to answer to a foreign body separate to the Government of the United States of America before said government, and this is the reason one does not need to swear to a deity such as God.

    In truth every member in the Senate, Congress, and the Supreme Court is in violation of that oath accept for the few independents; only the president has the right to hold such an active party status; oh and Governors have the right to an active party status as well but this administrative party must be held separate in each State and limited to the name of the Presiding president or Governor. It is the President's requirement to correct this, and correct the affiliation the White House has with any member in congress beyond the official Government method as it is illegal when a party members who are also government officials convene for party business to undermine the official Government body.

    "If their was only someone, some independent, with a public voice who could correct this!"

    The party itself should exist only to introduce an amendment change to Congress in response of the people's want and petitioned or membered voice. The president is chosen for the ability to make decisions and relate to foreign government on behalf of the all the united states of America. Members of Congress and the Senate could then raise the point of support for any or multiple parties during election. The party should be for and against, or in place to protect or remove present amendments.

    The National Patriot act is such an amendment found mirrored in the drafts of confederation but unless it is defined by Congress as law and officated by the Senate, signed by the President and used by the Supreme court judges according to their requirements of leveled jurisprudence, yet still outside federal juristiction the States are not bound without an amendment and can operate how they wish in a Republic.
    The President is commissioned and empowered with the requirement to create bureaus and uphold such laws and public requirements. The President basically holds power of attorney over the congress, but the President should not be able to hold empirical power as no monarch no one person can ever be crowned or aloowed such powers.

    The Constitution is not a picture, and the Party method has not been amended into it at present.

    The party... have fun

    November 4, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  18. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    The States have the power of impeachment should the President not act, the Senate members must drop their affiliation with the Parties to regain jurisdiction, and the Congress is lost in this two party quagmire.

    The Estates must rise to act against this party corruption: The Clergy, the press, and the people must respond. The Estate of the bureaucracy made better for it, and the Estate of the amendment party finalized.

    November 4, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  19. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    My own Nation has a Queen held too separate and a Governor General too 'Honorable' and 'Majestic' to act against these disruptive and improper parties in competition for a co-operative office.

    November 4, 2007 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  20. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    To every office in a democracy: elect an individual who can be held individually accountable in both representing the public and its own requirements for taxation. Personally cast a ballot as if you would vouch for that one person; the democratic voter is accountable. The Electoral College allows a small group of the public to meet with such a federal individual. Yet Congressional Representation that determines that College amount should meet the ration of one for every thirty thousand legal voters.

    November 4, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  21. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    Are you more intelligent than a fifth grader, because the Constitution is found in grade six sociology.

    November 4, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    So understanding that intelligence is a level of genius which lets one know that with freedom and independence one has the right to question what the teacher says about the constitution which only accumulated knowledge.

    The Teacher only speaks the Truthiness about it.

    November 4, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    "I kind of like Colbert on the ballot myself," Edwards said. "I think it adds a little bit of interest. I like it though. I think it's fun."

    Spoken like the true unadulterated Air Head he is! If you like fun John move to Coney Island. The Presidential Campaign is no place for FUN SEEKERS.
    A Nation is at stake or have you not noticed?

    November 5, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Matthew, Murfreesboro, TN

    To Jason in Greenville, NC
    Edwards was born in Seneca, SC. It is in Oconee County, the upper west corner of the state.

    November 5, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. Alex - Tampa, FL

    I think it is a middle finger to the rules of candidacy to not allow Colbert to be put on the SC ballot. Edwards is clearly threatend but Colbert and took an unfair shot to get him removed. Colbert allready has publicity because of his TV show which is a red flag to any poloticians running. South Carolina! LET COLBERT RUN!

    November 12, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
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