November 6th, 2007
09:49 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama supporters pressed Dems to keep Colbert off ballot

Prominent Obama supporters in South Carolina pressed Democratic party officials to keep Stephen Colbert off the primary ballot.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Two prominent supporters of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign in South Carolina called state Democratic Party officials and urged them to keep funnyman Stephen Colbert's name off the primary ballot, according to party officials and Obama supporters.

The Obama campaign denied any connection to the phone calls.

"Democrats in South Carolina, including supporters of ours, had strong feelings on both sides of the ballot issue, and ultimately it was South Carolina Democrats who made this decision," said Obama's South Carolina communications director Kevin Griffis.

The South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Council voted last week 13-3 to block Colbert's bid for the Democratic primary.

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- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. Benjamin, Baltimore, MD

    Obviously CNN is employed by the Clinton campaign. What is it with these people? Taking cues from Fox News?

    November 6, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. chris, Philly, PA

    I love it. Dems scream and plead for rights for all. But when someone they don't like wants to run they throw him away.

    November 6, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. David, Gilbert Arizona

    It is disingenuous to blame Obama for what the South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Council has done. The last time I checked every person had a free will. I will bet real money there are supporters of every candidate who have some sort of skeleton in their closet.

    Are the candidates responsible for supporters' actions? I say no, otherwise every parent who raised an adult child who committed a crime should be held responsible for those actions. Who is the responsible party in this situation? The person committing the action, not the candidate being supported.

    I will say however, even in light of the premise Colbert might be joking, the fact that a 16 member committee can choose who we vote for seems very shifty to me. You say Colbert is a joke? Then don't vote for him. As an American he should have every right to run for public office representing the party of his choice regardless of his own personal reasonings. It is up to the voters to decide whether he is worthy, not a 16 member committee.

    So much for democracy. No wonder other nations point at us and laugh.

    November 6, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Susan,S.C

    Are you KIDDING? This is just another CNN ridiculous spin. An Obama SUPPORTER (of which there are hundreds of thousands of us) was just following the rules for filing to run for president and said so. Period.
    I can't believe you've wasted space to write such pointless article; I can't believe I took time to read it, and I can't believe anyone would actually think that Barack would have any motive to do this.

    Just another Clinton News Network desperate attempt to make up negativity where there is none concerning her number one major threat.

    Posted By Kelly Hackleman, Burke, VA : November 6, 2007 9:25 am

    It looks like racism too....Mud slinging...I had missed the word SUPPORTERS when I first read that article and now that I read it I don't even Obama picture is supposed to be up here.....They could have brought those supporters and to support their claim well bring a clip.....They are using Obama's name to promote Colbert show and make him look better than Obama. Leave alone to think there will be a book coming.....This is a big shame!
    I am Obama supporter and will rest when he gets in that office and paint white house to black house this time around....I am on countdown!!

    November 6, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. matt

    Big question: Why were Obama's peeps afraid of Colbert? Would he drain votes from BO?

    November 6, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. D

    Doesn't CNN(Clinton News Network) have real news to Print?????Instead of the LIES!!!!!Look we know you got the story from the Clinton Campaign.....They control you(CNN).Not The American People!!!!
    Obama is the People's choice.

    November 6, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. Tere, FL

    Anybody who says he/she will not vote for Obama coz of this news is plain STUPID and very superficial. If you read this news it says two Obama supporters it has nothing to do with Barack Obama's intention. Anybody else who posts saying "you just lost my vote" is evidence of the flimsy mindedness many voters are who do not stop to think and understand the story more. go ahead prove how dumb and superficial you are by taking this CNN spin-off story seriously!

    November 6, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. james,Oregon

    I was inclined to support Obama, now I'm disinclined. I hope he loses more votes countrywide then he would have lost in South Carolina

    Posted By Bob : November 6, 2007 9:42 am

    Just few words.....American people are not stupid!!! You can not even read the headline and see what it is- supporters- What do you read?

    November 6, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Dikwad Feltersnatch

    We can't have Colbert's truthiness ruining the campaign. He takes a clear stand on so many issues that he would destroy our perception of what a political candidate is. Also, as someone stated, he is in the pocket of the snack food industry and he would force his nacho cheesiness on the nation so good riddance!

    November 6, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Blayze Kohime, Columbus OH

    I am baffled as to why anyone would care if Colbert was added, given that he has no intention of even trying to win. If someone is afraid of loosing votes to someone like that, they need to look after their own campaign a little better.

    November 6, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. Jayne,charleston,S.C

    What a nation we live in… our representatives vote to remove VIABLE candidate Colbert off of the ballets, but we have Bush re-elected. I thought this country was a democracy, run by the people? No one ever asked me my opinion, or my neighbor's opinion, or probably yours either, reader. I want to vote for my OWN choice of candidate. I do not want my options filtered by some committee of whom I know nothing about.

    I think what we need for a president is simply a positive diplomat for our great nation. With Bush in office, we have severed so many ties with the rest of the world. Pick up a newspaper in almost any major city; you’ll see that a majority of the world has negative feelings toward us. It didn’t used to be like this. We used to be admired… almost feared because we were so powerful. Now we’re the jerk that stays around at the party that ended hours ago. I think you understand what I’m saying.

    Although it is the President that ultimately has the final say on almost all domestic and world issues, he is surrounded by a team of the most talented individuals in the world. They do all the research, the development, the planning, the forecasting, and the execution. The President simply gets the credit, whether it is successful or not.

    My point is; I would be much more comfortable with a person like Colbert to address our nation’s world interests than I would anyone else right now. Everyone else is too abrasive, too unlikable, and too unviable. And let’s get serious; by the time he’s elected, Bush will have been running this country for 8 years. Can it really get any worse?

    Posted By Jeremy Detroit, MI : November 6, 2007 8:37 am

    While I don't despute we live in a great nation.....I don't think this is the right time to have such people as colbert...May be 20years from now or before all these mess. Another thing is we don't need an administration that all what they are going to do is blame game and blocking each other.....and that is why I am with Barack all the way...
    Also I don't think colbert was serious....He is coming when it is alittle late and we don't know much about him those who don't watch his show....I just don't want games in the next 16yrs or so.....
    I am voting Obama

    November 6, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Richard Tabuteau, Atlanta, GA

    I'm actually impressed he flexed some political muscle. That's how elections are won, and sadly that's why many Democrats ultimately lose.

    November 6, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. sylvia,Atlanta,GA

    Anybody who says he/she will not vote for Obama coz of this news is plain STUPID and very superficial. If you read this news it says two Obama supporters it has nothing to do with Barack Obama's intention. Anybody else who posts saying "you just lost my vote" is evidence of the flimsy mindedness many voters are who do not stop to think and understand the story more. go ahead prove how dumb and superficial you are by taking this CNN spin-off story seriously!

    Posted By Tere, FL : November 6, 2007 12:13 pm

    Thank you....This is all about Colbert book which was on Cnn Larry King....People Please do your homework before you believe this clinton news network....I thought people have known their country by now.....Know the truth and will set you free..

    November 6, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. Gitahi, Dallas TX

    Let's see if CNN deletes this one. They have deleted two of my post already. Hmmm...are my posts not being Pro-Hillary agenda?

    CNN is being ridiculous. Vinod Gupta must really be doing his work for the Clintons. How do they even know they were Obama supporters? Has this been verified? If one person felt intimidated, was this enough to change the vote. The vote would have been 12-4. Aaaaah……not much of a difference. Furthermore, this is a joke and just proves Mike Gravel right. We are getting fatter and dumber. Colbert was making a mockery of the system and he should not have been playing such a joke. I like his show and I think he is hilarious but now is not the time. Believe me, I would never vote for Hillary even if she was the only candidate on the ballot, but I would not raise a finger if her supporters did anything of this sort. Let’s not make a joke of the process. If he really wants to run, his supporters can raise the $30,000 for him to run as a Republican of he can run as an independent. Those saying that Obama has lost their vote because of this nonsense were never his supporters otherwise we would not see this dumbness coming out of their brains. Ivan bet you this was manufactured for Hillary’s benefit.

    November 6, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Tony, Mount Vernon, NY

    It's pretty simple:

    1.) South Carolina is an early state caucus so it's important to get a victory there.
    2.) Real or fake some people would have voted for Colbert. Likely Colbert voters include young people and those that don't trust the system. That's Obama's supposed sweet spot.
    3.) So, Obama supporters fought to get him off the ballot so he wouldn't take away votes from their candidate. It's politics as usual.

    Anyone that thinks Obama or his supporters represent real change are just misguided. Obama has to run on a campaign based on change and hope because he has nothing else to run on that differentiates anything he says from the other Democrats. Don't be fooled, Obama is just as Washington as anyone else in the race.

    So much for him accusing Clinton of double talk. What is it they say about people that live in glass houses?

    November 6, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. Njoki,Des moines Iowa

    This is mud slinging at its best....
    Cnn Quit this game!!!
    Obama 08!

    November 6, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    So, let me get this straight, a couple of Obama supporters (not payed campaign staffers) attempt to block Colbert from the the Dem. ticket in SC and somehow it's Hillary's fault that it was reported by CNN????

    Way too funny, keep dreaming!! Going negative is still not going to get your guy the nomination!

    November 6, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. Leroy, Chuncula, AL

    #1. If you are going to post anything on the internet about a serious topic like the presidential campaign, PLEEZ UZ CURRET GRAMMER AN SPELLIN! You look like utter fools when you don't and your opinion cannot be taken seriously.

    I believe Colbert has already achieved exactly what he set out to prove at this stage: There are immense barriers (even if you meet all the "requirements" and pay the $$$) set up by both parties to keep out anyone they do not want/fear.

    Colbert has/is going to expose the corruption and underhanded techniques of "supporters" or "staffers" or "spokesmen" or whatever other silly legal line of distinction you want to draw among them to keep out anyone who may steal a few votes from their candidate rather than let them in and have to fight for the vote through actual, thoughtful campaigning.

    I knew, the moment Colbert announced his campaign, that it would not be long before the Obama and/or Clinton lawyers got involved to block him. (Republicans would just call the Death Star and get Karl Rove to eliminate Colbert if the Dems were not smart enough get rid of him on their own)

    I would urge Colbert to continue his Presidential Campaign for a few reasons:
    1. Try to get the votes required to get government funding for the 2012 race!
    2. Divert some resources from Clinton & Obama (both would be disasters as President)
    3. Show the American people the crooked underbelly of political campaigns and the candidates in both parties vying for their vote. They will all do and say ANYTHING to get that vote.

    All the Obama "supporters" defending him in this space have only proven that there IS something there that needs defending. Obama's handlers have obviously done something shady (but legal) to derail the electoral process by excluding a qualified citizen.

    We have reached a sad point in this great country when the only candidate who represents truthiness and is straightforward with us is a comedian from a fake news show on cable TV. The fact that even the liberal Socialists (oops, I meant Democrats) want this guy (with a moderately powerful media outlet at his disposal) out of the race speaks volumes.

    The day of the You Tube presidential campaign is here! If the princess crying about Brittney Spears can get so many views, I would hope a viable third part candidate could use You Tube as well.

    Crazy Theory #762:
    The Writer's Guild strike was propelled by the Democratic Party as a way to get The Colbert Report off the air.

    **Position Disclaimer**
    I am neither Democrat nor Republican and currently support NONE of the current presidential candidates.
    I am a gun toting, legalize it, for the death penalty type of person who is bigoted towards intolerant, ignorant and lazy people of all races and creeds. Even if we have no one worth voting for on the ticket at this point, it is our civic duty to pick the least worst candidate for the job in 2008.

    November 6, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. JK,boston,Ma

    Obama is so clean such that the media is trying to around and bring stuff that will slow him down.....I think this is a black white thing where a white guy's book is being capitalized through a black guy....Cnn I stopped to be serious when I am watching your news just like I assume I don't have a president right now....
    Obama, You will be a great President!

    November 6, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Ronald Charles

    fOR those of you who won't vote for Obama because of this it is very sad.

    November 6, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Shana Gainey

    First of all, this article states that supporters of Obama were the “culprits”, not Obama himself. Second, Colbert cannot run in South Carolina as a Democrat - this does not mean he cannot run for president at all. There is nothing in the Constitution that requires one to run for president in a political party. As long as he meets the constitutional requirements (such as being at least 35 years old and a natural born citizen) he can run. By the way, I learned the requirements to run for president when I was in high school so I am disappointed that so many people do not know them, but I guess if 20% of the nation cannot even find the US on the map, then ignorance must be typical.

    November 6, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. anon, ottawa, OH

    Obama and Colbert are the same – JOKERS!

    November 6, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. pam Eugene, OR

    This is crap CNN. Your "story" does not say it was Obama staffers. You lead people to believe that Obama himself did this. You create a non event and then force him to defend something he did not do. CNN shilling for HRC at your worst!
    Shame on you.

    November 6, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  24. MaryElaina, Washington

    It looks like CNN will do anything and say anything (just like the Clintons)to score cheap political points. Why don't you come right out and say that you are trying destroy Barack Obama? It's no wonder that many people believe that CNN stands for Clinton News Network. Thanks for showing your true colors. As a woman, I will never support YOUR Hillary, nor will most of the other women I know.

    November 6, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. James,NY

    The Obama campaign denied any connection to the phone calls.

    While you believe what the media has written here, I think you should believe the above sentence too if you are not biased...

    November 6, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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