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. Judee in Chicago

    I understand Obama doesn't want this election be a 'joke,' but if Colbert went through the application legitmately, he should have been seriously considered a ballot spot.

    And there's always a write-in campaign...

    November 6, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Cody

    I think it's funny that people say Colbert was making a mockery of the political system. It already is one, people. The fact that Colbert was denied a spot on the ballot is testament enough to that. An electoral system where only some people are allowed to run for political office is not a true democracy, is it now?

    November 6, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. RMRN.Y.

    People, people! Lets settle down and get real as in real politic. Steven Colbert is an admitted comedic satirist on the hunt for a few laughs and publicity. All well and good for Steven for that is the business he is in.

    But Barak is in a different kind of business namely a vigorous and closley
    contested bid for leader of the free world. Barak Obama has tremendous support amongst young voters throughout South Carolina and any erosion could tip (god forbid) that primary to The Billary's in a tight race.

    Considering Colbert's actual admitted fear of actually becoming president,
    he could inadvertently have an adverse
    effect on Obama's campaign in SC hence the need to head this off and nip the Colbert's self indulgence for the good of us all. If Steven Colbert was really serious about leading and tackling the enormous responsibility of the Presidency, I would be all for his
    sincere challenge for higher office.

    November 6, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Jared Washington, DC

    The posting on waterboarding/torture got 26 comments.

    The posting on a comedian's fake campaign got over 300 comments.

    All of you who are posting on this "ticker" are as much of a joke as Comedy Central could ever come up with.

    November 6, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. ty okc, ok

    Why do we bother...because unlike some of you, Americans actual care about this country and who represents us.

    I suppose you are a HRC fan refusing to accept that she is a divider; first it was dividing republican Americans from democratic Americans. Now she is trying to divide men from women because she felt the men were being too hard on her. Are you people serious? Countries are losing respect for us daily. Pretty soon other countries will just start calling our bluff, and we will have no choice but war. And you people want a comedian to run for office. I’m sure the republicans would have choice not to have a field day with that one.

    November 6, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. greg brooklyn NY

    He may be as pure as the driven snow,but all republicans want Obama to win the democratic nomination so he can run against Guiliani. Think about it...Black male against top cop...who do you bet on?

    November 6, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. ty, okc ok

    greg, your an idiot! he would be Guiliani worst nightmare, because he can't throw dirt on him. Top cop? the cops don't even like Guiliani, neither do the fireman. get your facts right.

    November 6, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Jim, Irmo, SC

    CNN should be ashamed for the way that they have, both in broadcast and on this website, characterized this story. They will leave it up, of course, because it is generating interest (I understand that I am included in this). They aren't stupid. If you pair a picture of Obama with a headline like you have here...well, I though CNN had more class. You might as well be FOX.

    November 6, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Winner, WA

    You Obama fans are real losers. Just take your silver medal and go back to wherever you're from.

    November 6, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. I used to be a Democrat

    This is proof positive that Democrats don't believe in Democracy. Obama should resign.

    November 6, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Troy Olroyd Phoenix, Az

    Obama, I believe his trouble of ever getting elected is his involvement in the North American Union, so here we have it a man with his hands covered in oil.

    November 6, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Jun, Los Angeles, CA

    Clinton/Obama 2008 – Get America back on track!

    November 6, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. Oliva - San Antonio - Texas

    I agree with Sean Dayton Ohio "Wow, if Obama is worried about losing votes to Colbert then maybe he should give up now. Edwards had more to lose, being from SC, and he was having fun with the issue." We all know Obama has to hang on to the handful of voters he has. OBAMA is not the man. OBAMA is not ready to run this country. WE need strength. WE need experience. WE need some serious damage control. WE do not need him. Not now. Clinton is our person.

    November 6, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Evan, Columbus, OH

    Funny that the vote was 13-3 and the article says 2 people. Seems to me that 11 others may have a brain of their own.

    Worthless propaganda.

    November 6, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Adam, Chicago IL

    No one said that Colbert couldn't be on the state's ballot during the general election. The decision of who gets to run in the primary is a decision made entirely by the political party in question. Anyone can run for president as long as that person fulfills the requirements laid out by the secretary of state of each state they wish to run in.

    The democratic and republican parties are running a purely internal contest to determine who will represent them. If Colbert really wants to run, he could run as an independent.

    November 6, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Rob

    Somehow I don't think soldiers dying and families destroyed in Iraq will think Colbert's comedic run for the White House is funny! Now don't get me wrong there is a place for everything but it?s going to far! This article is a slap in the face for young voters too. The media believes young voters don't see coffins coming home with our soldiers in them, the healthcare problems and the shaky economy. The media especially CNN is making a STUPID story about a comedian being off the ballot amusing at the voter expense. Colbert isn't someone who is running to help the country but someone who is running as a GOOF! The shame in it is we will see supporters of competing candidates spin this MOCKERY against Obama uncaringly. My sister works for the army! I don't want a comedian or TV network to put her life in its hands as a joke! I want someone to end the war! This is not a joke when this year alone over 800 solider have lost their lives. Please don't play political games or try to get ratings off of their deaths.

    November 6, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    Again, another laughable series of posts in a biased thread created by the Clinton News Network to rile up your sorry little carcasses.

    November 6, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Paul NY

    For those calling CNN baised:

    You are kidding me right , if it had been Clintons support keeping Colbert off the ballot you would be screeming bloody murder if CNN didn't cover it. If your looking for one sided news coverage please check out Faux news network.

    I can see how crazy republicans and Obama supporters are getting , must be close to election time. It really just shows how desperate you guys are. Obama is running out of steam (obvious by the fact he is no longer talking issues and just attacking anyone he can) and his supporters know they are going to loose.
    Too bad they are trying to take down fellow Dems in the process out of frustration. Instead of directing their attacks on the failed republican policies.

    November 6, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Lance in Monrovia CA

    Obama can't control what "two prominent supporters" do. If they want to call and complain about the joke campaign of a t.v. comedian, that's their right. Honestly, we all should have been screaming about this. Frankly I barely registered its existance.

    But they were right to complain. This is a serious election, the most serious we've ever faced, and South Carolina is at ground zero of determining the next president of this country.

    If you get a bunch of jokers voting for Colbert because they like his show and they don't know the issues or the stakes, that could be bad for all the candidates, Obama included.

    This was a bad joke to begin with and it just points out the stupidity of polls that Colbert would be running fifth, ahead of Chris Dodd, while making stupid jokes at rallies that obviously said his campaign was a farce.

    its not right for CNN to lay the blame at Obama's door on this. He can't control the actions of supporters and frankly all the candidates should have been up in arms about this.

    I guess they weren't because the demographic that watches Colbert is the same that supports Obama.

    November 6, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Walt, Belton, TX

    Obama or Osama, neither is good for America!!!

    November 6, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. Zac, Atlanta, Georiga

    First of all, it takes money to put someone on the ballot. Candidates have to pay $2,500 to be on the ballot, but that still works out as a loss for the Democrats (why do you think the Reps charge 35k!?)

    So the South Carolina Democratic Party has every right to CHOOSE how they spend their budget, and who they spend it on.

    If you don't like it, and are actually serious about this, take it up with the SCDP and get him back on the ballot. There's still time. But you'll need to do some work.

    If Colbert is really serious about running, he should do it in Iowa where the process is FREE.

    All this Obama-bashing is more than a little unfounded.

    November 6, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. John--Minneapolis MN

    One of the points Colbert was making, and one that his been missed in much of the commentary I think, is the "bought" nature of our elections. He laid it on the line for us: the Colbert Presidency would be brought to you by the makers of Doritos–tasty and crunchy and cheesiful corn chips. Who else puts their sponsorship out on the table? Pres Bush?

    November 6, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. C. K. Justus SC

    That was a bad idea. Colbert was not going to do anything or take away votes from Obama or anyone else to amount to anything. I do not believe the people of this state is that dumb or at least enought of them to make a difference in the race for president.
    Colbert not only tell jokes, he is a joke.

    November 6, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  24. SM, Santa Barbara, CA

    Obama cheerleaders ≠ Barak Obama himself

    Learn it well.

    November 7, 2007 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  25. K, Campo CA

    When there's a king, the only one who can speak truth to power is the court jester. Stephen was brilliant.

    When Stephen signed off the night the SC Dem lady told him he wasn't on the ballot, he asked viewers to donate to a good cause for kids and said any one of them could grow up to be president. What a perfect dig. He had just demonstrated how that wasn't true. If you speak in comedy and are wildly popular, you can't be on the Democratic ballot. If you don't have $35,000 you can't be on the Republican ballot. And Mike Gravel demonstrated how corporate media owned by a gigantic company that makes money on war can "disappear" an anticorporate, antiwar candidate, when GE-owned NBC "disqualified" him from the Philadelphia debate. He had come too close to damaging war-friendly media-darling Hillary in the previous debate.

    I'm sorry, but I think we needed Stephen more than we knew. God bless Amertica.

    November 7, 2007 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
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