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. Jennifer - Wayne, PA

    In a time where the choice for president seems to be the lesser of two evils it would have been nice to give people the option of showing their displeasure by voting for Colbert rather than not voting at all!

    November 6, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. Dagny, Austin, TX

    These are such SERIOUS times that it is no longer remotely amusing to make a comic sport out of our democratic voting privilege ... and, oh what a surprise, that the billary team figures in the background of this story – the 2 people that have taken triangulation to a refined, exponentially cubed art form like "hexagulation." Colbert, we soooooo love you, but I'm sure you got the WHOLE picture by now. Thanks for the truthiness.

    November 6, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. RS, Boulder, CO

    Colbert could have *bought* his way into the Republican primary (his "true" party!) – but he didn't. At least the Dems seem to place less emphasis on money power.
    If Colbert did participate in the Democratic primary, I can see the GOP slogans – "Dems make a mockery of the election process!"
    Anyway, Colbert can always run as an Independent!!

    November 6, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Carlos, Fall River, MA

    Absolutely ridiculous. Once again the rich, stuck up baby boomers are keeping another American down. I can only imagine what they could do to the middle class American citizen. I bet the average middle wage doesn't meet the high credentials of the "executive" council.

    November 6, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Bad move... how many young voters that watch Colbert and Jon Stewart won't vote for Obama now?

    November 6, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Dustin, Denver CO

    Obama was just afraid that he would lose in the grit-off he challenged Colbert to.
    And what is this talk that Colbert would "steal" votes from some people. My vote is my vote and it will go to whomever I want. That is the same stupid argument that they use to hold down any third party candidates. God forbid that a non-multimillionaire lawyer ever run for president.

    November 6, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Politics as usual: If you're not a lackey of the Republicans or a tool of the Democrats, then you must be expunged, destroyed, ignored, debased or mocked. I'm so sick of our alleged two-party system, as it's nothing better than two squabbling children. Colbert had no chance of winning anything, but it would have been great to finally see a candidate with a real, live, FUNCTIONING brain!

    November 6, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Charles, Columbia, SC

    This is outrageous. Who is Obama to stop anyone from running for President? I guess he's another liar too! 🙂

    November 6, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Laura, Baton Rouge, LA

    I do not believe everyone in South Carolina realizes the power of Stephen Colbert. As unknown as he is to older Americans, I would say that 90% of people ages 21-30 know who he is. Believe it or not, Colbert could have brought new life and genuine interest to the Presidential election. Now what drive do those Colbert followers have to vote besides to write him in? I wouldn't be surprised if he has 1-2% of votes by write-in alone!

    November 6, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Marie Huntersville, NC

    Afraid of a little competition? hmm? It's really sad where this country has come to... I thought anyone was supposed to be able to run for president so long as he/she was born in the US and 35.

    November 6, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. randi, ny,ny

    it shows how truly desperate "the obamas" really are. maybe they should be.

    November 6, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. Rob, Chicago, Illinois

    I think most of you are mistaken. No one is saying he can't run for President, just that he can't run as a Democrat. Let him put his name in the hat as an independent. The main isue is that the Democrat party would have to pay out 20 grand just to stick his name on the ballot. If everyone wants him running so bad you should of sent him donations to run for the GOP.

    November 6, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. Matt

    Obama defeated an incumbent in his first Illinois race by successfully keeping her off the ballot.

    November 6, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. D, Stamford, CT

    clinton news network at its best

    November 6, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. DJ

    "...the South Carolina Democratic Party executive council voted 13-3 to block his bid, with the majority of voters saying he was not a viable enough candidate..."
    Based on this reasoning, several other candidates should also be removed.
    The election process IS A MOCKERY! Colbert's prank was a bit of advertising of this unfortunate truth. The status quo continues.

    November 6, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. Steve, New York


    November 6, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. Wayne, Silver Spring, MD

    Give me a break!

    If anyone who thinks Colbert was serious about this thing is pretty "thick."

    I'm sure the Hillary people pulled few strings to push the herds at CNN to publish such a trivial story.

    November 6, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Sabi Kanani, Dallas TX

    "Obama team helps kill Colbert campaign"

    – CNN, you've got to be kidding me! Look it how you manipulate words to make it seem like Obama's campaign had something to do with this...starting get a bit more like Fox News almost daily.

    btw - some people do take politics serious enough to have "actual" candidates run.

    November 6, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. Sidney, Bowie, AZ

    Somebody please explain to me how Obama is better qualified to be president than Colbert. As far as I can see, Obama's main achievement was giving a good speech at the Democratic Convention. Colbert, in his subtle way, has been a more effective critic of the Bush Administration.

    In my opinion, neither of them or Hillary, the lady without principles, should be president.

    November 6, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. Megha, San Antonio, TX

    Mr. Obama, every single day, we can see you desperation mounting to ratchet up votes. I read your book, was pretty inspired but from Tuesday's debate, you stopped just 0.1 inch less of personal attack on Hillary. Even when you were asked questions on your policies, etc, you immediately turned your blunted swords to Hillary. And your criticism on her vote on Iran, if it was that important to you, may be should have been there to vote. So by all means, you have no right to criticize her on that, because you can't even handle the political office that you are elected to right now, how can we trust you on being our President. Seems like you will do whatever to get presidency. Why don't you wait 8 years, get some good experience-real experience, some public speaking skills and the ability to win on your own merit instead of bringing other people down and then run, I will definitely support you. Another thing, please practice what you preach-in your book and in your speeches. May be people will trust you more like that.

    November 6, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. Kevin

    Dont buy into this "Obama did it" crap. This smacks of Republi-con media manipulation.

    Besides, this was a one note Joke anyway, if anyone really were looking forward to voting for him, maybe you really shouldn't be voting at all.

    November 6, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. Cory, Pennsylvania

    CNN, C'monnnnnnnn!!!

    I highly doubt Obama and his campaign staff blocked Colbert from being on the ballot. Seriously, learn how to make unbiased titles.

    On a positive note, Hillary is digging a bigger hole for herself, and I cannot wait until she falls into it.

    Obama '08!

    November 6, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. Kuro, Long Beach CA

    Screw you, Barak.

    One of the cornerstones of this country is that ANYone can run for President...even a television or movie personality.

    November 6, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. RockStar

    Are you people that stupid? No one who works for the campaign had anything to do with this, TWO people independent of the campaign felt it was there duty to go do this. hey CNN maybe you should try to change the headline on the front page and maybe you guys posting comments should read the whole story.

    November 6, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Jennifer

    Rational, thinking Americans will be insulted by this 'news' and this feigned outrage in these posts by paid Clinton staffers.

    Obama 08

    November 6, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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