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. bob, houston, texas

    this gives me enough reason to vote against obama

    November 6, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Seth, evansville,IN

    Why keeo Colbert off the ballot let the guy have his fun. If anything it helps obama more than it hurts him. But personaly as a republican I live to see Democrats squirm.

    November 6, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. Jason, Hoelm AL

    Are you all stupid or something?
    Why is this even a topic of discussion? Have we become that dumb?

    Colbert is not even a real candidate. He's making fun of the process. He should keep that on TV, not when it can affect outcomes of elections.

    November 6, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. DT, Comstock Park, MI

    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.

    Funny thing –every time I see someone say "This election is no laughing matter" I agree. Then I look at our frontrunners in the Democratic and Republican campaigns (at least the ones CNN says are the frontrunners) and I realize that electing them would be more comical and sad than than electing Colbert. The same tired people with the same tired rhetoric, with the same tendency to disregard voters and do whatever the heck they/Congress-critters/special interests want.

    I think if a comedian got on the ballot and actually got enough votes to make Democrats and Republicans nervous, it would make this election a WHOLE LOT MORE SERIOUS than it is now.

    November 6, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Disgusted, Chicago, IL

    Wow you are all really pathetic for believing this article. Yes it is pathetic that people would vote him off the ballot, but really. Do you really think the Obama campaign would truely care? I agree that it is a shame that he could not run as a REPUBLICAN because he, who has a successful TV program, could not AFFORD to. What a shame that CNN would run a story like this. It is a shame that the American people can not see past their own noses, and get over the fact that this is the media talking. They are trying to make a story out of nothing as usual. Why not be asking why Clinton does not want things released from when she was first lady?????

    November 6, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Paul, Montgomery, AL

    Everybody needs to just calm down. Obama's people were either scared of losing votes or don't have a sense of humor. Thats ironic considering Obama's mocking the Clinton's on this past week's "Saturday Night Live."

    I'm not a Hillary supporter but I thought it was an inappropriate move by Obama to do the show. He's becoming less squeaky clean and a little more cutthroat lately isn't he?

    At the end of the day this is America,where anyone is supposed to be able to run for president. Guess not.

    And as for Colbert's making a mockery of the political process and the presidential race, it's been a mockery for quite some time now.

    Also quit bashing CNN, saying they spin their coverage. If you haven't noticed every news organization does. Thats where the money is. If you want honest balanced news maybe you should tune into Steven Colbert or Jon Stewart's programs

    November 6, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. steelman Pittsburgh, PA

    If all of you have your way and Ralph Nader gets on the ballot in 2008, then say hello to another Republican in the White House.

    November 6, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Becky, Boston MA

    I like a few of the ideas that have been posted if you want to see Colbert run:
    1. Write him in (can work on both the Republican and Democrat ballots).
    2. Send money so he can run as a Republican.
    3. Or lastly, he can run as an independent.
    Let's not give up on this election, this is the most important election of our time – and it is important we stay involved.

    November 6, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Learn to read past the headline, folks. Obama had NOTHING to do with it. His supporters, not staffers, called asking about the situation and ONE member of the council FELT intimidated. They're passing the buck to Obama and you sheep are eating it all up.

    November 6, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Quincy, IL

    Mr. Colbert reminds me of way back when Pat Paulson ran for President. I like watching Mr. Colbert but don't feel he would make a serious President. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe we need some laughter in the White House. It would be better than now when the White House gets laughed at.

    November 6, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. Richard

    So what if even Obama himself went in to oppose Colbert?. America is a free country.

    You think Hillary wants Obama to run!?

    Please people and paid Clinton staff. We the people are smarter than to let some CNN tabloid headline sway our vote.

    Obama Republican in South Carolina

    November 6, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. Somewhere in the Great USA

    America doesn't need another comedian as President. We already have one and that hasn't worked out to well...

    November 6, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Jen, Gainesville, FL

    This CNN article is false reporting. If one can label "Obama team helps kill Colbert campaign" because of the actions of a supporter of Obama (according to CNN, not verified), one can say the Clinton campaign robbed the American people because of the fraud of Hsu. Note, Hsu is more than a supporter of Hillary: He is a huge fundraiser, a person who recruits supporters. How can CNN be so irresponsible? What happens to journalism?

    November 6, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. Sere, Cape Coral, FL

    JB, I'm going to assume that you're lacking in the intelligence department. Colbert has been getting our country interested in what's going on in our politics (( especially the new generation of voters )), and underneath his jokes he has serious views about our country. If you can't see that, then maybe you need to sit down and take a deeper look at Colbert.

    He is not an idiot - He is an incredibly intelligent man and he knows what he's doing and what he's saying.

    And gee, I have to agree. I thought any US born citizen could become president... How stupid of me. No - A committee of random people nobody's heard of can make our decisions for us.

    Thanks guys!

    November 6, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Ian, Odenton, MD

    I sincerely wish that Democrats would stop pinning themselves up on a cross as being victimized by "the slimmest of margins".

    Guess what? Ralph Nader didn't cost you 2000, you did. Bush sucks, yes, but maybe if the Democratic party handlers had been competent, they would have won or found a way to incorporate the things that drew voters to Nader.

    This isn't supposed to be about "Which of two specific political parties will be our next president". This is supposed to be about Americans being able to make an informed choice on any candidate that they hear from.

    This means that it's disgusting that organizations like CNN only allow Republican and Democratic candidates into debates - You may not like what a third party candidate has to say, but it at least provides some new element that the two major parties must respond to.

    This election, and this event in particular, represent everything that drove me away from the study of political science and public administration.

    November 6, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. Jason Adams

    This is just another reason I'll be voting Green instead of Democratic. Dirty scoundrels. Inez's "little corruption" may not be as punishable as taking bribes, but it's no less democracy killing.

    November 6, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Obama is one of the few who recognized the danger of having a candidate who is in the pocket of the greasy snack food industry. Colbert would have brought back the Frito Bandito as his running mate, thus assuring the vote of every illegal, unregistered alien in the United States. Before you know it, small children would be addicted to onion dip and potato chips would be served in every school.

    November 6, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. Kayce, Midland Texas

    You have got to be kidding me! Did you people even read the whole article?Obama didn't make the phone calls some of his supporters did! Two prominent individuals who probably didn't like the thought of Colbert making a mockery of the election process in their state. He was running in ONE state people. He didn't meet the state criteria of financials or viability. He didn't want to be President. He wanted this to be one big joke!

    November 6, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. ROTFLMAO TSE TUNG, Beijing

    lol to you all who think he's actually running for president

    November 6, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Jack Stillwell, Greenville, SC

    This is ridiculous. Obama did not do this. Lets see who everyone on the council is supporting and attack those candidates too. CNN really needs to change that headline or expand the article to include the views of all involved in the voting, and anyone who might have called them.

    November 6, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. dwinton,troy,mi

    Colbert is making a mockery of the election. He is bad for the country.

    November 6, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. Chapman, Portland, OR

    This IS an Obama "hit piece" plain & simple!!!
    At least when Obama criticizes Hillary he does it directly & articulates it. Every criticism of Obama comes through back channels & they are NEVER about his positions or policies. They're always insinuations about his character.
    The #1 threat to a Clinton Presidency is Obama & that's why he's being marginalized & criticized through the Clinton war machine. The Democratic party has a long history of challenging candidacies & it always comes from the top. Don't forget Bill Clinton was instrumental in organizing the DNC. Obama is the real deal (if he wasn't you wouldn't hear squat about him. Peace.

    November 6, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. Mike, northglenn, co

    he's a comedian people, it was a joke! if you would actually even consider voting for him, this country is in trouble.

    November 6, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. Tina, Waterloo, Iowa

    I can't believe Obama would do this. I have been an ardent supporter for 6 months and I am disgusted by his actions here.


    November 6, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. Jake Midland, MI

    I'm sure that Colbert did not intend to win. However, it would have been a chance for people to vote for someone who is outside of the politics that hold this country in bondage. Someone who is not "Lobbying" for anything just because he can make money off of it, or because it is what his party says to do. Anyone off of the street should be able to run for president. It should not depend on the smount of money you have or your status in the eyes of politicians. I am urged to write in Steven Colbert on the ballot of the primary election just because he is not affiliated with the "political mindset" of our failing government. He can see the real United States that we all fight for without being blinded by lobbyist.

    November 6, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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