Unlikely bedfellows: Colbert headed for Democrats' retreat
February 7th, 2013
07:55 PM ET
8 years ago

Unlikely bedfellows: Colbert headed for Democrats' retreat

(CNN) - To the people of Colbert Nation, a retreat for Democratic House members may be the last place they'd expect to find Stephen Colbert.

Unless the comedian who plays a conservative on television is plotting to take the Democrats down.

Regardless of his agenda, Colbert will appear at the House Democratic Issues Conference on Friday, caucus chair Rep. Xavier Becerra told members on Thursday.

A senior democratic leadership aide told CNN of the announcement.

Becerra told members that Colbert will make remarks to the Democrats gathered at the event, then take questions from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

"We assume this is Stephen Colbert’s attempt at bipartisanship," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told CNN.

About a year ago, the tables were turned.

Pelosi appeared on Colbert's television show, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," in February 2012 to promote her campaign finance law known as the DISCLOSE Act.

She argued that super PACs and their massive donors should make public significant contributions much sooner than required under current law; Colbert, practitioner of a real super PAC he used as a gag on his show, argued otherwise.

But unlike Pelosi's calls for transparency in campaign finance, House Democrats announced no plans to allow reporters into the session with Colbert.

Colbert closed his super PAC shortly after the November election, diverting the $773,000 left in the account into a 501(c)4 organization, which has even fewer reporting requirements.

Colbert has taken questions from lawmakers before. He appeared at a 2010 House hearing on immigration and spoke from the viewpoint of the character he plays on television.

Former President Bill Clinton is also scheduled to speak at the conference on Friday. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden also spoke to the group.

- CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report


Filed under: Congress • Democrats • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Norm

    Colbert/Stewart 2016

    February 8, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. Marie MD

    @JamesK, I second that and I would like to add Jon Stewart to the mix.
    The only ones not reporting on the gerrymandering and voting suppression are CNN, faux news, abc, NBC and CBS!

    February 8, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  3. ztom

    Yes, Colbert is a lib. Yes, he plays a conservative on TV to lampoon their ideas. Yes, CNN and the writer know this (evidenced by the second sentence of the story). This story is playing along with Colbert's joke.

    Most people know this. Only if you don't watch Colbert could you possibly not realize this, or if you have the equivalence of a 4th grade education. And those who are not smart enough to understand the joke probably don't watch Colbert Report.

    I noticed from the article that the press will not be around when he talks to them. This is probably because if cameras are running, he has to get into character. Colbert probably has some great ideas and insight, but as seen when he appeared before congress in 2010, he really can't talk seriously about them in front of cameras. Hopefully he can actually be himself and have a good conversation with the Dems. Of course, if they only have him there for a comedic break, that's different, but since they are not allowing the press, my guess is he will be "out of character".

    February 8, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  4. Wilson

    "It's your sin if I suffer! It's your moral failure! I'm your brother, therefore I'm your responsibility, but
    you've failed to supply my wants, therefore you're guilty! All of mankind's moral leaders have said so for
    centuries—who are you to say otherwise? You're so proud of yourself, you think that you're pure and
    good—but you can't be good, so long as I'm wretched. My misery is the measure of your sin. My
    contentment is the measure of your virtue. I want this kind of world, today's world, it gives me my share
    of authority, it allows me to feel important-make it work for me!—do something!—how do I know
    what?—it's your problem and your duty! You have the privilege of strength, but I—I have the right of
    weakness! That's a moral absolute!"

    February 8, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  5. nytw

    the ultimate example that liberals can't separate their fictional world from reality.

    February 8, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  6. sambell

    i'm guessing there will be a whole lot more smiles at the dem conference than the sourpusses at the gop produced! making them smile at the dem conference: stephen colbert. at the gop ragefest: john sununu!

    February 8, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  7. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Democratic Bipartisanship:

    "MY" WAY or The highway !!!

    February 8, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. Jared

    @Free Man in the Republic of Texas...yes, whereas your team is always looking to compromise right? PFFFFFFF!

    February 8, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. Save the Rich, Vote GOP

    nytw
    the ultimate example that liberals can't separate their fictional world from reality.

    February 8, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am

    ________________________________________________________________
    That's awesome. Like the earth is a few thousand years old, man played with the dinosaurs, women's bodies shut down when being "legitimately" raped...those crazy liberals and their reality.

    February 8, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Free Man in the Republic of Texas wrote:

    Democratic Bipartisanship: "MY" WAY or The highway !!!
    ------------------------
    Prove it. A Tea Party member running for the House who defined compromise that way. Richard Mourdock was quite proud of his sound bite.

    February 8, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. nothing new here

    AT least Stephen Colbert is more entertaining than the comedians/clowns we have in Congress.

    February 8, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. blckcanary

    Love Colbert!!! 🙂

    February 8, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    nothing new here

    AT least Stephen Colbert is more entertaining than the comedians/clowns we have in Congress.
    ---------------
    It's at least a tie. Watching Mitch McConnell filibuster his own bill was priceless. Watching the Republicans Christmas 2011 paint themselves into a corner where they found themselves arguing against a middle class tax cut but for a tax cut for the weathy was classic, too.

    February 8, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Freddie

    Why this unusual? Colbert is a liberal who makes fun of conservatives on TV...of course he would go to such a retreat!

    February 8, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. penguin

    Colbert is very funny, but John Stewarts political humor is much more biting and thought provoking and Stewart's interviews are much more informative

    February 8, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. jerrymcm1970

    nytw

    the ultimate example that liberals can't separate their fictional world from reality.
    ------------------------–

    Yet more evidence that conservatives have absolutely no sense of humor or comprehension of irony and satire.

    February 8, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. jerrymcm1970

    nytw

    the ultimate example that liberals can't separate their fictional world from reality.
    ---------------------------

    Yet more evidence that conservatives have no sense of humor or comprehension of irony and satire.

    February 8, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Larry L

    @Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Democratic Bipartisanship:

    "MY" WAY or The highway !!!
    =========================================================
    The new Senator (Cruz) from Texas campaigned on the principle that he would never compromise with the Democrats. After he won the election he reiterated that position. Governor "Oops" Perry has said many times that conservative principles weren't open to negotiation. Texas led the nation in gerrymandering for "Republicans for a Permanent Majority". Tom DeLay went to jail for dishonest and outrageously partisan money-laundering. Texas has nose-dived down the National ranking for education since Republicans took the helm.

    February 8, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  19. Brew Ha Ha

    There is some Republican nut case running around the story
    of Chandra Levy, screaming that Obama is covering it up.
    You cant make this stuff up.

    February 8, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. A real republican

    The republican answer to make America great again.

    More tax cuts for the rich
    Give everyone guns
    Die quickly if you can't afford healthcare
    Let Detroit go backrupt
    Drill babty drill
    Add 12 trillion to our debt then blame the democrats
    Present a tax plan where the math doesn't add up
    Keep treating homosexuals as second class citizens
    Pretend climate change doesn't exist
    Evolution is the devil's tool
    We need more God in government

    February 8, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. hahaney

    Reality has a well known Liberal Bias.

    February 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. Mason

    He plays a conservative as a comedic ruse you simpleton. Glad CNN can play along like the rest of drones and water carriers.

    February 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Hugh Jass

    ""It's your sin if I suffer! " Yeah, that's what the gay guy with the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches had to say. You are both full of it, and so was Ayn Rand. My angst and hurt feelings are my own problem.

    February 8, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Human Meteor

    It's ironic that more and more people look for the real news on Comedy Central...I wonder why not add Fixed News channel to their lineup...they're so stupid, it's funny...

    February 8, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. lerosetd

    The SuperPac money (some $700,000+) was disposed of as follows, and announced via email to the SuperPac contributors list:

    "Tonight, I am honored to announce First and Final Annual Charitable Donations by the Ham Rove Memorial Fund.

    Hurricane Sandy was much like Ham Rove: Cold, cruel, salty, and the cause of untold devastation. In his honor, Donors Choose, Team Rubicon, and Habitat For Humanity will each receive $125,000 to assist with their Sandy relief efforts.

    We'll also be donating $125,000 to the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which serves wounded soldiers and their families. My attempts to get a matching donation to the Blue Ribbon Fund, which serves me frosty cans of PBR, were not successful.

    The remaining money will be split between two pro-transparency groups who fight against the corrupting influence of outside money in politics. Luckily, they were both fine with the corrupting influence of outside money in their offices. As per his wishes, the Center for Responsive Politics has officially renamed their meeting space "The Colbert Super Pac Memorial Conference Room." And the Campaign Legal Center will, from here on out, be home to "The Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room."

    February 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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