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Cobert Meets the Press

In Are you kidding me?, Election 2008, Humor, news, Politics, Television on October 21, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Stephen Colbert was on Meet the Press the am. By the way, Colbert’s book sales are way up. Hmmm…wonder why?

Here is Michael Falcone’s post from the NY Times to get you caught up:

Stephen Colbert and Tim Russert faced off. (Photo: Alex Wong/“Meet the Press” )

Colbert: I Am a Candidate (And So Can You!)

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert said he’s in it (the presidential primary in South Carolina, that is), and he’s in it to win … one delegate.

Or so he told NBC’s Tim Russert who grilled the comedian today on “Meet the Press” in what was one of the more humorous – and, at times, bizarre – editions of the normally all-business Sunday morning show.

“This is not a dream, you’re not going to wake up from this. I’m far real-er than Sam Brownback, let me put it that way,” Mr. Colbert, the host of the popular faux news program, “The Colbert Report,” said of his candidacy.

Among other revelations, Mr. Colbert said that he actually doesn’t want to be president, he just wants to run (“There’s a difference”). He’s considering asking Senator Larry Craig to join the ticket. And, Mr. Colbert, who reportedly keeps a poster of Richard Nixon hanging in his office, suggested his approach to governing would be “Nixonish or Nixonoid.”

And why is he only running in South Carolina (his home state)?
“I want to put the focus back on South Carolina; I want it to be a permanent thing,” Mr. Colbert said. “I don’t want Iowa and New Hampshire to be the only people in the United States who get to control who is a bellwether state.’’

He and Mr. Russert went round and round about his name, too, in one of the wilder moments when Mr. Russert held up a Sesame Street character and asked Mr. Colbert (who now pronounces his name Col-bair rather than his family’s pronunciation of Col-burt) to identify the other half of (fill-in-the blank) and Ernie. And Mr. Russert kept it up, asking why then he shouldn’t pronounce his own name as Russ-air.

The exchange continued:

Mr. Colbert: Are you saying that I don’t have the right to drop the T in my name? Are you saying that? Last time I checked, this was America. Or does that mean not a thing to you anymore?

Mr. Russert (holding up Bert) : Then why not call him “Ber”?

Mr. Colbert: Because that’s his choice. You’ll have to ask him. I dare you.

Mr. Russert: Are you…

Mr. Colbert: Ask him. Right now.

Mr. Russert: But why did you change your name?

Mr. Colbert: I changed my name because I knew that there were people out there who, who needed T’s.

Mr. Russert: Not comfortable in your own skin?

Mr. Colbert: Oh, I’m extremely comfortable in my own skin. I’m comfortable in other people’s skin.

And so it went, replete with Mr. Russert’s familiar routine of holding up old quotes of a candidate — many in this case from Mr. Colbert’s new book, “I Am America (and So Can You!),” and challenging Mr. Colbert’s words.

Mr. Colbert first hinted at a possible White House bid when he made a guest appearance on The Times’s Op-Ed page last week in Maureen Dowd’s column. He made an official announcement on his show a few days later, saying that he intended to run as both a Democrat and Republican in the South Carolina primary.

“If, at the Democratic National Convention, somebody has to stand up and say, ‘the proud state of South Carolina, the palmetto state, the home of the greatest peaches and shrimp in the world, casts one vote for native son, Stephen Colbert,’ I’d say I won,” Mr. Colbert declared. (Though he said he’s gunning for a brokered convention, he just might settle for one of the coveted speaking spots instead.)

The mood was a little more serious elsewhere on the Sunday talk show circuit. In advance of tonight’s Republican presidential debate, G.O.P. contenders John McCain and Mike Huckabee appeared on “Fox News Sunday.”

Mr. McCain once again asserted his conservative credentials and skewered his opponent Mitt Romney for taking what he said were liberal positions on the issues in order to get elected governor of Massachusetts. The Arizona senator insisted that his presidential bid was now back on track after a series of “budgetary mistakes” that left his campaign in the red at the end of the last quarter. Mr. McCain declined to say whether he would accept federal matching funds or take out a loan to keep his campaign afloat.

“Right now I’m saying that we examine all the options all the time,” Mr. McCain said. “I don’t rule out any option, but I certainly think that borrowing money is not something that I would prefer to do, but I won’t rule out any option.”

Mr. Huckabee, who finished just behind Mr. Romney in a straw poll of religious conservatives who gathered in Washington and voted online, cast himself as the favorite candidate of social conservatives. He also noted that despite raising only about $1 million in the third quarter, he’s been seeing a uptick in some polls and said that he has a “real shot” to win in Iowa.

“If you look at some of the numbers, many of the candidates have plateaued,” Mr. Huckabee said. We’ve never had to retreat, we’ve never had higher numbers and then lower numbers. Every month we get better.”

In an interview with Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Mr. Romney answered questions about religion and politics, emphasizing what he, as a Mormon, has in common with the Christian conservatives he spoke to last week.

Mr. Romney also said that he was pleased to accept the endorsement of Bob Jones, the head of the South Carolina evangelical university that bears his name, even though Mr. Jones said he was opposed to the doctrines of Mormonism.

“I’m not expecting him to endorse my faith,” Mr. Romney said. “And I’m pleased that you have an evangelical Christian leader who says, look, Mitt Romney is a guy who is a social conservative, an economic conservative, a foreign policy conservative. Those three branches, if you will, of conservatism have to be united if we’re going to win the White House.”

Senator Joe Biden of Delaware was the lone Democratic presidential candidate to appear on a Sunday morning show, and he used an interview on ABC’s “This Week” to question G.O.P. candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani’s foreign policy experience, and said that he would have a much better chance of thwarting Iran’s nuclear ambitions that the former New York mayor.

“Well, I love these guys on the Republican side they know virtually — except for John McCain — virtually nothing about foreign policy,” Mr. Biden said.

He continued, taking direct aim at Mr. Giuliani: “He’s been the mayor of a city, a great city. How does that qualify him to be — what has he demonstrated he knows about … national security?”

We’re sure Mr. Giuliani would beg to differ, and we’ll be watching for his rebuttal at the Fox News Republican debate in Florida tonight.

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