'This Week' Transcript: Gov. Rick Perry and Stephen Colbert

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Perry, thanks very much for your time this morning.

PERRY: So long, George.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And here now for an exclusive interview, the latest candidate. Comedian Stephen Colbert rocked the political world this Thursday.


COLBERT: I'm forming an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my possible candidacy for the president of the United States of South Carolina. I'm doing it.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Colbert, welcome to This Week. Down in South Carolina, your campaign seemed to hit a brick wall right out of the gate--

COLBERT: Excuse me, I don't have a campaign, George. I don't mean to correct you. I have an exploratory campaign.


COLBERT: Finding out whether there's a hunger for a Stephen Colbert campaign right now. Don't force me into a campaign yet. I realize you're a political operative, but there are stages to this, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not in the South Carolina Republican Party. Here's what Matt Moore had to say about it. There's no blank space on voting machines to write-in a candidate. Stephen Colbert has about as much a chance of being elected president in South Carolina as he does of being elected pope. Zero.

COLBERT: First of all, I'm a Roman Catholic and I teach Sunday school. So I'd say, I have a pretty good shot of being pope. A better shot than Matt Moore does, down in South Carolina.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're married, aren't you?

COLBERT: Excuse me?

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're married, aren't you?

COLBERT: George, are we going to get into our private lives right now? Are you married?


COLBERT: You are, OK.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But I'm not going to be pope or a president.

COLBERT: I have an exploratory committee to be pope right now, George. And that's after I have my exploratory committee to be president. But they say I can't get on the ballot in South Carolina? Is that what he's saying?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, no write-in.

COLBERT: They said you can't go to the moon. They said you can't put cheese inside a pizza crust. But NASA did it. They had to, because the cheese kept on floating off in space.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, this is not your first time looking at a presidential run.


COLBERT: I'm doing it, Tim, because I think our country is facing unprecedented challenges in the future, and I think that the junctures that we face, are both critical and unforeseen.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Last time, you tried to run, though, as a Democrat. Now you're looking at running as a Republican. Isn't that the biggest flip-flop ever?

COLBERT: No, George, I got burned by the Democratic Party in 2008. I can't go back to even contemplate that. I thought that the Republicans would be more welcoming than the Democrats. But it turns out in America, it's not how many people you have behind you, it's who you know. And if the Republicans are trying to keep me out, if the Republicans will not allow even a write-in candidate in South Carolina, well, that doesn't sound like freedom to me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what does that mean--

COLBERT: Excuse me, George, I was talking.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You finished your point. Let make mine. What does that mean if you do not get the Republican nomination for president, if you choose not to run in South Carolina? Will you run as a third-party candidate?

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