Stephen Colbert for president? Perhaps. The Comedy Central comedian floated the possibility of his presidential bid last night, asking his viewers if he should toss his name in the ring in the upcoming South Carolina GOP primary.
Colbert, a South Carolina native, already has a Super PAC, a dedicated fan base and even a lead in a South Carolina poll.
“This just got real,” Colbert said Wednesday on The Colbert Report. “I’ve got to ask, what do you think, nation? Should I run for president in South Carolina?”
But before making such “an historic decision” Colbert said he will have to pray and “talk it over with my money.” Colbert said he will making a “major announcement” on his show Thursday night.
According a South Carolina poll from the Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling group, Colbert is beating former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who finished third in the New Hampshire primary. Colbert had 5 percent of the survey compared to Huntsman’s 4 percent.
When ABC’s George Stephanopoulos – who was a guest on Wednesday’s ‘Report’ – invited Colbert to announce his candidacy on ABC’s This Week, Colbert hedged his bets.
“If I announce, George,” Colbert said. “You have to give me some space. This is an incredibly important decision and I’m asking you and the rest of the media to respect my and my family’s privacy. Can you do that? Can you try to do that?”
Even if Colbert decides to take the plunge and campaign for the Palmetto state’s primary, it is too late for him to get on the ballot, said Matt Moore, executive director of the South Carolina GOP, adding that he “is more than welcome to wage a write-in campaign.”
Moore said Colbert’s chances of winning his state’s primary are “nonexistent.”
Nevertheless, on Wednesday night’s show Colbert offered himself up as the ever-coveted non-Romney Republican candidate.
“Everyone in the Republican field has already had their ‘I’m not Mitt’ moment,” Colbert said. “It all makes so much sense. I am so not Mitt. I’m the one with the glasses.”
Colbert has dipped his toe into the Republican primary process multiple times this year.
After the South Carolina Republican Party reported having trouble financing their primary in December, Colbert offered to buy the state’s primary for $500,000 from his Super PAC, an offer the party declined. In exchange for the funds Colbert said he wanted to re-name the primary “The Stephen Colbert Super PAC South Carolina Primary.”
The comedian also attempted to host his own GOP debate, saying on his Facebook page that there was “a giant, ego-shaped hole in the Republican primaries” after Donald Trump pulled out of moderating a Newsmax debate.
“Stephen is from South Carolina and he’s going to do what he’s going to do,” Moore said. “He’s in the business of comedy and he’s from South Carolina so it’s no surprise he wants to be involved here.”
Colbert grabbed headlines in June when a Federal Elections Committee panel approved his Super PAC, which can collect and spend unlimited funds, and ruled that he could promote the PAC on his Comedy Central show.