CHARLESTON, S.C. – Stephen Colbert and Herman Cain entered the square in front of Randolph Hall at the College of Charleston this afternoon with some Southern flair. Led by a full marching band playing LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and followed by cheerleaders, they were greeted by a gospel choir.
Colbert kicked off the “Rock You Like a Herman Cain” rally by singing the national anthem. The 1,000-plus crowd gave Colbert a rock-star welcome, chanting “Stephen” and “USA,” both signature chants of his Comedy Central show.
Colbert began with a “salute” to the other GOP candidates, poking fun at Mitt Romney’s changing positions on issues, Ron Paul’s looks and age, Newt Gingrich’s marital infidelity and Rick Santorum’s past comments on gay marriage.
Colbert introduced Cain, asking the crowd, mostly students, to vote for Herman Cain in Saturday’s first-in-in-the-South primary, “Because Herman Cain is me. We both refuse to play by Washington’s rules, we both flout convention when it comes to things like taxes and debt and how many ‘bekis’ they are in Uz beki beki beki stan stan.”
Mimicking Cain’s notorious rhyming prose, Colbert said, “I want to introduce to you the Her-Man with a plan, the plan so fine they named it 9-9-9, the Mad Max of the flat tax, the Indiana Jones of opportunity zones. The Her-Man, the Her-Myth, my brother from another mother, Mr. Herman Cain.”
The former GOP candidate walked out to tremendous applause with signs supporting a vote for Cain/Colbert waving in the air. Wearing his signature cowboy hat, Cain entered to the marching band’s playing Parliament’s “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk).”
Cain told the crowd that when Colbert first asked him to attend the rally, he said “Hell yeah.” Cain said that while the media has criticized him for his sense of humor and for participating in events like this, he was still committed to taking back America with the help of the American people.
“Mr. Colbert could not get on the ballot, I could not get off the ballot,” Cain said. “That’s how this came about.”
Cain delivered a slightly tweaked version of his campaign stump speech, saying that Washington is broken, financially broke, and that the key to fixing the nation is to have the people change it from the outside. He also talked about a movement to change the government, even referencing the Tea Party movement. The crowd of mostly college students stayed silent.
Cain also talked about his unconventional endorsement of “We the People,” challenging the crowd to get involved. He even directed people to his website, CainConnections.com, to which the crowd also didn’t respond, some even snickering.
Unlike his host, Cain asked the crowd not to vote for “Herman Cain.”
Cain said, “I don’t want you to waste your vote. I don’t want you to waste your vote because one of the things that a lot of people fail to appreciate is that every vote counts. Every vote counts and your vote still matters and you still matter. That’s been my message.”
Challenging his audience to stay informed, stay involved and stay inspired, Cain delivered one of his many classic lines, “Because stupid people are ruining America.”
With some urging, Cain recited a few lines from the “Pokemon” movie. “Since Stephen Colbert tried to show off his vocal ability,” clearing his throat, Cain broke into song, singing “Believe in Yourself.”
Colbert took to the stage again, thanking Cain, and then got to the meat of the whole event – the Colbert super PAC and, more importantly, the issue he has been trying to bring attention to – campaign finance reform and the Citizens United ruling that “corporations are people.”
Colbert said, “The pundits have asked is this all some joke. We’ve all heard it, haven’t we. And I say if they are calling being allowed to form a super PAC and collecting unlimited and untraceable amounts of money from individuals, unions and corporations and spend that money on political ads and personal enrichment and then surrender that super PAC to one of my closest friends while I explore a run for office, if that is a joke, then they are saying our entire campaign finance system is a joke. And i don’t know about you, but I have been paid to be offended by that.”
Colbert acknowledged that “he,” Herman Cain couldn’t win, but hinted that a vote for Herman Cain could send a message.
“Tomorrow, Jan. 21, the two-year anniversary of Citizens United, you can thank the Supreme Court by going into the voting booth and voting for Herman Cain. Because, sadly, it is still illegal to vote with just pure cash.”
In the end, Colbert encouraged his fans to vote, whether they decide to vote for Herman Cain or not.