Comedian Colbert, also-ran Cain join forces on eve of South Carolina primary
CHARLESTON -- Political mischief-maker Stephen Colbert set out Friday to raise a different sort of Cain -- this one Herman, the former pizza magnate whose presidential aspirations were derailed by allegations of sexual harrassment.
On the eve of the all-important South Carolina primary, Colbert and Cain joined forces in the comic's hometown to preach decidedly different messages to a group of appreciative college students.
The late-night comedian and "Colbert Report" host, whose schtick is making fun of America's right-wing punditocracy, urged his "supporters" to vote for Cain, even though the one-time front-runner is no longer in the race.
Doing so, he insisted, would send a strong message that people want Colbert's name on the ballot.
As Cain himself pointed out, looking dapper in a sharp suit and wide-brimmed hat: "Colbert can't get on the ballot; I can't get off it."
But he urged the young crowd at the College of Charleston -- mostly left-leaning, judging by how often they cheered Colbert's sarcastic support of corporations and "innocent money" -- not to vote for him.
He told them to stay informed, apparently paying no mind to the fact that Colbert had, just moments earlier, made fun of his infamous "Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan-stan" comments when he was running for president.
In October of last year, Cain was asked if he was ready for the expected "gotcha" questions, such as being asked to name the president of Uzbekistan.
"I'm ready for the 'gotcha' questions and they're already starting to come," he replied. "And when they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I'm going to say, 'You know, I don't know. Do you know?"'
Nonetheless it was Colbert, not Cain, who had Friday's more scathing message, delivered under the guise of satire.
He pointedly ridiculed American election laws that allow huge corporations to finance political campaigns, suggesting that money was corrupting politics.
"Corporations are people," he gleefully repeated, echoing Mitt Romney's famous declaration on the campaign trail last summer.
The all-black gospel choir behind him on the stage even sang, "Corporations are people" at one point at Colbert's command.
"As Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg: 'Give me some money!"' Colbert said to roars of laughter from the crowd.
He also evoked Martin Luther King Jr., noting that he didn't like when people compared him to the civil rights hero -- he'd rather do it himself.
"The fight goes on, the dream endures -- we must stand for our corporate brothers and sisters," he crowed.