Presidential Race

Colbert, Cain Hold Rally In S.C.

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Friday in Charleston, S.C., comedian Stephen Colbert and former GOP candidate Herman Cain joined forces at an event dubbed the "Rock Me Like a Herman Cain: South Cain-olina Primary Rally."


And on the eve of tomorrow's primary, the college of Charleston was the scene of a big political rally today. And the draw was not one of the candidates we've been hearing about. It was Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert.

NPR's Don Gonyea was there.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: The crowd topped 3,000, nearly all students, in the outdoor square. And right on time, 1 PM, a marching band entered clearing a path for Stephen Colbert. On stage, a gospel choir, Colbert sang harmony.


STEPHEN COLBERT: (Singing) the dawn's early light. What so...

GONYEA: Then Colbert introduced a special guest, former presidential hopeful Herman Cain.

HERMAN CAIN: As I said during one of the debates, America needs to learn how to lighten up.

GONYEA: For Colbert, this rally and having Cain there to add a surreal element is all a way to make a point about campaign finance laws. Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

COLBERT: With the stroke of a gavel, these brave men leveled the playing field and then sold the naming rights to that playing field to Bank of America.

GONYEA: Last year, on this show, Colbert formed his own Super PAC. Now he's set up a presidential exploratory committee. Because of that, this month he turned control of the Super PAC over to Jon Stewart, Colbert's fellow Comedy Central star.

COLBERT: If that is a joke, then they are saying our entire campaign finance system is a joke. And I don't...

GONYEA: The college crowd loved it in this strange campaign year, where this fake rally was bigger than any I've covered for a real candidate.

Don Gonyea, NPR News, Charleston.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from