Stephen Colbert Should Be Included in Thursday's South Carolina GOP Debate

If the four Republicans left standing in the 2012 presidential primary can take part in Thursday night’s GOP debate ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina primary, why, then, can't Stephen Colbert?

In Charleston tonight, candidates seeking the GOP nomination will go on air in a final effort to defend their platforms and character in front of the South Carolina electorate. Naturally the man who’s running for president of South Carolina,  Stephen Colbert, should be in attendance, especially as he is such a popular candidate, or at least popular enough to join the debate.  

In an appearance on his show earlier this week — after news that it would be impossible for him to get on the primary ballot this Saturday — he attempted to create a proxy candidacy for himself by using Former GOP Candidate Herman Cain's name, which will in fact appear on the ballot.

Though Cain does not necessarily support Colbert assuming his identity — claiming their differences spanned more than the color of their hair — he did seem to be jovial at the prospects of Colbert’s faux- candidacy.

According to the Huffington Post, Cain found Colbert’s ad to be both “clever and humorous, as it should be," and that anyone who found it offense should simply, “lighten up.”

Normally, if a comedian announced his candidacy, many would likely not take that person seriously. However, as a man known best for blurring satire and reality, Colbert’s latest gig as running for President of South Carolina may be no joke. According to an actual poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, if Stephen Colbert were to run against Obama and Romney in a general election in 2012, he would receive 13 percent of the vote. A candidate who could garner such high national support should of course be allowed in a nationally-televised debate.

As Colbert said when he announced that he was having his own Republican debate is South Carolina, “Tomorrow is about me, the most famous man in the history of South Carolina. The GOP wants a serious debate? They deserve it."

Photo Credit: MikeBrowne

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Deanna Gillen

Deanna graduated from Marist College in 2010 with a double major in Political Science and Journalism. Her political experiences include working in the New York State Senate, covering the 2009 New York City Mayoral Campaign while interning at NBC, and wrote her undergraduate thesis on Freedom of the Press. She is an aspiring journalist, enjoys wet cappuccinos and dry humor, and blogs in her spare time.

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