Stephen Colbert = Jesus

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Stephen Colbert launched his native son candidacy for president in South Carolina today -- and drew comparisons with Christ while earning the wrath of another native, former Sen. John Edwards.

Columbia, S.C., Mayor Bob Coble presented the "Comedy Central" hero a key to the city, declared him South Carolina's "favorite son" and officially proclaimed it Stephen Colbert day. Some in the crowd held signs with images of Colbert and Jesus that read, "Colbert. Christ. Favorite Sons '08."

Colbert said he was honored to receive the key to the city and said he "loves South Carolina, almost as much as South Carolina loves" him.

Meanwhile, The State newspaper in Columbia this weekend published a side-by-side comparison of the two native sons -- drawing a reply by the Edwards campaign contesting the findings.

For one thing, Edwards' hair was described as "naturally fluffy" while Colbert's is "very stiff." But trouble started when Colbert was quoted on his opponent: “John Edwards left South Carolina when he was 1 year old. He had his chance. Saying his parents moved him — that’s the easy answer.”

This prompted the Edwards campaign to send out to the media the following:


"CLAIM: Edwards abandoned South Carolina when he was one year old.

"FACT: Edwards was born in South Carolina, learned to walk in South Carolina, learned to talk to in South Carolina, and will kick Stephen Colbert's New York City butt in South Carolina.

"Stephen Colbert claims to represent a new kind of politics, but today we see he's participating in the slash and burn politics that has no place in American discourse. The truthiness is, as the candidate of Doritos, Colbert's hands are stained by corporate corruption and nacho cheese. John Edwards has never taken a dime from salty food lobbyists and America deserves a President who isn't in the pocket of the snack food special interests."

Colbert, at the campus of the University of South Carolina today, told several hundred sign-waving fans that he'll take care of the rival state to the south. "I promise, if elected, I will crush the state of Georgia," Colbert said to the cheering crowd.

Colbert added, "Our peaches are more numerous than Georgia's. They are more juiciful."

The host of "The Colbert Report," announced his candidacy recently, saying he would run only in this key primary state and as a Democrat and a Republican.