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Comedian and The Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert announced on Thursday night’s show that he is giving up control of his Super Political Action Committee (PAC) to Daily Show host Jon Stewart so that he can attempt a run for president in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary on Jan. 21.
The move was triggered by a Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll showed that the South Carolina native actually had more support than candidate and former Utah Governor Jon Hunstman. According to Time, Colbert had 5 percent support of those polled, compared to the 4 percent that Huntsman received.
“Clearly my fellow South Caroliniacs see me as the only Mitternative,” Colbert said on his show, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Later in the show, Colbert brought on his lawyer, Trevor Potter, who also acted as general counsel to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and is a former chairman for the Federal Election Committee, to explain that if he were to run, he would have to let go of his Colbert Super PAC.
It is against the law for a candidate to have any contact or run a Super PAC. “That would be coordinating with yourself,” Potter said, later suggesting that Colbert hand it off to someone else. “I think I know a guy,” Colbert said, bringing Stewart on to the show.
Stewart believed that the transfer of power would be difficult, but it was explained that all that was needed was a two-page document signed by the two Comedy Central hosts, noted the LA Times. The Super PAC was then renamed “The Definitely Not Coordinating with Stephen Colbert Super-PAC.”
ABC News reports that the Super PAC is already buying ads in South Carolina, buying nearly $10,000 worth of ad time in Charleston. The Palmetto Public Record also reported before the show aired that Colbert was buying up ad time in the Columbia market.
You can watch the transfer of power for the Super PAC below: