His announcement came after the South Carolina Democratic Executive Council voted last week to keep the host of “The Colbert Report” off the state’s primary ballot. The vote was 13-3.
Colbert poses as a conservative talk-show host on the Comedy Central show.
“Although I lost by the slimmest margin in presidential election history – only 10 votes – I have chosen not to put the country through another agonizing Supreme Court battle,” Colbert said Monday in a statement. “It is time for this nation to heal.”
Colbert had said he would run only in his native South Carolina, a key primary state. He said he planned to run as a Democrat and a Republican – so he could lose twice. Colbert, 43, later declined to file with the GOP, which has a much higher filing fee ($35,000) than the Democrats ($2,500).
“I want to say to my supporters, this is not over,” Colbert said. “While I may accept the decision of the Council, the fight goes on! The dream endures! … And I am going off the air until I can talk about this without weeping.”
In reality, “The Colbert Report” was going off the air because of a strike by Hollywood writers that began Monday. Many talk shows were expected to be shown in repeats during the strike.