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Colbert preps presidential run, transfers PAC to Stewart

January 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Talk show host and comedian Stephen Colbert may be making a move for the White House.

During Thursday night's episode of "The Colbert Report," he transferred his super political action committee to fellow Comedy Central talk show host Jon Stewart. Stewart happily signed the documents and accepted the post.

The move paves the way for Colbert to enter the Republican presidential primary in his home state of South Carolina. Campaigning politicians are prohibited from simultaneously running super PACs.

A recent Public Policy Polling survey found Colbert beating former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman in the state. According to the survey, Colbert has 5 percent of the vote and Huntsman has 4 percent.

But Colbert only hinted at running for presidency. Before Thursday's show, he announced that he is forming "an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my possible candidacy for the president of the United States of South Carolina."

Stewart and Colbert hashed out the peculiar legalities of their agreement. They decided that while Colbert was legally forbidden from participating in strategy and advertising with the super PAC, he could still talk about his plans on his TV show and even volunteer for the super PAC.

In December, Colbert dipped his toe into the GOP primary by offering to fund the party with half a million dollars from his PAC - an offer the party refused. In exchange for the funds, Colbert said he wanted to re-name the primary, "The Stephen Colbert Super PAC South Carolina Primary."

Colbert also tried to host his own GOP debate, posting on his Facebook page that there was "a giant, ego-shaped hole in the Republican primaries" after Donald Trump pulled out of moderating a Newsmax debate.

In 2007, Colbert attempted to enter the South Carolina primary but was stymied by filing fees. The super PAC could very well eliminate any such financial concerns. Colbert hasn't publically revealed the amount raised from viewer contributions by the PAC, but on Thursday he repeatedly hinted that it was a shockingly large amount.

ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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