“Headline: Clay Aiken refuses to sing national anthem”
Stephen Colbert isn't endorsing Clay Aiken's run for Congress.
Aiken is running in his home state of North Carolina. Colbert, a South Carolina native, welcomed the “American Idol” runner-up to “The Colbert Report” Wednesday — but didn't show him much Southern hospitality.
“I think people are kind of fed up with the kind of tone-deaf representation they've had,” Aiken said.
“Tone-deaf? Just because you have perfect pitch? That's kind of cheap,” Colbert retorted.
Aiken, a Democrat, hopes to beat incumbent Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in a heavily Republican district.
“I've spent my entire life since ‘Idol’ trying to stand up for children with disabilities… and have been an advocate for certain populations for the past 11 years,” Aiken told Colbert. “And these people in North Carolina put me here. They gave me this platform, they gave me this microphone. I feel like it's my responsibility to use that to give back to them.”
“I am un-warmed by your story. That's my disability. I don't hear things I don't like,” Colbert replied.
Colbert asked Aiken how he would run against Ellmers on military issues. Aiken said he would focus on veterans, and said he seek cooperation between Democrats and Republicans.
“I will happily admit that partisan political bickering is how I make my living,” Colbert said.
“It's exactly how people in D.C. make their living, too,” said Aiken.
Colbert tried to get Aiken to duet with him on “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but Aiken said he's on sabbatical from singing.
“Headline: Clay Aiken refuses to sing national anthem,” said Colbert.
Last year, Colbert took a break from his right-wing talk show host character to support his sister, Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, in her unsuccessful run for Congress.
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