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Chuck Todd Rips Stephen Colbert's Presidential Run (VIDEO)

First Posted: 01/20/12 08:19 AM ET Updated: 01/21/12 10:27 AM ET

Chuck Todd

NBC's Chuck Todd lit into Stephen Colbert on Thursday, accusing the Comedy Central host of corrupting the political process with his presidential run and Super PAC in South Carolina.

Appearing at a Winthrop University forum, Todd said that Colbert was doing a "noble" thing by educating his audience about the inner workings of a Super PAC. However, he told the crowd that he had been "very offended" when Colbert testified before Congress about immigration in character, and that he saw the comedian's presidential activities in the same light.

"He is making a mockery of the system," Todd said. "...Is it fair to the process? Yes, the process is a mess, but he's doing it in a way that feels like he's trying to influence it with his own agenda and that may be anti-Republican."

He cautioned the media to be "careful" about amplifying Colbert's message, and said it should not be treated as "shtick" or satire.

"What is his real agenda here?" he said. "Is it to educate the public about the dangers of money and politics, and what's going on? Or is it simply to marginalize the Republican Party? I think if I were a Republican candidate I would be concerned about that."

Todd concluded by saying that he "idolized" American politics and didn't want to see people become more cynical about them.

Of course, Todd might want to avoid his own network if he wants to keep clear of Colbert: his enemy appeared on Friday's "Morning Joe" to rather rapturous applause.

Also on HuffPost:

Colbert is urging his supporters in South Carolina to vote for Herman Cain who is still on the state's primary ballot. View the slideshow below for unforgettable moments of Herman Cain's candidacy:
Black Walnut
1  of  14
When Herman Cain started leading in the polls in early October, Sarah Plain called the former pizza mogul the "flavor of the week." Cain fired back, telling Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" that actually, he's "black walnut" -- a flavor that lasts longer than a week.

"I can eat black walnut all the time -- it's not a flavor of the week! It's not that heavy. You can eat it on the cone or in a cup," Cain later said on "Fox and Friends."

Over a month later, when pressed in an interview with GQ to name what ice cream flavors his competitors would be, Cain replied that Mitt Romney is "just plain vanilla," Rick Perry, "rocky road," and Michele Bachmann, "tutti-frutti." He added after that last one, "I know I'm going to get in trouble!"

In that same interview Cain was asked what you can tell about a man by the kind of pizza he likes and asserted that the more toppings you pile on, the more manly you are. Not vegetables, though. That's "sissy pizza," the candidate said.

Filed by Jack Mirkinson  |