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Colbert, Edwards in Zesty, Crunchy Duel

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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CHIP OF THE OLD BLOC Colbert, Edwards (inset)(Photo: Getty Images)

Until yesterday, faux presidential candidate Stephen Colbert was just that, faux. But then the cheese slinging began and the Doritos-sponsored funny man found his first rival in the race for the 2008 White Cheddar House, John Edwards.

The sparring started yesterday when Colbert made a campaign stop in Columbia, South Carolina, where he declared himself the Palmetto State's "favorite son." Na-cho fast, bub. Fellow Democratic (but not Republican) candidate John Edwards took issue with Colbert's self-appointed moniker and his corporate backing, which, RadarOnline.com reported, may very well violate federal election law.

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With the Colbert camp keeping a cool-ranch head, Edwards spokesperson Teresa Wells got all Baja picante on the loudest candidate on Earth. "What is more troubling than his quest for a status his own mother won't grant him favorite son, are his ties to the salty food industry," Wells, who couldn't have been jalepeño cheesier, told CNN. "As the candidate of Doritos, his hands are stained by corporate corruption and nacho cheese. John Edwards has never taken a dime from taco chip lobbyists, and America deserves a president who isn't in the pocket of the snack food special interests."

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A message left with Comedy Central seeking comment from Colbert was not returned.

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