Fact Check

Bill Cosby's Write-In Candidate Platform

Comedian Bill Cosby's platform as a write-in candidate in the 2008 Presidential election?

Published Jul 31, 2008

Claim:   E-mail reproduces comedian Bill Cosby's platform as a write-in candidate in an upcoming presidential election.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, July 2008]


( 1.) Press 1 for English is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait at the border until you can.

( 2.) We will immediately go into a two year isolationist posture to straighten out the country's attitude. NO imports, no exports. We will use the 'Walmart' policy, 'If we ain't got it, you don't need it.'

( 3.) When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it.

( 4.) All retired military personnel will be required to man one of our many observation towers on the southern border. (six month tour) They will be under strict orders not to fire on SOUTHBOUND aliens.

( 5.) Social security

will immediately return to its original state. If you didn't put nuttin in, you ain't gettin nuttin out. The president nor any other politician will not be able to touch it.

( 6.) Welfare - Checks will be handed out on Fridays at the end of the 40 hour school week and the successful completion of urinalysis and a passing grade.

( 7.) Professional Athletes - Steroids - The FIRST time you check positive you're banned for life.

( 8.) Crime - We will adopt the Turkish method, the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There is no more life sentences. If convicted, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for your victim; gun, knife, strangulation, etc.

( 9.) One export will be allowed...Wheat. The world needs to eat. A bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.

(10.) All foreign aid using American taxpayer money will immediately cease, and the saved money will pay off the national debt and ultimately lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we'll ask the American people if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision whether
it's a worthy cause.

(11.) The Pledge of Allegiance will be said every day at school and every day in Congress.

(12.) The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

Sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes, but a vote for me will get you better than what you have, and better than what you're gonna get. Thanks for listening, and remember to write in my name on the ballot in November. God Bless America!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill Cosby!!!!!!!!


Origins:   This piece setting out a hypothetical reactionary "platform" for a potential write-in U.S. presidential candidate was originally circulated prior to the 2008 elections and commonly attributed to entertainer

Bill Cosby. Although the identity of the original author remains unknown, this piece is most assuredly not the work of the popular comedian: When Dr. Cosby speaks out politically, it is generally to urge blacks to take responsibility for making the most of educational opportunities and eschewing choices that limit their potential for success. Immigration, imports, foreign aid, steroid use in sports, and insufficient recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem are not his political bêtes noires. (This "platform" has also been attributed to comic George Carlin, and it's equally out of tune with that late comedian's commonly expressed political views.)

Just before the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Bill Cosby himself disclaimed involvement with this "write-in candidate" e-mail on his web site:

I am not a write-in candidate for President. The statement purportedly from me stating that I am a candidate is a hoax. The platform attributed to me (and at various times to Robin Williams, Andy Rooney and George Carlin) does not represent my views and in many respects is abhorrent to me. Apparently those bloggers and websites who continue to spread this hoax do not care to do even minimal fact checking.

This piece has continued to circulate well beyond the 2008 elections and has since been updated to suggest that it is a platform for a potential candidate in the upcoming 2012 elections, a change which prompted the posting of yet another disclaimer on Dr. Cosby's site in September 2009:

Whatever I say is on Twitter, Facebook or BillCosby.com

A viral email is appearing on the internet purporting to be a Bill Cosby statement that he is running for President of the United States in 2012 and outlining his platform. This is a hoax, completely false and with no factual basis. Bill Cosby says, "False Bill Cosby statements are not funny nor fun and sometimes mean-spirited."

Last updated:   25 September 2010


    Hajela, Deepti.   "Some Angry, Some Agree with Cosby Criticisms of Black Community."

    Associated Press.   29 May 2004.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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