Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” HBO host and comedian Bill Maher previewed the Democratic presidential debates slated for later that evening.
“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough asked Maher what he was looking for in the presidential candidates, to which Maher said strength and noted that was what President Donald Trump projects.
“Strength,” Maher replied. “You know, I think people vote not on policy. I don’t think a lot of them know a lot of the policy. I think they look for strength versus weakness and what they perceive as strength. So that’s what I’m always looking for in the Democrat. That’s what I think they like about Trump. They see him as strong because he is blustery and he never backs down and he looks like Henry VIII, and he acts like it. So for me, a Democrat who can project that I think is our best bet.”
Scarborough, an outspoken opponent of Trump, recounted his troubles with the Democratic Party and what he described as a “race to the left.” Maher agreed with Scarborough and called on Democrats to stand up to the left flank of their party.
“It is not good,” Maher said. “It is kind of a cancer on progressivism. I have been saying this for years, that, first of all, you have to stand up to Twitter. Twitter isn’t us. Twitter isn’t the rank and file Democrat. It is not even most liberals. But they don’t do it. This race is begging for someone to do a kind of a ‘Sister Souljah’ moment with that far left. Maybe, you know, Trump wants to run against ‘The Squad.’ Maybe that would be a good place for that kind of blowback against what I think is not being good for the Democratic Party. You mentioned health care and immigration. Yes, those are issues that are easy to win. This is the Democrats’ race to lose.”
“I think a formula for winning, put pot on the ballot — come out full-throatedly for full legalization for pot,” he continued. “You would get a lot of people voting on that issue alone. Republicans have done that masterfully in the past with other sort of one-issue voters. Let the fatigue that people have with Trump, let that excite the base. If you are not excited about Donald Trump, you’re not following politics at all. I mean in a negative way. And then you have the whole field to the center. But, yes, if you run on taking away people’s health care and taxing them too much and taking away all of their guns and transwomen-get-abortion rights. I think that came up in the first debate. I don’t think you are going to win this election. I think the only way the Democrat loses is to convince a lot of people that they are actually scarier or crazier than Trump, which is not easy to do, but I think they can.”
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