Bill Maher is no fan of Donald Trump.
The political satirist and host of HBO’s late-night talk show Real Time with Bill Maher tees off on the GOP’s presidential frontrunner every week, and was once sued by The Donald for $5 million over a joke comparing him to an ape. But on Friday’s edition of Real Time, Maher largely avoided prodding the xenophobic real estate mogul, and instead aimed his ire at the surging Ben Carson, who, in the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Oregon that left nine people murdered, has turned the crazy switch all the way to ‘11,’ claiming the Jews could have avoided the Holocaust if they’d been armed, and that American kindergarten teachers should be armed and trained in “diversionary tactics.” In other words, all kindergarten teachers should be Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character from Kindergarten Cop.
Carson also told a vague, questionable story about one time when a man pulled a gun on him at a local Popeyes, and Carson allegedly diffused the situation with his whispers.
“Ben Carson, by the way, is for real in the Republican Party. Oh, yeah. Ben Carson. Deal with it, people,” said Maher. “He was commenting on the school shooting last week in Oregon and he said, ‘I wouldn’t have just let them shoot me. I would’ve said, hey guys, everybody attack the shooter. He can’t get all of us.’ And then he told this story the next day about how Ben Carson himself, he said, he did once come face-to-face with such a situation. He was in Popeyes Chicken—this is what he said—and a guy stuck a gun in his ribs, and this is what Ben Carson, by his own accounts, said he told the gunman with the gun in his ribs. He said, ‘I believe you want the guy behind the counter.’ OK, this is not quite, ‘Let’s all get ‘em!’ this is offering up someone else. ‘Don’t shoot me! Get the guy in the paper hat with the polyester suit!’”
But all the talk of Carson (and Trump) led guest Andrew Sullivan to ask, “Who’s up against this guy? This unbelievably useless, terrible candidate in Hillary Clinton!”
Then Maher came to her defense—first reservedly, then passionately. “I find her slogan ‘Are you ready for Hillary?’ to perfectly capsulize how I feel about her,” said Maher. “Am I ready for Hillary? Yes. Am I excited? No. It’s like getting a shot. Are you ready? Yes, I’m ready for it.”
As for Hillary’s numbers, which have gone down consistently since she began campaigning, Maher blamed the press. “Maybe that’s not her fault,” he said. “Maybe it’s the press, who has it out for her—including the liberal press, by the way. It’s not that she can’t handle it, it’s that people can’t handle it. People believe what they read, if they ever fuckin’ read.” “She’s a talent-free hack!” exclaimed Sullivan.“She’s not ‘talent-free,’ Andrew! And she’s not a hack!” Maher responded. “Why do you hate her so much? Were you molested by a real estate lady? I can understand you not wanting Hillary to be president, but I don’t understand anybody who hates her. She is a boring centrist. It just should never rise to the level of hatred.” “If you’re asking me if she’s a calculating politician, yes. Is that the most desirable thing in the world? No,” he continued. “But I live in the real world. I’d rather have a politician who calculates than one who can’t.”