If there’s one thing that’s even more off limits to Republicans than taking away their guns or performing abortions, it’s slandering their deity, Ronald Reagan.
When rumors began circulating that comedian Will Ferrell, whose ignorant-man-child brand of comedy is quite popular in the red states (see: Talladega Nights), was eyeing playing Reagan in a comedy film that chronicled his battle with Alzheimer’s during his second term in office—an allegation that’s been refuted by no less than four white house doctors—the GOP lost their shit. Reagan’s own daughter even penned an op-ed slamming the project sight unseen.
Well, on Friday night’s edition of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the comedian took what some would consider a below the belt shot at the late conservative icon. Discussing how establishment Republicans, many of whom were firmly #NeverTrump, have decided to abandon their principles and back their ex-reality star/nominee, Maher attempted to make a point about how most members of the GOP will support their candidate no matter what.
“These people get in line,” said Maher. “But isn’t that characteristic of Republicans? Loyalty beyond anything? They stuck with Reagan when he thought the nightstand was Barbara Stanwyck.”
Here, Maher is giving credence to the rumors that Reagan was suffering from dementia during his second term in office—a claim that, while refuted by numerous White House doctors and Nancy Reagan, was supported by a study analyzing his speaking patterns that was published last year in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease by researchers at Arizona State University as well as the former president’s own son, Ron Reagan.
Earlier in the program, the late-night host addressed Elizabeth Warren’s fightin’ words this week against Donald Trump, branding him a crook, con artist, and racist for his shady Trump University and subsequent attacks on the American judge handling its case, Gonzalo Curiel, for his Mexican heritage. “She came out very strong yesterday,” Maher said of Warren. “She was all over TV. I felt she kind of overshadowed Hillary Clinton. I kind of thought, ‘Well, this is not going to happen because Hillary sees this and goes, ugh, I don’t want to be on a ticket with somebody who everybody says should be at the top.’”
“[Warren] looked better than Hillary, that’s my point,” he added. “She’s just a better natural politician!”
Trump, as is his wont, has taken to calling Warren “Pocahontas,” regurgitating an attack point made by her former Senate opponent Scott Brown that she had, during 1986 to 1995, listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) directories, pointing to her Native American heritage (Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother was Cherokee). “[Trump] calls her ‘Pocahontas,’” said Maher. “He’s just jealous that Indians know how to run casinos.”