“Real Time” host Bill Maher got right to the point Friday when he welcomed to his show former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh — an Illinois Republican who is challenging President Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020.
“Just look me in the eye,” Maher told Walsh, “and tell me that the seething, frothing hatred that I remember that you had for Barack Obama had nothing to do with the fact that he was black.”
“Oh gosh no. Gosh no. No, no. no. … His policies,” Walsh responded. “Now again, oftentimes myself and people like me, the tea party … we went to Washington to do something about the debt.”
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“What’d you do?” Maher responded. “You failed at that like I failed at political correctness.”
It was part of a theme night of sorts for Maher, whose other guests included centrist Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland. During the course of the evening, Maher broke the news to both Walsh and Delaney that they each had no chance of winning the presidency.
When Delaney joined the show’s panel segment, Maher brought up his performance during July’s debates in Detroit and his clash with 2020 contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“I like Elizabeth Warren a lot. She’s got the big momentum now. She kind of ate your lunch at the debate,” Maher told Delaney.
“Well, I don’t know about that,” Delaney responded.
At that Detroit debate, Warren fired off what many viewed as the zinger of the night — and it was directed at Delaney.
“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for. I don’t get it,” Warren responded, after Delaney asserted that Warren’s policy proposals would lead to a second term for President Trump.
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Still, Maher backed Delaney’s argument that a centrist — rather than someone from the far left, like Warren — was more likely to defeat Trump.
“I like Elizabeth Warren a lot too. But I understand why she’s got big rallies. She’s promising a lot of free sh–,” Maher said.
Things became more cringeworthy as Maher welcomed Walsh to the show.
First, Maher blasted Trump over a report that state Repubican parties in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Kansas plan to cancel their primaries and caucuses — guaranteeing that Trump locks up the nomination — before saying Walsh would lose anyway.
“They can’t even have a primary challenger who’s going to lose. You’re going to lose,” Maher bluntly told Walsh evoking laughter from the audience.
“I’ve got a shot,” Walsh responded before Maher asked Delaney to tell Walsh he was going to lose and then telling the Democratic presidential candidate he didn’t “have a shot.”
“John, tell him he doesn’t have a shot. And this is from a guy who doesn’t have a shot,” Maher said before the candidates shared a high-five.
Walsh explained he was running for president because Trump was “unfit” for office. Then Maher pressed him on his past problems with Obama and accusations of racism.
The host then ran through a list of issues, trying to make the point that Walsh was not much different than Trump on many political stances.
“Again, if you were to beat him and be the president a lot of things on this list, they would not like it,” Maher said.
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At one point Maher asked Walsh if he sometimes wished he was the famous rock guitarist who has the same name.
“Do you sometimes wish you were the other Joe Walsh?” Maher asked. “Do you wish you wrote ‘Funk #49,’ ‘Midnight Man’ and ‘Pretty Maids’?”