Bill Maher admits he has a solid appreciation for Donald Trump’s “genius” primarily in refusing to apologize for controversial statements.
No stranger to controversy himself, the Real Time host calls Trump the anti-Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential standard-bearer in 2012.
This strategy may be working because the real estate mogul and reality show star is currently the front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Going into tonight’s highly anticipated GOP debate on the Fox News Channel, Trump is leading on a national polling basis with the GOP and GOP-leaning electorate over his closest rivals, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in a field that includes 17 candidates to date. Separate polling suggests that Trump is also leading in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida, assuming that these polls use appropriate methodology.
The political environment could change rapidly if something dramatic occurs in the Cleveland debate this evening, such as a major gaffe, or via subsequent events in the long campaign where anything can happen.
A well-known Obama supporter, Bill Maher has made a nice living caricaturing Republicans, conservatives, and Tea Party members as ignorant, uptight, bible-thumping racists. He has, however, repeatedly denounced fellow liberals for looking the other way when it comes to radical Islam. Maher has also chided liberals for remaining silent about civil liberties/privacy violations under the Obama administration.
Maher is performing standup in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Saturday evening, and a reporter from the local Post and Courier asked the comedian and HBO host about Donald Trump.
“Even though I don’t agree with everything Donald Trump says by far, it is sort of refreshing to have a politician who isn’t always walking everything back and who isn’t completely pre-programmed. That’s his genius, he doesn’t apologize for anything. He’s the king of brushing things off his shoulder. And this is what’s attractive about him, I have to say, as somebody who did a show called ‘Politically Incorrect,’ who was always being criticized for speaking too honestly.”
Despite his praise for Donald Trump, Bill Maher still thinks Hillary Clinton will win in the November 2016 general election, however, assuming she gets the Democrat nomination.
“[Trump is] sort of the anti-Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney, people hated him because he was so robotic. Well, you don’t like robotic, Trump is your guy. Even if he would somehow get the Republican nomination, which is doubtful… I don’t think at the end of the day anyone is going to beat Hillary Clinton.”
Now a Republican, Trump is a former Democrat and independent voter who seems to have changed a number of his public policy views over the years. If the polling data is accurate, however, many potential GOP primary voters for the time being share Bill Maher’s regard for Donald Trump in that they seem to prefer an aggressive, tough-talking populist candidate with a business background, even if they disagree with him on some issues, rather than a more watered-down professional politician.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment]