Comedian Bill Maher is elated in the wake of the 2012 presidential election. On Tuesday evening, he joined Eliot Spitzer, former New York governor and host of Current’s “Viewpoint,” to discuss President Barack Obama’s re-election win, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s future and his advice for progressives. He also had some tough words for radio host Rush Limbaugh.
“It was a pleasure to watch,” Maher said about Obama’s victory last week.
It didn’t take long for the discussion to turn to the Republican Party and its failure to carry Mitt Romney to the finish line. But the electoral loss wasn’t the only issue discussed. Spitzer noted the GOP’s purportedly wrong-headed views on other subjects like climate change and stressed the importance of ushering in a “reality check” for conservatives.
“How do we shake both the Karl Roves of the world and the people who still listen to Fox out of the reality on those other substantive areas where there isn’t an election-day reality check?,” Spitzer asked Maher.
“I don’t know. If losing an election this badly doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will,” the comedian responded.
Surprisingly, not all of the comments uttered about Republicans were negative. Despite noting that he doesn’t agree with Christie’s political ideology, the comedian had favorable words for the governor, calling him a “hopeful beacon for the Republican party.”
Two other moments, though, stood out in the interview — one during which Maher seemingly called young people (a key cohort supporting Democrats) uninformed and another in which he dubbed Limbaugh a racist.
“This generation especially — they may not be well-informed — I think we’re still going to have a lot of low-information voters, but they are kind of savvy about media,” Maher told Spitzer.
As far as the changes that the Republican Party allegedly needs to make, appealing to Hispanics was discussed. On this front, the HBO host had some controversial and unfavorable words for Limbaugh, among other conservative commentators. Here’s what he had to say:
“Racial stuff — that’s going to be harder for [the Republicans]. I saw right after the election a number of them — Rush Limbaugh I saw lamenting the passing of the white demographic. He basically was saying, ‘Well what do you expect me to be? I’m a racist and a misogynist. You don’t expect me to give that up. What happened to the days, people, when you could speak crap about blacks and latinos and gays and they wouldn’t hold it against you at the polls? Gee, what are we coming to.'”
The comments about Limbaugh and misogyny were particularly interesting, considering Spitzer’s own prostitution scandal — one that cost him his political career.
Maher went on to encourage progressives to hold Obama’s “feet to the fire.” While targeting conservatives has been the strategy to date, the comedian claims it is now important to liberals to get Obama to listen to the issues that are important to them.
Watch Maher’s interview with Spitzer, below: