Comedian and TV host Bill Maher revealed that he recently had drinks with a Republican senator who has him considering supporting a non-Democratic candidate in 2016 for the first time in a “very long time.”
That Republican is Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Maher said Paul’s views on foreign policy make him a candidate he could theoretically support. However, the libertarian-leaning senator’s “wholly unsatisfactory” response to questions on the "environment" could be a deal-breaker, he added.
In an interview with Salon, Maher said Paul is “great on ending the empire, not getting into any more foreign entanglements.” Still, he admitted he’s to the left of Paul on attacking the Islamic State, with Maher wanting to “stop bombing altogether” and Paul supporting a U.S. military campaign against the terror group.
But Maher said Paul will have to come up with a much better response to dealing with the “environment” if he’s going to win his vote in 2016. Read more from Salon:
I had drinks with him about two weeks ago. He’s a nice guy, he’s a smart guy. My big problem is I asked him about the environment, which is my big issue — because he had made a comment that was very similar to what Dick Cheney said about a month or two ago, which was basically, “Why are we talking the environment when ISIS is out there?”
I said, “Senator, y’know, you sounded just like Dick Cheney…”
Well, his answer on the environment was wholly unsatisfactory to me. Unless he comes around, big time, on that issue… I mean, I won’t even quote what he said to me, I’ll give him the chance to gather a better answer [laughs], but that would be a deal-breaker, right there, because Hillary Clinton said something awesome about [environmental issues] and I assume she’s going to be the other candidate. So, right on that issue, he would lose my vote.
While Paul is the “most viable” Republican candidate for president so far, he’s still “so far in the bubble on their environmental denial,” according to Maher.
The HBO host also argued that Paul is not like his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), and is much more “political” in his decision making.
“His father never gave an inch and [Rand Paul] really wants to be president,” he added.