Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) stopped by Bill Maher’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” show on Friday. Maher did not hesitate to flatter the former presidential candidate, telling him he was more popular than Stormy Daniels’ lawyer.
“Sounds like they want you to run again,” Maher said.
Maher wasted no time to talk about politics though. Kicking off the evening, he asked Sanders to explain why the 2020 presidential election is “the most important election” of all time.
“It is the most important because we have a president who is a pathological liar,” Sanders said. “We have a president who has strong authoritarian tendencies who wants to everyday undermine American democracy, and in my state and all over this country, you have men and women who have fought and died to defend American democracy, and this guy looks all over the world and he kind of likes all of these authoritarian leaders.”
”He attacks the media every day, trying to make it harder for them to be critical of him, and we have a president who is a billionaire himself, who has surrounded himself with billionaires who gave huge tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country and then brings forth a budget that would cut Medicaid by a trillion dollars” Sanders added.
Sanders recalled Trump’s promise to provide “healthcare to everybody.”
“Remember that?” Sanders asked.
Maher asked: “When does that sink in with his people? Gas prices are going up because he shelved the Iran deal, people do not have as good healthcare and some have been thrown off, he is going to lose jobs because of this tariff trade war he’s starting, when does the cult of personality wear away in favor of ‘Wait, you’re actually hurting me?’”
Sanders said an agenda needs to be made to pull America out of this mess and it begins by creating a plan that will resonate with the working class, and everyone across the country.
“In 2016, it’s not that Trump won, it’s that Democrats lost,” Sanders said. “And for too long the democratic party, the democratic party has been dominated by wealthy campaign contributors.”
Maher’s interest piqued at Sanders’ comment that the democratic party lost.
“But your agenda won,” Maher said. “You may have not won the nomination, but you talk about an agenda and they’re all behind that now.”
Maher went on to argue that an “agenda” is not a message.
“Trump is better at messaging. His voters don’t seem to care about an agenda or anything except ‘Build a Wall’ and ‘Lock Her Up,” Maher told Sanders. “What’s the Democrats’ message? If you had to boil it down to something that could fit on a hat, which is about all what people can take in at this point. What is the Democratic message?”
“The Democratic message is that we need a government that represents working families and not billionaires,” Sanders said. “An agenda that says healthcare is a right, not a privilege. An agenda that speaks to the young people and says that we should make public colleges and universities tuition free and lower student debt.”
Maher said that Trump supports don’t care about that kind of agenda though.
“So they obviously don’t care about things they used to care about like decorum, or policy, or democracy, or Freedom of the Press,” Maher continued. “So in this new arena- and he is brilliant at controlling the debate and control airtime, what does a Democrat have to do to compete on this new stage? This is a new stage.”
Sanders said it was a “fair point” and suggested that Democrats need to go into “Trump country” and speak with those who live in “desperation.”
Maher concluded his interview with a subtle endorsement.
“I’ll be with ya if you run again,” Maher said.
Watch the full interview here: