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“Real Time” host Bill Maher offered rare praise to former President Donald Trump as a “politician” for his strong showing among his endorsed candidates in the GOP primaries.
“Eighty-five percent of people endorsed by Trump won: 151 out of 178,” Maher said during Friday night’s roundtable. “Say what you want about Mr. Evil, but boy, what a politician. I mean, it’s impressive – in a diabolical way, but still, impressive.”
The HBO star compared Trump’s ‘vow’ to eliminate the 10 GOP lawmakers who voted for his impeachment to a ‘Tarantino movie’, noting he got ‘eight out of 10’, four of which went resigned while the others were defeated in their primaries. .
Maher pointed to how the two pro-impeachment Republicans who survived their primaries did so in open primaries, asking the panel that this is not a “solution” for “much of what ails us.” by requiring candidates to appeal to moderate voters.
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Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell suggested it might help while MSNBC contributor Noah Rothman was much more skeptical of its effectiveness in weeding out fringe candidates, noting that one of the pro-impeachment Republicans had been defeated in an open primary.
Maher later sounded the alarm over “election deniers” who won two-thirds of the GOP primaries in battleground states.
“Problem?” Maher asked.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Rampell replied before pointing to Liz Cheney’s primary loss in Wyoming despite her strong conservative record.
“But do we really think these people really think Trump won the election? I don’t think so,” Maher said. “I think what they’re thinking is, ‘I can’t let these crazy people take over the country. Men can’t get pregnant. You can’t take over the country.’ That’s what they think. That’s what they think.”
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He continued: “There’s so much craziness… going on that they’re like, ‘Yeah, I know Donald Trump didn’t win, but you can’t take over the country. That’s what’s really going on in their head and “if I have to steal it” – it’s a bit like “I have to burn the village to save it”, you know?… I have to destroy democracy to save it, to save her America.”
“I think some people cynically think that way, I think there are true believers,” Rampbell said.
“There are…I think most of them live in Mar-a-Lago,” Maher joked.
The power of Trump’s endorsement played a big role in the GOP primaries with his winning picks in competitive races, including Senate candidates like JD Vance in Ohio, Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Blake Masters in Arizona.
Trump candidates in various gubernatorial races have also crossed the finish line such as Kari Lake in Arizona, Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Daniel Cox in Maryland.
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However, one of the biggest defeats among Trump’s hand-picked candidates was in the Georgia gubernatorial race where incumbent Governor Brian Kemp defeated former President David Perdue’s former challenger.
Trump has had a long-running feud with Kemp for certifying President Biden’s victory in the Peach State.
Earlier in August, Fox News Digital asked Trump if he would consider supporting Kemp in the general election against Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams.
“Well, we’ll look into everything,” Trump told Fox News Digital.
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Kemp suggested he would welcome Trump’s endorsement, telling Fox News’ Guy Benson, “I want everybody’s endorsement for this November 8 election.”