Bernie Sanders, Bill Maher mock Trump for ditching debate


Bernie Sanders calls out Donald Trump for “chickening out” of a debate during an interview with Bill Maher

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders paid a visit to Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night while campaigning in California ahead of the state’s upcoming primary race on Tuesday, June 7. The Vermont senator didn’t mince words when asked about Donald Trump, who recently agreed to debate Sanders during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but then abruptly backed out the next day.

Host Bill Maher began by lamenting the fact that “we were teased with something that was going to be an amazing show,” referring to a potential Sanders-Trump debate, but “Mr. Macho chickened out.” Sanders responded that he would have loved to debate him, and chided Trump for flip-flopping several times on whether he would do it or not, while leaving the door open for him to change his mind again.

“Trump claims to be a real tough guy… pushes people around. Hey Donald, come on up and let’s have a debate about the future of America,” Sanders stated.

Maher, who has voiced his support for Sanders in the past, added that he would have “liked to see what a clear choice would like,” even if he’s not the nominee in the general election.

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Sanders continued to take aim at Trump, later agreeing with Maher that he’s a “crazy person,” adding: “I have a lot of Republican colleagues and friends who I disagree with. They’re not crazy, they’re honest people. This guy is a pathological liar, and again I don’t mean to be malicious, but that is just the damn truth. He would be not only an embarrassment, but a real danger to this entire world if he were to become president.”

However, he admitted that he didn’t know what the right strategy is to defeat Trump because he’s so unpredictable and he changes his mind all the time. Maher interjected that he’s also not held accountable for his actions like other politicians.

The comedian then brought up a point he made in the last interview with Sanders where he questioned how he would destigmatize the word “socialist,” offering that there’s a generational divide surrounding the label because young people don’t remember the Soviet Union, and capitalism hasn’t worked well for them.

“The people under 40, next to Adderall, they love you the most,” he joked. Maher went on to cite things like healthcare, prisons and election funding that should be “off limits to the profit motive.” Sanders ended by repeating his stump speech regarding calls for free college, healthcare for all, campaign finance reform and raising taxes on the 1%.

Watch the entire interview below:

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While Sanders was unabashedly critical of Trump, he demurred when Maher – a frequent Clinton defender – asked him about his opponent’s continued email scandal, explaining that the American people care more about things that impact their everyday lives like poverty and income equality, rather than hearing politicians attack their opponents. However, he conceded that voters are tired of establishment politics and argued against the fact that super delegates had pledged their support for Clinton before the primary had officially begun. He also called on the super delegates to reconsider their support for the former secretary of state given that he beats Trump in state and national polls by a larger margin than Clinton.

Real Time with Bill Maher airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on HBO. Next week’s guests include John Avlon, Matt Welch, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Eddie Huang, and Nick Hanauer.