Video: Ron DeSantis Schools Bill Maher on Election Denialism, Earns Big Plaudits for COVID Leadership
“And I think it’s unfair what they did to you because you did handle it better. You did handle it better. You were right. You were like, let’s target the people, protect the people who are most vulnerable, and everybody else can go on with their lives a little better. You opened schools sooner.”
Two days after the second GOP presidential debate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis headed to the lion’s den in the form of Bill Maher’s “Real Time” show where his campaign and vision for America were discussed, and where some acknowledgments were made by Maher—and the left-leaning audience—on DeSantis’ handling of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic in his state.
Not surprisingly, the two had some disagreements as well, with Maher telling DeSantis he felt that his campaigning for alleged “election deniers” like Kari Lake in 2022 was something he could “not forgive.”
DeSantis’ response was to turn the tables on Maher by reminding him of how Democrats including some of Maher’s pals in Hollywood tried to deny Donald Trump his election victory in 2016:
Maher pressed DeSantis on why he campaigned for Republicans who denied that Trump lost the election, to which DeSantis responded: “Because I wanted to see Republicans win key races.”
“That’s not a deal breaker issue for you?” Maher asked. “That’s not democracy?”
“Okay, well, let’s go back to 2016,” DeSantis responded. “Your friends in Hollywood were cutting ads telling the Electoral College to vote against Trump in the Electoral College because it was stolen. They said Russia stole the election; for years they said that, so don’t act like this is like a unique thing in modern history of the country.”
Ron DeSavage absolutely obliterates Bill Maher when he asks him why he campaigned with election deniers.
DeSantis reminds everyone about Democrat hysteria over the 2016 election.
Maher has no comeback 😂 pic.twitter.com/uQTDIU1FGl
— Unfiltered☢Boss (@Unfilteredboss1) September 30, 2023
DeSantis also explained to Maher why it was important to only allow legal citizens of this country to vote after Maher said it looked like DeSantis wanted to “stop” people who vote more for Democrats than Republicans from voting:
DeSantis cut in to counter that the amendment Florida passed to restore voting rights to felons “did not include murderers and sex offenders. So, we had sex offenders, convicted sex offenders who voted who were not eligible under that amendment, so we held them accountable.”
Maher then said, “But there really isn’t in-person voter fraud. Like 11 million people voted in Florida and I think you found 41 people.”
DeSantis responded, “Right, but if you have somebody that’s illegally in the country and they vote, should they be held accountable or not? I think they should be held accountable.”
After Maher responded that the amount of illegal voting is a small fraction of a percent, DeSantis countered that this may be true on a statewide level, but local elections are a lot smaller and have closer margins, and “I think we want legal people to vote, if you’re not a citizen of this country, you should not be voting in American elections.”
DeSantis also pointed to the gains he made among Hispanic and female voters in 2022 as an example of the progress the GOP was making in winning over minority voters.
Ron DeSantis explaining to Bill Maher the impact of allowing anyone other than eligible American citizens to vote in our elections (and why using voter fraud stats of federal and state elections to dismiss voter fraud in local elections is inappropriate and fundamentally flawed)… pic.twitter.com/Id3Zfbbkhm
— Meara (@MillennialOther) September 30, 2023
The highlight of the interview, in my opinion, came during their discussion of the COVID-19 outbreak and how there should be accountability for the federal government’s handling of it, with DeSantis noting that his political opposition (Trump and Joe Biden) have in so many words said that if we had another pandemic that essentially they’d handle it the same way it was handled in 2020 and 2021. DeSantis told Maher it was critical the same mistakes were not repeated in a future pandemic and that if elected president he would work to ensure they weren’t.
Not only did Maher acknowledge that DeSantis was right in how he managed the pandemic in Florida, but the audience also agreed:
“We’re on the same page there. And I think it’s unfair what they did to you because you did handle it better,” Maher continued. “You did handle it better. You were right. You were like, let’s target the people, protect the people who are most vulnerable, and everybody else can go on with their lives a little better. You opened schools sooner. And a lot of the stuff that’s come in, the information we have after now we’ve had a few years to look at it, you were more right, and they won’t give you credit with it.”
Maher then specifically highlighted The New York Times’ coverage. “I saw The New York Times with such a despicable hit piece on you … I forget what the lead headline was, but it was basically Ron DeSantis f***ed up the pandemic,” he said. “And then like, at the very end, it says Florida’s death rate, overall, is better than the national average. And if you’re going to do an article about Florida and the pandemic, shouldn’t that be the lead? Shouldn’t that be the headline — I mean, talk about burying the lead.”
Left-wing Bill Maher can admit this, but not Donald Trump.
“It’s unfair what they did to you because you did handle [COVID] better…You were right. You were like, let's protect the people who are most vulnerable and everybody else can go on with their lives.” pic.twitter.com/MSJN61edWj
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) September 30, 2023
Naturally, about the best criticism Trump’s campaign and online influencers could come up with in response to DeSantis doing well in the interview with Maher was pointing to how Maher at one point said that if DeSantis was winning right now he wouldn’t be on Maher’s show, which in my view is a ridiculous criticism because it’s important for conservatives to be able to confidently go into “enemy territory” (so to speak) to try and advance the conservative message by explaining it in a common-sense way that most voters understand.
Live look at Team Trump watching DeSantis sail through an interview with Bill Maher and get applause from his audience while defending conservative positions on principle instead of compromising or hiding from them like Donald is hiding in a bunker pic.twitter.com/eysU4hd9AQ
— Pedro L. Gonzalez (@emeriticus) September 30, 2023
Hey you know what? You may not like either one, but good for DeSantis and good for Maher. This is how a free press and a republic are supposed to work. Get in there and take some shots. https://t.co/cVjFSaAefj
— I Believe in Nashville (@genethelawyer) September 30, 2023
And perhaps in the process, maybe you can win over converts as you counter media-driven myths about who you are and what you stand for. That’s a win/win in my book.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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