Bill Maher challenged California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom for recently calling Russia a “loser” issue for Democrats.
Maher, who has argued before that Democrats need to be tougher in pushing this issue, told Newsom, “That bothers me.”
Newsom made it clear he’s not dismissing the seriousness of the Russia investigations, but said that, for one, getting rid of Trump leaves the country with Mike Pence. He said the Democrats need to have a “positive, alternative agenda” for the American people that needs to be the focus.
He concluded that Russia cannot “consume us,” but Maher said there’s no way Republicans would have reacted the same way if the same thing was going on with a Democratic president, asking, “Is that what they did with Benghazi?”
“That’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats,” Maher said. “Democrats follow the polls. Republicans change them.”
Newsom again insisted that Democrats cannot “exclusively” focus on Russia to the detriment of other issues, recalling how in his experience voters just aren’t asking about Russia that much.
The two of them also tussled over whether Mike Pence would be just as bad, with Maher insisted there’s no comparison between “a completely insane narcissist who might fire nuclear weapons” and what he described as basically another Bush presidency. Newsom shot back by pointing out Pence’s views on conversion therapy, but Maher said, “Oh, please. Like that’s gonna be a law.”
Watch above, via HBO.
[image via screengrab]
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