Bill Maher Tears Into GOP Panelist Over Whether Tea Party’s Finally ‘Peaked’

Bill Maher looked at all the big elections this week and concluded that “maybe the tea party has peaked” between the victory of the moderate Chris Christie and the defeat of the hard-right Ken Cuccinelli. Maher did admit, however, that the reports of the media rift between the tea party and the Republican establishment have been vastly exaggerated.

Maher suggested “Wall Street Republicans” were “spooked” by the debt ceiling fight and are now trying to kill the Frankenstein monster they allowed to breathe life in the first place. John Heilemann brought up Cuccinelli, saying he was “so nutty from Republican donors’ point of view” and the tea party shutdown helped kill his campaign.

The panel debated over whether Christie would do very well outside of New Jersey, with Victoria DeFrancesco Soto saying Christie is the “polar opposite” of everything the Republican base stands for. Avella brought up Christie embracing Obama after Sandy, and when he tried to explain what the message was, Maher jumped in with, “I can touch a Negro and still live!”

Maher brought up a new poll to show most Republicans either think the tea party has just enough influence or not enough in the GOP, so the supposed rift is nothing more than a giant myth.

Watch the video below, via HBO:

[photo via screengrab]

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