WATCH: Bill Maher and Rick Wilson Slam Democrats for Not Jumping All Over Looting, Rioting


On HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday, part of a discussion about the campaigns and conventions touched on the subject of President Donald Trump and Republicans running a law and order message in the wake of protests, riots, and looting that have taken place over the last few months.

The GOP’s convention had many moments focused on the topic, including testimonial remarks from St. Louis police sergeant Ann Dorn, widow of slain retired police chief David Dorn, who was killed by a looter during one of the riots.

The issue came up during Trump’s RNC speech, and he brought it up again at length in New Hampshire on Friday night. Host Bill Maher asked guest Rick Wilson of the Lincoln Project to weigh in from his perspective as a longtime GOP operative who worked on many campaigns.

“As someone who has certainly run campaigns, and seen Republicans run on law and order and win,” Maher said. “Are the Democrats facing that right?”

“They seem to be hesitant in some ways, for example, to condemn the looting,” said Maher, asking Wilson what Democrats are doing right or wrong on the subject from a campaign perspective.

“Well they needed to stomp down this ‘Defund the Police’ thing the millisecond it started, and they were slow.” said Wilson. “Joe Biden has now gotten ahead of it a little bit, but they were slow off the mark on that.”

Wilson went on to say that it was “a trap set by the Trump campaign and by Fox,” and that “once the progressives took off with it, I could’ve told you right away, the group that hates that message the most are African-Americans.”

“That was a spectacularly bad thematic idea,” he said, emphasizing that the Biden campaign should be emphatic about law and order heading toward November.

Earlier in the segment, Maher asked guest Nina Burleigh of National Journal about the Trump campaign’s claim that Biden intends to destroy the suburbs.

Burleigh said the only thing they really need to sell that message is video, and that “BLM kids” are providing plenty. They talked about, and showed the clip, of mostly white protesters in D.C. harassing diners, insisting that they raise their fists in “solidarity.”

“This is counterproductive, right?” asked Maher. “It’s obnoxious.”

“Wildly so,” agreed Wilson.

“Bill, if this election is a referendum on Donald Trump, Donald Trump will lose, Joe Biden will win,” said Wilson. “If this is a referendum on woke shitheads yelling at people in public, then it’s going to be a much harder race.”

Watch the short clips above, or full clips and more from HBO’s Real Time.

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