Just as the hashtag #ChickenTrump trended on Twitter on Friday evening thanks to power Bernie backers like Sarah Silverman, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders took to Real Time with Bill Maher with fighting words for the GOP frontrunner who this week refused to debate him.
Sanders covered all the usual bases in an interview appearance on Maher’s HBO show, clad in a suit and a red-and-blue striped tie. Free healthcare and college tuition good, greedy Wall Streeters and politicians and corporate America bad, the citizens of the US of A are tired of establishment politics, etc. etc.
Thankfully, Bernie really came to life when Maher brought up the biz mogul and White House hopeful the host later dubbed “Donald Pumpkinhead.” Agreeing with Maher that Trump is a “crazy person”—Maher’s words, not Bernie’s—Sanders said he feared not only for America, but for the entire planet if The Donald was elected to office.
“This guy is a pathological liar,” Sanders declared. “I don’t want to be malicious, but that’s just the damn truth. He would be a real embarrassment, a real danger to this entire world if he became president.”
Bernie lit up commenting on the Trump debate that might have been. “MMM! I would have loved! Let me just say this: First he said he would do it then he said he wouldn’t. Then he said he would do it, then he said he wouldn’t do it,” said Sanders. “Hey Donald, come on up! Let’s have a debate about the future of America.”
In his intro Maher played up the three-way tug of war between Sanders, fellow Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and Trump. All three had been invited to guest on the show, Maher said with a dig at Clinton’s revived email scandal. Bernie was the only one to accept.
Trump declined a spot on Real Time “because he is a whiny little bitch,” exclaimed Maher. “Remember to keep tweeting that with the hashtag #whinylittlebitch,” he added, leading his studio audience in an enthusiastic chant: “Whiny little bitch! Whiny little bitch!”
Bernie managed not to join in on that refrain, but he spent his Real Time slot using an assortment of colorful phrases to describe Trump: A “liar,” a “showman,” a “very good manipulator of media.”
Everyone’s chasing California ahead of the June 7 primary. But to Bernie’s frustration neither Clinton nor Trump will agree to a debate despite his public challenges to both the Democratic and Republican frontrunners.
“Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and (Debbie) Wasserman-Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second-place finisher,” Trump snarked in a statement Friday, insinuating that Sanders has become a charity case for the networks giving him airtime.
But Clinton’s email brouhaha and the fact that she’s polling beneath Bernie against Trump have changed the race, Maher suggested. Is this the opening Sanders needs to convince Dems to switch to Team Bernie?
“Every person in the Democratic Convention wants to make sure Donald Trump doesn’t become the President of the United States,” Sanders argued, suggesting that the only way Democrats can make sure Trump’s America doesn’t happen is by nominating him.
Maher tiptoed back toward the conversation he had with Bernie during Sanders’ last appearance on his show by pointing out how wildly different the perception of Sanders’ socialism skews between younger and older generations. “People under 40—next to Adderall, they love you the most,” Maher quipped, helpfully dubbing him a quasi-socialist.
After bidding adieu to Bernie, Maher kept the Bern going as he made his feelings about Trump known throughout Friday’s raucous episode: “I didn’t think I could hate him any more than I do.”