Bill Maher explains why ‘normal’ Ron DeSantis is so ‘strong’ against Biden, Trump

Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher suggested that Ron DeSantis could rise above the fray of Donald Trump and Joe Biden because he’s simply being a ‘normal governor’.

On Friday’s edition of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the host and his panel, U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and CBS News’ Robert Costa, covered a wide range of topics; notably the proposition of a potential 2024 presidential bid from the Florida governor.

In response to Khanna’s premeditated barrage of DeSantis, Maher explained coolly why he thought the governor could be such a strong candidate in the next presidential election highlighting the versatility of the Floridian. Maher explained that while DeSantis is perfectly capable – and excels – at political theater, he’s also very competent at being a “normal governor” citing his handling of hurricane Ian.

“I understand what you’re saying about DeSantis,” began Maher. “The reason why I think DeSantis is so strong is because he can do both things. He can do the performance art that seems to have you so exercised to the base, most of which I don’t really know if it’s that damaging.”

Khanna’s predictable banal criticisms of DeSantis were quickly dismissed as the performative party line tactics that they were, and Maher continued to diminish Khanna’s concerns.

“He picks a fight with Disney,” Maher continued, responding to one of the critiques levied by Khanna. “Does it really affect anybody? I mean, I read that ‘Don’t Say Gay’, which is not the name of the law. They called it the Don’t Say Gay law. It could have been called the ‘let’s do things in schools the way we did five years ago’ law. It really could’ve.”

 

Maher’s audience applauded this point, which isn’t a given considering the comedian often rails against the political preferences of those in attendance. Maher continued to demonstrate the traits that make DeSantis’s efficacy a “very powerful thing.”

“So what I’m saying is he can do both that — But he yes, he he knows how to rile up the base. I agree. He’s a politician — but he also can be a normal governor,” said Maher. “In other words, after the storm, he can stand with President Biden like a normal governor does and work with them and then send some migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. You know, and that’s a very powerful thing to have both those elements.”

The California congressman then surprisingly compared former president Donald Trump in a favorable light compared to DeSantis. Khanna praised Trump’s 2016 campaign that showed he had an economic theory and “understood people’s pain”, and then, suddenly flipped to praising President Biden for ameliorating the complaints of the working class. He continued to criticize the Florida governor for having “no economic vision”, and “no foreign policy vision.”

To which, Maher responded,” He’s a governor. What’s a governor’s foreign policy position supposed to be? Florida is not in the U.N.”

To Khanna’s praises of President Biden’s record so far Maher replied, “But nobody wants him to run again.”

Khanna’s bullet-pointed attack on Ron DeSantis, and the feigned preference of Trump over the governor as a presidential candidate signaled a shift in Democrat talking points. Soft-pedaling the contempt the Democratic party had for the former president while lobbing aspersions at a politician who hasn’t even announced their candidacy for the office reveals who they believe to be the greater threat to Democratic hegemony.

Maher pinpointed their concerns succinctly. Maher said that President Biden would “definitely defeat Trump again,” said Maher, “but would he beat DeSantis?”

A recent YouGov poll shows that a majority of Republicans and right-leaning independents would favor the Florida Governor over the former president in a bid for the executive office. “More Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents now say they’d prefer DeSantis (42%) as their 2024 presidential nominee over Trump than say they’d prefer Trump to DeSantis (35%).”

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