Maher accuses Whitmer, Newsom of ‘shadow’ presidential campaigns, praises Dem challenging Biden

On the latest edition of liberal comedian Bill Maher’s “Real Time,” he slammed California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for running “shadow campaigns” against President Joe Biden.

Maher aimed criticism at the two while praising Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips for openly running against the president.

“I endorsed the idea [of you running] because I did an editorial a couple weeks ago calling [Biden] Ruth Bader Biden,” he told Phillips to his face Friday.

“And look, we both struggle with the same thing. We like Joe Biden, right? And we think he’s done a good job. Ruth Bader Ginsburg did a good job and did not know when to quit, and that’s why you’re here,” he added.

Listen to their full discussion below:

He then started attacking Newsom for behaving like he’s running — by visiting key battleground states, for example — yet not formally running.

“And it’s not like others are doing this in a — sort of a — shadow campaign. I mean, Gavin Newsom, our governor, seems to be all over the world. You know, they’re going to the battleground states in the private — they’re really doing it, but I feel like at least you are honest, and you’re saying, ‘No, I’m gonna do it.’ Just do it,” he said.

Phillips responded by noting there are “21” total candidates running for president in New Hampshire.

“If you’re 35 years old and you’re born in the United States, you can go there, bring a $1,000 check, and become a candidate for president of the United States of America,”  he said.

Maher responded by asking who Phillips would personally recommend for the job of president. The Democrat presidential candidate replied by pointing to Whitmer.

“Gretchen Whitmer. I think she would be an outstanding president,” he said.

Maher replied by noting that “she’s one of those who’s [also] running a shadow campaign,” to which Phillips responded by making a plea for would-be candidates like Newsom and Whitmer to join the race.

“Everybody’s waiting until 2028, and I’m making the contention to all of you tonight that I’m not sure that we will have a 2028 election in the way that we expect to happen if the inevitable happens and it is President Biden against Donald Trump. I mean, the numbers are astounding everybody,” he said.

“If we don’t start to acknowledge that — there’s this bizarre and very dangerous culture of silence in Washington, in certain political-industrial complex circles, that is dangerous — I mean, dangerous. And we’re putting blinders on. It’ll make 2016 look like a joyful year,” he added.

By numbers,  he meant the polling data showing former President Donald  Trump outperforming President Biden not only in national polls but swing state polls as well.

Phillips repeated the call for other candidates to run later in the show.

“It’s still not too late to jump into this race. I wish we had more competition instead of a coordination. This is not that difficult, and I don’t understand why people are so hesitant to do what the country needs so desperately,” he said.

“I called candidates who I say are more proximate to the race. They wouldn’t take my call. They had their political people take the call. They asked me not to use their names. You know, when I say every most of my colleagues talk about this every day in hushed tones in the hallways, it’s saying the quiet part out loud,” he added.

The discussion between Maher and Phillips comes about a month after the liberal comedian first publicly indicated during a discussion with Democrat Party strategist James Carville that he’s not really feeling Biden’s reelection campaign.

“I think we’re on the same page with Biden,” he told Carville at the time. “Did a great service but whereas in 2020 maybe he was the only one who could have beaten Trump, I think now he’s the only one who will lose to him,” he said.

“He did great not just because he beat Trump, but, you know, a lot of stuff he did- Afghanistan, Ukraine he handled right, everybody else’s economy was worse than ours after the pandemic. These are some pretty big things,” he continued.

“But he will lose because, at some point, perception becomes reality. And look, do I think he can do the job? Absolutely. Government, as you well know better than anybody, is done in small rooms like the Oval Office, where people are talking quietly and decisions are made. I think he still can do that fine. He cannot run for president. He’ll look bad in the debates…. I think, going to lose,” Maher concluded.


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