Rep. Dan Crenshaw left HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher in the dust in an epic takedown as he defended President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
The Texas Republican’s name began trending on social media after he torched the liberal comedian, who was shooting his show without his cheering audience, expertly schooling him with the facts and confronting his obvious hatred of Trump with skill.
The two began the segment with compliments for each other, as Maher lauded the former Navy SEAL for his handling of the “Saturday Night Live” controversy when Pete Davidson joked about him losing his eye while he served in Afghanistan.
“Thank you for your service for calling out victim culture,” Maher said, prompting Crenshaw’s comments about the HBO host being a “real liberal,” and emphasizing the need for “open-mindedness and the ability to debate,” which Maher then jumped into.
“Help me understand how someone who calls out the outward assignment of blame can be such a supporter of the president who does nothing but pass the buck, lie, finger-point, shirk responsibility,” Maher said, citing a quote from the freshman congressman’s book, “Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage.”
“Tell me how you can support, someone with your background, someone like that,” Maher asked, referring to Trump.
“It didn’t take long for Trump to come up,” Crenshaw quipped. “You know, I would say I support the country, and the president’s success is certainly tied in the success of the country. I support his policy agenda, when I disagree with his policy agenda I openly disagree with it.”
“Republicans always get asked this question, and there’s this demand that we always have to answer, what do you feel about him? Don’t you want to comment on his latest tweet and his latest, the way he lashed out, and no I don’t,” Crenshaw added. “I can’t defend everything, he doesn’t have the same style as I do. I don’t consider him my spiritual guide by any means.”
He brought up how proud he was to meet former President Obama during a hospital visit after he had been wounded, emphasizing how he did not agree with him politically but was honored by the office, adding that he hoped people would come to feel that way about Trump.
“You talk about his tweets in his style, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the person who is the leader of the country at a time of crisis,” Maher countered, going into the timeline of the coronavirus pandemic, claiming Trump was warned about it in January.
Looking to essentially blame the president for the COVID-19 deaths, Maher went on to say the January 31 travel ban with China was not enough, though liberals at the time slammed the president for being “xenophobic” and “racist.”
The “Real Time” host accused the president of “lying” about it because people “are still coming in” from China, claiming Trump’s order affected only “foreign nationals.”
“The reality is about 40,000 people came in after that. These were U.S. citizens and green-card holders and passport holders being repatriated. U.S. citizens. So you have to make the argument then that we shouldn’t allow them in,” Crenshaw countered.
“It sounds to me that you’re fully agreeing with President Trump on this one, and everybody else disagreed with him. And if you’re saying that the travel restriction should have been more extreme, then fine. You clearly had the foresight back then, but nobody else did,” he added.
Crenshaw also reminded Maher of the fact that former Vice President Joe Biden vocally slammed Trump’s travel ban at the time, as did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who even proposed legislation to stop the order. But Maher was bent on proving the president downplayed the severity of the outbreak and thought he would use out-of-context quotes to make his point.
“He says it’s going to go away in April with the heat. Because he had a hunch,” Maher said. “He said… 15 people have it and it’s soon going to be close to zero. March 6, he said anyone who wants a test can get it, which is still completely wrong.”
But without his fans to punctuate his digs with cheers and applause, Maher was left defenseless in the face of Crenshaw’s expert reality check.
“Your criticism appears to be based on one thing — that Trump was overly optimistic,” Crenshaw said. “That’s his style. You can criticize it, that’s fine, but it’s not connected to the actions that were actually taken.”
“I provide all of that context as we try to basically accuse this man of, well, he’s being accused of having blood on his hands,” Crenshaw continued.
“And context is so important here. If we’re going to criticize somebody’s actions, we have to do it with the facts they knew at the time. So I’m just trying to be fair here,” the lawmaker added. “I don’t really care about defending him or his actions. I just care about letting people know the truth. And when people make these accusations, I have to ask them a question: Is the goal to make Trump look bad or is the goal to get to the truth? Because there are two separate sets of answers for that.”
Maher continued to press, however, looking more like a victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome in the face of Crenshaw’s calm and logical counter argument.
“Is that someone you would want to have served with? I mean my God, I don’t understand again why someone with your resume, you were in Fallujah for God’s sakes, would you want somebody, a commander to say that to you, to blame everybody else if something goes wrong, and then to say, you know, I have a hunch the enemy’s not going to be in there. Let’s attack,” Maher said.
“So here’s how I describe my answer to that. When bullets are flying past my head, I don’t need to raise my voice,” Crenshaw shot back.
“Calm breeds calm, panic breeds panic. Being an optimistic positive, exuding positivity and calmness in crisis is exactly how we ask our SEALs to lead,” he added. “I’m not sure I see a lot of evidence for blaming others.”
The congressman’s name began trending on Twitter soon after he dropped the “Truth MOAB” on Maher.
“One of the Best takedown of Maher,” wrote one Twitter user. “No fake applause to drown out the truth.”
“Bill Maher gets REKT without the high production spell that is Hollywood. No phony studio audience to save him,” writer and TV host Austen Fletcher tweeted.
“I gotta admit: [Dan Crenshaw] has more tools in his kit than an entire Home Depot. A seamless performance,” Fox News host Greg Gutfeld tweeted.
It’s hard seeing Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) not running for president on day. Will do any media outlet, which stems from confidence in himself and his worldview. Possesses likability, authenticity and pragmatism. Save the tweet.
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) April 19, 2020
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