“Real Time” host Bill Maher laid into Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Friday after it was announced that she would be presenting a rebuttal to President Biden’s State of the Union address.
The announcement that Tlaib would be speaking on behalf of the Working Families’ Party came earlier this week with reports claiming she would highlight rifts in her own party. Maher suggested the optics of the rebuttal alone aren’t a good look for Democrats.
“Now, I’ve always seen the opposition party give a rebuttal,” the HBO host said.
“This is from the same party. This is like sacking your own quarterback,” Fox News reported. “I don’t know, maybe she’s gonna say some nice things about Joe, but basically it’s to present- …bad idea for the Democrats?”
One of Maher’s guests, writer and entrepreneur Chloé Vandary, said, “I don’t know if it’s a bad idea,” suggesting it would be good to “hold their party’s feet to the fire.”
However, Maher opined, “I remember she’s very us versus them. I remember because she’s one of the Squad members,” making reference to a contingent of progressives within the Democrat Party.
Maher isn’t far off as the news of Tlaib’s rebuttal comes amidst growing tensions among Democrats and early reports that her speech will draw on those “us versus them” distinctions.
“No one fought harder…” Tlaib said of Biden’s agenda, “…than progressives. The work is unfinished and we’re not giving up on what our communities deserve.”
“We need to get as much done for the people as we can this year,” Tlaib went on, signaling against her peers who may look to play it safe as midterm elections draw near, “and elect a majority that can deliver for working families in 2023.”
Meanwhile, moderates are said to be slowing down Biden’s agenda items like gun-control as November takes the forefront of political concerns.
Maher further went into the divisive nature of Tlaib bringing up a 2019 dispute between the two where the congresswoman had called for a boycott against the host. “I remember we talked about on this show one night BDS, which is the boycott that some people want to do against Israel, because Israel somehow got to be the Nazis…And I said no- that BDS is a bunch of bulls—.”
“And then Rashida Tlaib called for me to be boycotted,” Maher went on. “So when people say, ‘You know, why are you so hard on the left these days?’ Bulls— like that is why. We have a different opinion about this issue called BDS and you want to just boycott me.”
Maher has also gone after Tlaib in the past for her “no more policing” stance in 2021. “This is always – I’ve done many editorials on this – the Democrats’ Achilles’ heel,” Maher said at the time, adding, “common sense. Common sense! You strike people as not having sense when you say things.”
It is highly uncommon for a member of the same party to rebut a presidential address. Biden was also rebutted last year by Tlaib’s fellow Squad member Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY).
Maher’s other guest, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens put it succinctly when he said, in part, “the Democrats are hostage to their crazy minority…”
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