Bill Maher says he’s no longer predicting that Democrats will be pummeled in the midterm elections, with abortion offering a “turning point” on momentum.
“Things have really turned around,” Maher told ITK in a recent interview.
“The Republicans are the dog that caught the car with abortion,” the HBO “Real Time” host said of the Supreme Court’s June ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the federal right to the abortion established by Roe v. Wade.
“They’ve been trying to do this for 50 years, and then now you notice that the Republican candidates don’t even want to be asked about the subject. And sometimes when they do get asked about it, they kind of backtrack: ‘Abortion, I guess I heard something about a ruling recently,’” Maher said.
Democrats, who currently hold majorities in the Senate and House, are trying to fend off long-expected GOP gains in November. Historical trends indicate that the president’s party almost always loses seats in midterm elections.
“I think what we’re finding out is that [abortion] is going to be the turning point for this midterm election,” said Maher — who in April projected that Democrats would “get their ass kicked in November.”
“We already know that there’s so many new voters who have registered because of that very reason,” Maher, 66, said of the reproductive rights issue. “And not just women. There’s lots of men also who don’t want kids. I think what we’re finding out is: Kids are brats, and no one wants them.”
The longtime liberal comedian said he has no plans to dole out dollars to Democrats ahead of the midterms.
Maher donated $1 million in 2012 to a super PAC supporting then-President Obama’s reelection bid and contributed the same amount to a committee affiliated with Senate Democrats in August 2018, just months ahead of the midterm elections that year.
“Not this year,” he said, “but I would certainly think about it again if [former President Trump] was running again in 2024.”
“If I thought money made a difference,” Maher added. “I mean, last time [Trump] ran, he spent way less than [2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton] and look how that turned out.”
“I mean, sometimes money can actually have the opposite effect. When they carpet-bomb with campaign ads that people have seen 100 times, people wind up hating the person making the ad. Even if they liked them to begin with, they think, ‘God, if I see this ad one more time.’”
A fierce critic of Trump and Republicans, Maher has also made headlines — and has won praise in conservative circles — in recent months for calling out the “woke” politics of the far left.
Asked if there are any particular issues he’s shifted or changed his views on over time, Maher exclaimed, “I hope so. Yes, of course — I mean that’s called growing.”
“I’m so glad I’m not a politician. Politicians have to pretend that what they believed at 18 they still believe at 78, or else you’re flip-flopping and you’re not consistent,” Maher said.
“I’m consistent about evolving and growing and learning. New information comes along and OK, I can change my mind and I will,” the comic, who grew up in New Jersey, said.
“But basically my view of life, my view of politics, my liberal upbringing from my liberal parents — I think it’s pretty consistent. I think I know what is most important and kind of stick by it.”