Bill Maher on Upcoming Presidential Election: "There's Obama and There Are the People from the Mental Patient Party"

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You ever had Bill Maher feature an image from a video you made with your coworker on Real Time as a New Rule, then get the chance to ask him about it on the phone just days later? Oh, yeah, and forget to press record when he tells you that it was one of his favorite New Rules maybe ever?

Yeah. That happened just yesterday. It was favorite or best, we were too excited to properly store that information. Luckily, sometime as he answered the question, "Why do you think Romney went with Ryan instead of Rubio?" we noticed, pressed record, and saved the remainder of the interview.

To our great pleasure, this past Friday, a photo of Maria, "the Butt Hole Girl," from our recent viral video was displayed next to Maher's head as Mark Cuban giggled at the anal joke. We're not sure if Maher actually saw the video, but it was still a landmark moment for New Times Broward Palm Beach.

The rest our conversation involved discussing weird Florida news, our state's wacky politicians, and Mormonism.

Bill Maher: ...So Democrats are getting at their base, which are minorities and sane people, and Republicans are going for their base, which is white people who make sighing noises when they get up.

New Times: You also made a comment a few months ago about Allen West, who is someone we write about a lot at the paper...

Yes, Allen West. I'm glad you're reminding me of all of these Floridian characters! Yeah, Allen West, who thinks there are 80 communists in the US Congress. I don't know what to tell you about Mr. West. The Republican party in general seems to live in a fantasy world, and let me tell you, for the amount of material they give me on a daily basis, I should have given them a million dollars.

What about Ryan totting his mom around as a Medicare mascot?

I'm thinking about doing a New Rule this week that you can't use your mom to campaign with. There's no moms in campaigning. First of all, it's very disingenuous because, yes, Mrs. Ryan will be fine, because she's rich. The Ryans were known as the Kennedys of Wisconsin. But Medicare, Medicaid, these programs are for people who haven't been as fortunate as Mr. Ryan.

I saw Mr. Ryan the other day saying that when he was working at McDonald's, he didn't think that was as far as he was going to go in life. Of course not, because you're a rich kid doing a summer job. You have plenty of opportunities. What about the 1,500, what they call dropout factories, high schools where over 60 percent of the students don't graduate from high school? For them, McDonald's very well may be the end of the line.

Tampa's hosting the RNC.

Oh, yes. I know.

There's worry that a hurricane might be heading toward Tampa.

I saw.

And I know you don't believe in God, but you don't think maybe this is God's wrath on Republicans? Nature's wrath?

This is really a question for Pat Robertson. He believes that God sends hurricanes to, for example, punish the Disney people for having a gay day at their amusement park. So, I guess what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If this is where the hurricane is hitting when the Republicans are in town, how can we ignore such an obvious sign from the deity?

But you just think it's coincidence.

(Laughs) Of course, it's coincidence!

Are you going to be in town?

I will be in Tampa. The Republicans get out of Tampa, I think their convention ends on the 30th, and I'm there two days later, on the first. I mean we did this on purpose.

That's good timing. But you're not going to the convention itself?

No, I have to do a show here in L.A. My show is in production. So, we will do a show on the 31st, and then I will get on a plane and go to Tampa.

Florida's such a weird place, so there'll be so much to talk about. You heard about the face eating zombie? Do you have any commentary on how people have been eating other people lately?

I am against it. I am strongly against people eating other people's faces. I don't care who knows it. I'm on the record for this. I've always been against it. (Pauses) No, but I do think it's been a comment on our hard economic times.

Speaking of news this week, Todd Akin with the legitimate rape thing. Do you think he actually believes that or do you think it's just an anti-abortion thing.

I think he actually believes it. He's not the only one. It's actually a common belief on the fringes of the pro-life movement. And he's not the first one to say it. We've got hold of a number of people in assemblies, state representatives, who over the years have made similar comments. They believe the woman emits a mythical vaginal secretion during rape to stop it.

And this is what I mean when I say religion is a mental illness. It corrodes your way of thinking. I mean, this is a guy from the suburbs of Saint Louis. He's not from Mississippi or Alabama or someplace where you think, oh, those people are hicks. I think Saint Louis is a pretty modern city. And this guy gets elected over and over by large majorities. I think people in America really need to take a hard look at the Republican party.

I said the other day, and said, it's this kind of thing that gives me a good answer when people say, "Obama's so far from perfect. Why'd you give him a million bucks?" Because there's only two choices in America. There's Obama and there are the people from the mental patient party.

This isn't necessarily PC, but I don't think America's ready to vote in a Mormon president. Do you feel like maybe it's possible to have a Mormon president voted in over reelecting Obama?

I think anyone who's concerned about things like Mormonism are the same people who are concerned with "black" and if they need to choose, people will choose Mormon over black every time.

But we've only ever had one even Catholic president. Religion does seem like something that doesn't deviate and now we have one black president. I think a lot of Americans fear religions besides Christianity.

They do, but Mitt Romney, and they're going to start this at the convention in Tampa, they're going to run a full force campaign to try to convince people that Mormonism is just another sect of Christianity. Which is, of course, complete bullshit. Once Americans find out what Mormons believe. I mean Mormons believe that God is a 6 foot 2, flesh and blood man who lives on planet Kolob, they believe Jesus was married three times, they wear magic underwear, they baptize dead people.

I think all religion is crazy batshit, and so it's just really what your preference is on which sauce you dip into. But yes, that will be Mitt Romney's big message, that, "I believe in a mythical God, just like you do. I'm just like you. And faith is something you don't look into too carefully, because none of us wants our faith examined too carefully. So, just trust me." At the end of the day, the kind of people who vote and care about that kind of thing, their hatred for the black president, in my view, exceeds trepidation about a Mormon president.

I had this conversation with my mother this morning. You sound just like her. I studied religion, and I have to say, I disagree. But if they can convince people that Mormons are Christians, then...

And don't forget also that the kind of people who would be so upset by a Mormon, these are the kind of people who think Obama is a Muslim. Hank Williams Jr. said it the other day, and the crowd cheered, which I found very upsetting... That Hank Williams can still draw a crowd.

Bill Maher at 7 p.m. on September 2 at Hard Rock Live, One Seminole Way, Hollywood. Visit hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com.

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