HBO's Maher Aims More Crass Name Calling at Cruz and Trump

On Friday's Real Time show on HBO, host Bill Maher repeatedly used crude name-calling to go after GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz. After calling both Cruz and fellow candidate Donald Trump "two a******s" in the opening monologue, Cruz was implied to be a "slimy, burrowing, repulsive animal" during a joke campaign ad attacking famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil.

And, in the regular "New Rule" segment near the show's end, Maher lambasted Cruz for the way he kissed his wife, comparing the Texas Senator to a space alien reptile.

Maher brought up the Iowa caucuses in the opening monologue, and the vitriol came immediately:

But, very surprising in Iowa, Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump, what the pundits are calling a lesser of two a******s. Ted, yeah, Ted pulled it out at the last minute with his slogan specially tailored for the Iowa voter: Vote for me and I'll leave. He is not a liked man.

After recalling that Trump threatened to sue over the Iowa caucus results, the HBO host then accused Cruz of cheating:

Now, to be fair, Donald Trump does have a point. Ted Cruz did cheat. He put out a press release and had his precinct captains call all over saying Ben Carson -- the other evangelical in the race -- was dropping out to trick his voters. As Jesus would do. And it worked.

After pausing for audience laughter and applause, he added: "And it worked because 64 percent of Republican voters in Iowa are born again. And 100 percent are born yesterday."

At 10:31 p.m. ET, Maher used the occasion of the Groundhog Day prediction of an early spring to introduce a joke campaign ad that conservatives might run if they were trying to attack groundhog Punxsutawney Phil as a global warming alarmist. The unidentified male doing the voiceover eventually implied that Senator Cruz was a "slimy, burrowing, repulsive animal" as the fake ad concluded:

But the mainstream media prints the worthless opinions of this rodent while ridiculing climate skeptics like Ted Cruz. Who do you trust your future to? A slimy, burrowing, repulsive animal? Or a groundhog?

Guest and liberal MSNBC analyst Alex Wagner could then be heard responding, "So good, so good."

At 10:48 p.m. ET, Maher began the show's regular "New Rule" segment with a photograph of Cruz kissing his wife, with the words "Creep Throat" displayed on screen. The HBO host took aim:

All right, new rule: Ted Cruz has to tell us, are you trying to kiss your wife or snap her neck? Or eat her face? Or feed her regurgitated food like a bird? Or seed her host body with your reptilian space eggs? Whatever it is, stop doing it.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Friday, February 5, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO:

BILL MAHER: Well, I'm sorry, but excuse me, I think the politics blood sport is actually more interesting. The voting finally started this week. The Iowa caucuses, the children of the corn have spoken. And now they've all moved on to New Hampshire. That's for people who find Iowa too black.

But, very surprising in Iowa, Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump, what the pundits are calling a lesser of two a******s. Ted, yeah, Ted pulled it out at the last minute with his slogan specially tailored for the Iowa voter: Vote for me and I'll leave. He is not a liked man.

But, I must say, Donald Trump, right after, made a speech, very gracious. For an hour. Then he reverted to form and demanded a do over and threatened to sue. It was like he, you know, you ever see like when a baby falls, there's like a minute where he, then, and he starts to cry.

Now, to be fair, Donald Trump does have a point. Ted Cruz did cheat. He put out a press release and had his precinct captains call all over saying Ben Carson -- the other evangelical in the race -- was dropping out to trick his voters. As Jesus would do. And it worked.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)

And it worked because 64 percent of Republican voters in Iowa are born again. And 100 percent are born yesterday.

(...)

10:31 p.m. ET
UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE: And you know who's just another scientist? Punxsutawney Phil. Punxsutawney Phil says "spring is coming early this year." Just another climate alarmist. Like Al Gore. Punxsutawney Phil doesn't just hug trees, he lives under one. In fact, Phil digs a hole. And you know where you can dig a hole to? China.

A groundhog isn't even a real hog. It's more of a squirrel, a herbivorous squirrel with no experience creating jobs in the private sector. But the mainstream media prints the worthless opinions of this rodent while ridiculing climate skeptics like Ted Cruz. Who do you trust your future to? A slimy, burrowing, repulsive animal? Or a groundhog?

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANALYST: So good, so good.

(...)

10:48 p.m. ET
MAHER: All right, new rule: Ted Cruz has to tell us, are you trying to kiss your wife or snap her neck? Or eat her face? Or feed her regurgitated food like a bird? Or seed her host body with your reptilian space eggs? Whatever it is, stop doing it.

Brad Wilmouth
Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters