Maher Repeats Discredited Claim Reagan Began Campaign at Site of Racist Murders

On Friday's Real Time show on HBO, host Bill Maher repeatedly accused Republicans of exploiting racism for political advantage as he asserted that the GOP "made a Faustian deal with the racist devil" and went on to repeat an old debunked claim that Ronald Reagan began his 1980 presidential campaign at the site of a racially motivated murder.

He went on to compare the GOP to a house which has allowed racists with Nazi memorabilia to live in one of the rooms, and ended up taking clips from an Adolf Hitler speech and reciting a fake translation to make the former Nazi leader sound similar to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.



Maher began the show's main panel segment accusing Republicans of making a deal with racism:

Okay, so let's get right to it. The Republican party having an existential crisis. They are very upset half their voters want to give nuclear weapons to a guy who gets into Twitter feuds with D list celebrities. We all understand that. I almost feel bad for them except I really don't because they brought it on themselves. They made a Faustian bargain with the racist devil many years ago, and now those chickens are coming home to roost.

After reading and making fun of a statement by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan condemning bigotry, he complained about Republicans supporting voter ID laws and of generally siding with the police when they are accused of mistreating black criminal suspects.

A bit later, after right-leaning panel member Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller complained about Trump appealing to "white identity politics," Maher implicated Reagan as he responded:

Very not new. Very not new. Let's get back to that. It's not new. It was called the Southern strategy when Nixon did it. Reagan started his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi. It's always been a winking campaign to get white poor people mostly who have a resentment to vote racially. So let's not pretend this is new.

But Reagan's appearance at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi -- which was in August 1980 and therefore not even near the beginning of his campaign -- took place a few miles away from the city of Philadelphia, Mississippi, at a fair that was known for attracting a large number of the state's residents. Even the murders themselves did not actually take place in Philadelphia, making it a leap for liberals to try to connect the two events.

After Lewis recalled that the GOP presidential field has been more racially diverse than the Democratic side, the HBO host shot back: "The two Hispanics want to put other Hispanics on cattle cars and throw them out of the country."

Maher soon made his characterization of the GOP sharing its "house" with Nazi sympathizers:

They always said it's a big tent. To me, it's more like a house. I think of it as more like a house. And they let the racists have a room in that house. They didn't go in that room with all the Nazi memorabilia, but they made a very comfortable room in there, and now they took over the house, and the regular Republicans are afraid to go to the kitchen at night to get a snack because look who's living in your house.

He soon likened Trump to Hitler by reading a fake translation of a Hitler speech. Maher began:

Thank you, thank you. We're going to make Germany great again. That I can tell you, believe me. Germany doesn't win anymore. England, France, America, they're laughing at us. The Treaty of Versailles, a terrible deal...

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Friday, March 4, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO:

BILL MAHER: Okay, so let's get right to it. The Republican party having an existential crisis. They are very upset half their voters want to give nuclear weapons to a guy who gets into Twitter feuds with D list celebrities. We all understand that. I almost feel bad for them except I really don't because they brought it on themselves. They made a Faustian bargain with the racist devil many years ago, and now those chickens are coming home to roost. Let me read what Paul Ryan said this week.

He said, "If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican party, they must reject any group or cause built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people's prejudices."

(pauses for audience laughter)

L-O-L. No!

(audience laughter)

To which I would say to him, "What about voter ID laws? What about once defending the guy who gets shot, the black guy unarmed instead of the cop?" You know, I mean, who are they kidding? This is the party they are, and Trump is just the latest.

(...)

MATT LEWIS, DAILY CALLER: And what Donald Trump does is this white identity politics, nationalist thing that is very -- I mean, the guy retweeted Mussolini the other day.

MAHER: Very not new. Very not new. Let's get back to that. It's not new. It was called the Southern strategy when Nixon did it. Reagan started his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi. It's always been a winking campaign to get white poor people mostly who have a resentment to vote racially. So let's not pretend this is new. And also, I think it's very funny that-

LEWIS: It's interesting we're running against two old white people, and you had an African-American who just dropped out running in the Republican party, two Hispanics. I would say that the Republican party, at least if you look at the people who are running for President, are much more diverse.

MAHER: The two Hispanics want to put other Hispanics on cattle cars and throw them out of the country.

(...)

MAHER: They always said it's a big tent. To me, it's more like a house. I think of it as more like a house. And they let the racists have a room in that house. They didn't go in that room with all the Nazi memorabilia, but they made a very comfortable room in there, and now they took over the house, and the regular Republicans are afraid to go to the kitchen at night to get a snack because look who's living in your house.

(...)

MAHER: I had one of Hitler's speeches translated into English, and I think this tells us a lot about where Donald Trump is getting his ideas. Look at this Hitler speech, and we've translated it for you.

Thank you, thank you. We're going to make Germany great again. That I can tell you, believe me. Germany doesn't win anymore. England, France, America, they're laughing at us. The Treaty of Versailles, a terrible deal...

NB Daily 2016 Presidential Conservatives & Republicans Racism HBO Real Time Video Bill Maher Donald Trump Ted Cruz Marco Rubio Adolf Hitler Ronald Reagan


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