Real Time with Bill Maher was the Bernie Sanders show on Friday night. Host Bill Maher discussed policies with Sanders, and also unveiled a Sanders translator for unhappy Republicans.
“What happens is Bernie says something, they hear something completely different,” Maher said, after playing a clip of Republican presidential candidate frontrunner Donald Trump calling Sanders a communist.
The sketch then included real clips of Sanders from the Democratic debate, and then a “translation” that was much worse. For instance, on guns, here’s what Sanders said: “Bernie Sanders has a D-minus voting rating from the NRA.” And here’s what Maher said Republicans heard: “Rifles are for men with small penises.”
In addition to the bit, Maher sat down with Sanders for a lively discussion about the candidate’s policies and the term “socialism.”
“Socialism is the programs they already like. They like social security, that’s socialism. They like Medicare. They like the VA. They like the military. It’s already a socialist country,” Maher said. He later added, “They hear socialist, they think herpes.”
Sanders didn’t agree that America was socialist (“quasi,” he said), but did explain that many of his policies were ones supported by most American people.
“What we have got to do is remind fellow Americans that every other major country on Earth guarantees health care to all people as a right, and they do it more cost effectively than we do,” he said. “We’ve got to inform the American people that we are the only major country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid family and medical leave. We have got to remind the American people that there’s something a little bit crazy when in America we have more people in jail, disproportionally people of color, than any other major country on Earth.”
But Maher, who said he wanted to see Sanders win the election, pushed Sanders later about the cost of his initiatives. “The tax revenue that we would get just from taxing the people who I think your fans think you’re talking about, the people who own a yacht, does not come close to covering what you want to pay for,” he said.
The pair debated, with Maher asking Sanders if raising taxes on the top 1 percent of income earners would pay for all his proposed programs. “We may have to go down a little bit lower than that — but not much lower,” Sanders admitted.
Watch the full interview below.