- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 1, 2016

Comedian Bill Maher blasted presidential candidates Donald Trump and Gary Johnson during Friday night’s broadcast of his HBO program, “Real Time,” and asked disenchanted Bernie Sanders supporters to consider Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton on Election Day over her Republican and Libertarian Party opponents.

The television host had harsh words for both Mr. Trump and Mr. Johnson during the latest episode of his weekly talk show over recent comments that landed either candidate in hot water with just weeks left until the general election.

“Welcome to another week of yes, this is really happening,” Mr. Maher quipped during Friday night’s monologue.

The host wasted no time attacking Mr. Trump over the remarks he made on Twitter hours earlier concerning Alicia Machado, a former beauty queen, and applauded the GOP for letting its candidate devote time to attacking the winner of his 1996 Miss Universe pageant over her physical appearance and reality-show video which has been described as a “sex tape.”

“Republicans out there: thank you so much for this. Thank you so much. You must be so [expletive] proud that your candidate takes a concrete position on something, and it’s: No fat chicks,” Mr. Maher said.

The “Real Time” host then shifted focus toward Mr. Trump’s performance during Monday’s presidential debate, rehashing a claim made by former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean that the candidate’s frequent sniffling may have been the result of snorting cocaine.

“And if he didn’t win, totally not his fault! The moderator asked the wrong questions, he had a bad microphone, the whole system is rigged, she had the questions beforehand, the sun was in my eyes, the coke wore off!” Mr. Maher said.

Hillary got a big bump after the debate, and Trump looked like he did a big bump before the debate,” he added. “I mean, I’m hearing! I don’t know it for a fact, I hope it’s not true, a lot of people are saying it! A lot of people are saying it, that’s all I know. I hope it’s not true. He was sniffing a lot. It’s either that or he’s allergic to facts.”

Mr. Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for president, found himself on the receiving end of ridicule as well during a later segment on “Real Time” where the host was joined by comedian and Clinton backer Sarah Silverman.

“I like him. He’s a nice guy. But he’s another in my basket of [expletive] idiots,” Mr. Maher said of the Libertarian candidate

“We thought he was a cool guy, you know he smokes pot, he was for pot. He’s not making pot look good, by the way,” he added.

Despite a series of recent campaign trail blunders, Mr. Johnson is polling well among Americans between the ages of 18-24, according to a recent survey cited by Mr. Maher. Nonetheless, his guest said Democrats angered by their party’s nomination of Mrs. Clinton mustn’t use her pick as a reason to protest.

“I voted, and I believe you did, in 2012 for Ralph Nader. But this is not that kind of time. No. He wasn’t an idiot, but he also wasn’t going to win. We wanted to vote our conscience. It was a mistake,” she said to Mr. Maher.

“Here’s a little bit of Gary Johnson for those thinking of voting for him,” the host responded as he tossed to a montage of Mr. Johnson’s recent gaffes, including a Wednesday night incident where he struggled to name a single foreign leader during an interview on MSNBC.

Mr. Maher and Ms. Silverman both previously lent their support to Mr. Sanders prior to the DNC nominating Mrs. Clinton as its presidential candidate in July. During Friday’s broadcast, they said issues that were central to Mr. Sanders‘ White House run, including gun control and free health care, are now aspects of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, not Mr. Johnson‘s.

Hillary is our Democratic nominee and I will proudly vote for her,” Ms. Silverman said during an appearance at the convention in which she was interrupted by jeers from Sanders supporters.

“To the Bernie or Bust crowd,” she snapped at one point, “you’re being ridiculous.”

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