Return to Transcripts main page
Piers Morgan Live
Interview With Bill Maher
Aired October 29, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: This is Piers Morgan Live. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. The last few weeks have been (inaudible) a comedian's dream. A government shutdown for 16 days, spies spying on spies, and the healthcare signup seems more complicated by doing your taxes, all designed by a Canadian company at that. And the president steadfastly maintains your coverage won't change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep it. We will keep this promise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Of course he didn't keep any of those promises as it turned out, and what about that pesky NSA story?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan, period.
If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. If you already have health care, you don't have to do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: We like that so much we decided to play it all over again. And we're also having ironically our own technical problems. We're just going to show, Mr. President, it can happen to the best of us.
And now, let's get to my special guest tonight. Bill Maher, he's of course the host of HBO's "Real Time". Bill, welcome back to you. Just goes to show, isn't it? It can happen to even the great ...
BILL MAHER, REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER HOST: Yeah. It kind of took the wind out of your sails, didn't it?
MORGAN: It did, but, you know, it's about to land bashing (ph) for running a terrible system. MAHER: There you go.
MORGAN: Check one of the key floor then there we go.
MAHER: Like if you live in a glass house, living with that or above a glass table like you do here.
MORGAN: Some of the last two weeks, I mean has it been as I said a comedian's dream this?
MAHER: They said that about everything. It's always a comedian's dream. Actually we have to work very hard. We make everything funny because that's our job. But I don't think it's been any crazier than it was a month ago. I mean only a few weeks ago it was the Republicans who are on the hot seat because of the government shutdown and that was a comedian's dream. And yes, Washington is always a comedian's dream that's why I got into this business.
MORGAN: Is it any worse than it's always been? I mean in real, you've covered this for so long? What do you think?
MAHER: Well, I think the country in general is on a decline. Yes, I do. As British, you probably understand that. The fall of an empire. Yeah, I think the -- I remember 20 years ago when I started on Politically Incorrect, one of the first issues we ever did was are people getting stupider?
They were then and they still are, so I can't imagine how stupid they must have gotten. But it sure is hard if you're a politician, not that I'm really that sympathetic to them to try to get information into people's heads. I don't think Obama should've lied to people.
MORGAN: It wasn't a lie. Wasn't it? I mean it's ...
MAHER: Well what it was -- hold on. First of all, insurance companies are always dropping people from their plans. This goes on -- This went on before ObamaCare went on, after ObamaCare we're losing a lot of perspective here. But yeah, he probably should have not been so blatant about saying, "Ironclad guarantee."
On the other hand, since he got no Republican votes and no Republican help and since three years after it's a law, there's still fighting it. Can you imagine what it would be like if he said, "Yeah, some people you're rates are going to go up." I mean he -- the thing passed by this much. If they had said that, they might have lost the whole thing. And politicians are always making compromises like that. For crying out loud, they made a compromise on slavery ...
MORGAN: But when I see the President of United States ...
MAHER: ... when our country began.
MORGAN: Right. Right. But when I see the President of United States repeatedly including in the State of the Union, assuring the American people, "Look, you want to keep your doctor, you want to keep your plan, you will." And he said it again and again and again. Now, we know the senior members in his very administration knew law like over three years. Probably at least 50 percent of all the people that have applied that would not apply to them they would have to change their plan. And that is a barefaced lie and I think of somebody that is supportive of ObamaCare. I come from a country where we don't get why there would be any ...
MORGAN: ... (inaudible) of bringing 11 million of people.
MAHER: Let's look at the perspective again on this. Why did we do this? Why did we -- why did Obama -- a lot of people when they got into office said, "He made a big mistake. He should have went after the economy first."
No, this is the economy. We went after this for a couple of reasons. One, (inaudible) of 50,000 people in this country were dying every year, needlessly dying because they didn't have health coverage. If that many people died from terrorism, we probably be using nukes on some country.
The other reason why it was bankrupting this country, we couldn't go on the way we were going to go. We had to do something. What is the Republican alternative? I get that this is not working out perfectly, I don't think anybody ever thought it would. But what is their alternative? Basically the status quo. If you're poor, go to the emergency room, walk it off.
Now besides the fact that's awfully cruel to ask any people to wait on a health issue until it's an emergency, "Wait 'till that appendix burst, young lady, then we'll go on to the emergency room." It's just counterproductive and for the people who are always about the takers. This is a massive hidden tax. You may never been to an emergency room but you pay every time people go.
MORGAN: Not that I've ever been to one. I broke four ribs, five ribs actually and punctured a lung falling off a segway do not use that as your next (inaudible) ...
MAHER: OK, but what I'm saying ...
MORGAN: But here's my point I woke up to a guy, I was on morphine, in agony. I woke up to a guy literally handing me an invoice. So it's like "What the hell are you doing?"
MAHER: But you can ...
MORGAN: This is medicine.
MAHER: My point was all the people who go to the emergency room because they do not have coverage.
MAHER: We wind up paying for that. That's one reason why health care costs so much.
MORGAN: Right, but I agree with you. And I support the principles of ObamaCare. But that's why I'm even more frustrated the system has failed allowing perhaps the whole thing to collapse. We don't know how is going to this play out. But it's the very people they need to get enrolled. The young people who are pretty healthy now how may have 30, 40, 50 years. They're the ones that have to get -- if they are turned away from this.
MAHER: They're going to get -- first of all, every program of this size was headache at first. So was Bush's Medicare Prescription Drug Program for the old folks. Remember that pay a free Viagra. I have a boner on George Bush, remember me at the polls.
Yeah. They didn't like that at first. Now it's very populous, Social Security, Medicare, all these programs have this kind of problems when you start with them. But the reason why it's going to work is women. Yes, young men do not want to sign up because they think they're invincible. Women get it because women a little more complicated, you know? They want contraception. They want breast exams. They're a little smarter about that, too. They don't think they're invincible.
Look, it has a lot of problems. But you know what? Even with the all the problems in four polls last week, ObamaCare is more popular than even. And Republicans like to say statistics that something like 54 percent of people are against ObamaCare. It's very, very, misleading. That includes the 16 percent of people who think it doesn't go far enough.
So, Americans really want coverage, of course, it's going to be popular. It's about Your health. The health of your family. It's a life and death issue. And again, it was there. It was created because people we're dying in the country was going broke. It's going to be a rocky birth, but, it's not going to fail.
MORGAN: Should Sebelius go? I mean she's somebody carry the can for the fact the system has started so badly?
MAHER: You know, I'm not a big fan of scapegoating.
MAHER: Well, no. Yeah, ever, if it's actually scapegoating. I mean ...
MORGAN: Are you a fan of accountability...
MAHER: Of course.
MORGAN: ... where people is someone is in-charge.
MAHER: There's a difference between accountability and scapegoating. If she really is somebody who should have known what you didn't know, yeah, I guess so, but right in the middle of it, I don't think -- I think it's counterproductive to get rid of the person that's been there all along and probably has more of this and/or but anybody else ...
MORGAN: But when she says...
MAHER: ... who knows all the details.
MAHER: Why get rid of her now to make it -- make the situation worst?
MORGAN: But when she says we're going to be bring in the A-Team. Hang on a second, she's the president's great initiative?
MAHER: Oh, I know.
MORGAN: Where was the A-Team...
MORGAN: ... before?
MAHER: That's actually true. There's no defense for that. I would never defend him on that. That is so ridiculous and so frustrating for any progressives. Because again, this was his great signature achievement.
MORGAN: But why he didn't know a month before when all these warning signs apparently was there that it wasn't ready ...
MORGAN: ... it was failing. Is he really credible that the President whose massive legacy maybe based around this, didn't know anything about anything problematic?
MAHER: Not credible and not excusable. I thought he was the detail guy, you know? And also as Michael Morissette on my show Friday night, you know, young people are the ones that are trying to sign up, this is a glitch in the world they live in.
MORGAN: This is grand dad.
MORGAN: Not knowing how to use this.
MAHER: Exactly. Well, if I use the clicker will I get covered, you know? And so it's just -- there's just no way to excuse this or to say it's a good thing. But, again, we'll see where we are in a month.
MORGAN: Let's play a clip. This is actually what Eric Cantor have to say. Then I want to play a clip that you had to say on your show. Let's watch Cantor first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLP)
REP. ERIC CANTOR, (R-VA) MAJORIRTY LEADER: If the President knew that these letters were coming and still indicated that you could keep your health care plan if you liked it. Now, that raises some serious questions about the sales job of ObamaCare. And that's why we're all saying that we shouldn't allow the American people to be impacted like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: OK. So that's the Republican criticism of ObamaCare which is one issue in all this. And you've already spoken about that. Let's watch what you had to say about this one in your show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER: I am going as scariest thing of all. I'm going as the HealthCare.gov website, OK? I think it's a bit of a mess now that I think of it. But I love this country. Americans have waited 70 years for affordable health care. But if the website takes more than an hour -- I'm watching a cat video.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Just to clarify you don't like cat videos, right?
MAHER: I've actually never seen one.
MORGAN: But look, here's my point, I agree with almost everyone on what both people said that. I agree with Cantor's criticism of ObamaCare in the way is being sold and rolled out. I think it's been sold on a lot of untruths, misleading statements whatever you want to call it. I also agree you though, but in the end, if the ends game that comes in, you know, five, six months or whatever is that it actually begins to work. It's a pretty good plan.
MAHER: And also let's again have a little perspective. Was any program ever, ever sabotaged to the degree this one has been? I mean it's been three years. It's not a bill. It's a law. I know that Tea people think they know the Constitution, I don't think they've even read it. A bill becomes a law, once it does, you don't argue about it.
You know what this whole thing reminds me of this really stupid award show called the "ESPYS". It's on ESPN. It's a sports award show. OK. You don't need an award show for sports because we know who won because they actually played the game. For best football team -- yes, the winner of this football, I don't care what's your opinion on the best football team is after they play this Super Bowl.
I don't care what your opinion on the Health Care law is now, it's the law you're supposed to help it along. Democrats were not for going into Iraq, but I know I said, once it's a fate accomplice (ph), I'm rooting for my country to succeed.
MAHER: That's not how they've played it. They have -- "We'll filibuster. We will shutdown the government. We will go to the mat in every possible way. We revoke to repeal it 41 times." Really? That's the patriotic thing to do about a program that is trying to bring health care to people in this country who don't have it?
Yeah. There are problems. Let' work together to fix them. Why not the Republicans for Medicare for all to begin with? There's supposed to be the party of business. Three years, business has been complaining that we are in an unfair advantage with other countries because we have to cover our workers because other countries don't have this stupid program that we have where the corporations have to provide the health care. This was started after World War II when they froze wages as a way to compensate workers when they couldn't up their salaries. And we still have it.
If we were smart, we would have like Canada, like Britain, like all these other countries. We'd at least have a public option. That was straight not a lot of this mess. And the other thing is in states where they wanted to work, where they're cooperating it is worth it.
MAHER: Which is the greatest hypocrisy of all for the Republics because everything they always say is about send it back to the states. The federal government is where things don't work. Let the states handle it. If the states had cooperated and they were handling it as they are in these states that are cooperating, it does work a lot better.
MORGAN: Now, it warms you nicely to the top of the pot and the boiling sense of what is coming out of you. I want to mention two words to you to come back after the break. Well you got three minutes to think about it.
MAHER: So true.
MORGAN: Ted Cruz.
MORGAN: Don't say anything. Just ferment for the next three minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL: What we do not do is spy unlawfully on Americans or, for that matter, spy indiscriminately on the citizens of any country. We only spy for valid foreign intelligence purposes as authorized by law, with multiple layers of oversight to ensure we don't abuse our authorities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Intelligence Chief James Clapper surveying the NSA leaks. I'm back now with Bill Maher pointing out to Bill's reactions of that. I could see you almost frothing at the mouth as you heard that. Bill some of that I give (inaudible) shows you're not coming the Pearl of the Palms in Vegas but then the second and third.
MAHER: Thank you.
MORGAN: And sang a theater in New Orleans November the 16th.
MAHER: Always taking it to the people, Piers.
MAHER: You got to take it to the people.
MORGAN: Exactly. We will get to Vegas.
MAHER: And everyone on CNN.
MORGAN: Let's talk about Mr. Clapper's view. What do you think of this whole NSA debate I had shown pain (inaudible). I sort of feel that every person lost Sean Penn. He's got a few problems and now he's positioning himself.
MAHER: Yeah. He hasn't lost me.
MORGAN: Genuine whistleblower?
MAHER: Yeah. I think so.
MORGAN: No concerns?
MAHER: I think so. I mean I don't know. I don't know the man. I don't know what's in his mind. I don't know what he's doing right now. He might be in a hot tub with two Russian strippers. They might (inaudible), you know, have on drink a lot. I don't know.
He maybe employ we never know. But he certainly has done some service with this country, getting us to at least debate this issue. And as far as this stuff it's gone on the last week or so with the European allies being upset, I could understand why he would be upset if they felt that their personal cellphones were being tapped.
But on the other hand they really should climb on and rest a little bit. I mean, it's been like 60, 70 years since America has defended our allies especially in Europe. We liberated Europe twice in the last century. They never really wanted to pay the premiums for the insurance they got for being protected. So, cut us a little slack when we're protecting you.
MORGAN: And in terms of ...
MAHER: You know, maybe it's not all the right way to protect you but, you know, the 9/11 plot was hatched in Germany there are much more rested Muslim populations on the European continent than there are here.
If we're listening in on phone calls over there, look we overdue it all. There's no doubt about that. But, you know, what like I said, cut us a little slack for the protection we've given you all this time.
MORGAN: Well, obviously that could be an endorsement of what the NSA has been doing as well as what you (inaudible) it was Sloan (ph).
So, where you come down more on the sign off are you ...
MAHER: It's hard to say because we don't really know what the NSA is doing. I'm certainly for more transparency but not that -- you cannot complete transparency because after all they're a spy agency, you know. It's like you're keeping secrets like of course we're keeping secrets. That what was suppose to do is keep secrets.
MORGAN: So, where is that alignment? No one can quite work out. What is the line?
MAHER: What we really don't want is a rogue agency. What I don't want to know, what I don't want to find out is that they're doing things and Obama doesn't know about it.
You know, it's one thing if Obama knows about it, it's another thing if ...
MORGAN: We claim he didn't know that the NSA have been bugging Angela Merkel for years.
MAHER: Yeah, and that would be troublesome to me. If they're doing things without the President's knowledge, when they're off on their own and they're kind of it a whole agency of all over north (ph). We don't need that.
MORGAN: What about Edward Snowden in terms of the amount he disclosed. If people have a view about say manning wickedly this is too much of it.
MAHER: It's too much of everything, every movie is too long. Movies are too long. Movies should be at least a half hour shorter. Almost everyone, but yes I mean that the -- I can't remember the guy's name I think it's Bradford who said, you know, when you keep making the haystack bigger it's harder to find the needle.
I mean look at how many people are on the terrorists watch list. I think it's over a million. How many people have security clearance? How much space we're building for to just to house the data we're collecting. I think that is the big problem is that we don't focus. We don't do it efficiently. We don't do it like the Israelis do. And of course greed, money leads everything.
Once a program starts, it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger whether that's needed or not because the pigs get their snouts at the trough and they want ever more. It's just another part of the military industrial complex. It's just another version of the 3,000 tanks we have sitting rotting in the fields somewhere in California because even the Army said, "We don't want these tanks," doesn't matter. We are still going to build them because it's a jobs program because it's something that gets congressman elected. And Eisenhower was so right when he said watch out for the military industrial complex. You have to put a leash on this thing and we never did and this is just part of that.
MORGAN: Has America become a much more fearful country. It's not of all is driven not just by greed because as you said but it's also by a paranoia, by a fear.
MAHER: Yes. I think absolutely.
MORGAN: Why is that?
MAHER: Well, because I think for one, we don't care to learn about other countries. You know, there's this idea of American exceptionalism.
I mean -- I forgot the static but there was startling number I read of Americans who said they had no desire to ever visit another country.
MAHER: You know, some people can't go because they just can't afford it. And a lot of people just like no, got everything here.
MORGAN: 75 percent of Americans have no passport.
MORGAN: I'm not finding that astonishing.
MAHER: And right, and they don't seem to want one. Why would you want to go overseas when Branson is right here in Missouri?
So, I mean, that's part of the problem. It's, you know, it's very hard to be empathetic with people if you have no knowledge of them. I mean that's part of the problem we have in our own country.
MORGAN: It also kind of paralyzing bureaucracy that comes to every thing. It's what always shocks me as well about America whether you're buying a car or you're buying a house or whatever it maybe or kind of a TV show. It's a sign of shafted paper work this long, eight signatures and so on. It all driven by legal fear, paranoia, someone's going to sue me, I'm going to watch my back.
MAHER: The part of that again is money, middle man.
MAHER: Lawyers ...
MAHER: You know, I mean, we have a lot of middlemen in this country who take a lot of money and they want to keep their jobs. You know, and there's lot of things, you don't need a middleman anymore for three, you know, they don't really need a travel agent anymore. MORGAN: It's true.
MAHER: You know, you don't really need a real estate agent a lot of the time. But try to get them out of the deal.
MORGAN: Beautifully I managed to spring that up for the entire segment. So, we can still come back with the same tease we had last time.
Two words, Ted Cruz. This time, we would talk about Ted Cruz.
MAHER: OK, it's a promise.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER: I know we can't establish a religious test for office. But if you believe we're living in the end times like Michele Bachmann does, we got to take away the car keys.
Yes, let Jesus take the wing. And you think the world is about to end, that's your right but you don't get to vote on next year's budget because it doesn't concern you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER: I was thinking near tonight. He reminds me of Miley Cyrus, Ted Cruz, because he is not afraid to incur the wrath of even some of his fans for the greater good of drawing attention to himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: It's Bill Maher, the comparison of Ted Cruz to Miley Cyrus.
MAHER: Not about that.
MAHER: I remember saying that his filibustering is the political version of twerking. He was twerking when he did that. Yeah.
MORGAN: Well, I know, when it comes to Ted Cruz, I mean, I promised (inaudible) has got sometime in this show.
MORGAN: And once get some striking news from the viewers. Chris Brown is also been involve in another brawl over the weekend, he's been sent to rehab or gone voluntarily his statement from his rep says, "Chris Brown has elected to enter rehab facility. His goal is to gain focus and insight into his past and recent behavior, enabling him to continue the pursuit of his life and his career from a healthier vantage point." MAHER: Oh, yeah, his all about the examined life. I don't know I was at the same hotel as he was this year. We were on somehow playing the same city at the same night and the hotel, we're staying in the same hotel and I remember the woman taking me up to the room and just say, "I figured you celebrities are going to be on the same floor." I didn't want to be on the same floor. Let me tell you, I just like, "Why did you put me on this floor?"
I mean, you know, it was just nonstop, I mean and I like we, but even the smell through like that, you know, and the noise and the people coming and yelling and I said, "Please move me to any other room, any of the floor," but I don't hold that against him.
MORGAN: When he's ever he's getting caught in brawls and then just put themselves and react to get over it.
MAHER: I read -- now this week it was two stories in the news and had to do with race, the Julianne, how -- is that how you pronounce that?
MORGAN: Yeah, (inaudible) the face off you.
MAHER: You shouldn't block her face, OK. First of all, this is (inaudible) black face and doing a specific character. Billy Crystal used to do Sammy Davis Jr. and he made his face darker. That's not black face, black face was something they did in the minstrel era to make fun of an entire race of people plus I doubt it if this women Julianne how-- has the faintest clue about the history of black face and what it is.
So, you know, all the good people the good people who cannot wait if I tell somebody, you are so bad and of course they make everybody apologize which drives me crazy too, but you know, the problem isn't Julianne Hough putting on some John Boehner make up to go to a Halloween party as one specific character, the problem is the reason why Chris Brown was in Washington DC is because he was the host of the their homecoming party. I've real problem with that.
An unknown woman bidder like that is invited by this is esteemed African-American University to be the host of their big event that should be looked at, that's an issue.
MORGAN: Let's go to Ted Cruz because we've been waiting for this. What -- I want to start -- I want to warm you up, I'm playing it what -- and (inaudible)
MAHER: You can tell about Ted Cruz, ironically.
MORGAN: We've been twerking all way through this. Let's go to what Anne Coulter told me a couple of weeks ago about Ted Cruz's chances of becoming president.
ANN COULTER: There will be arguments in a party of ideas that is one thing as I point out in this book. Democrat have the advantage all they want is power, they spend their lives figuring out how do we get elected, we can run other people's lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PMORGAN: Are you imagining going on yourself (inaudible), didn't you. What you make in her argument?
MAHER: It's always perfect -- perfectly wrong, you know. And the way -- Right, it's the Democrats who only care about power. That's right. I mean, look every politician cares about power to a certain degree
But, you know, Democrats, I think in general, they're the policy ones, they're the people who care about actually making government work. Republicans tell you right out front, "We hate government." Then why go into it? If you hate government, you shouldn't do it. That's why I'm not a priest, OK?
So, first of all, that's a nonsensical argument, but if you're asking about Ted Cruz ...
MAHER: ... being president, I think I don't know what her answer was on that but I think he's got a shot because I think he has an absolute shot at the nomination. He is definitely going to be the favorite of the people who vote in Republican primaries. I mean, we saw what it looked like the last time and the time before.
But the problem with the Republican primaries last time for them, they said they didn't have a Ted Cruz in there. That's why they went with Mitt Romney. Remember, they tried every other person, every other Republican got a shot at being number one, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain and Rick Perry, and ...
MORGAN: Michelle Obama.
MAHER: But they were all like even too ridiculous and lame for the Tea Party. But Ted Cruz is a Harvard educated lawyer, he's not a dummy.
MORGAN: (inaudible) and told me one of the brightest students he'd ever had.
MORGAN: So you can't underestimate him.
MAHER: No, you cannot underestimate and he knows exactly how to get those peoples' votes. He has played it exactly right. He is their hero. He is the guy they think finally stood up to the establishment and did what he said and went to Washington and blah, blah, blah. So he is going to be very difficult to beat in the primaries.
MORGAN: Could it be him against Chris Christie?
MAHER: It probably will be.
MORGAN: And who will prevail.
MAHER: You know, if it's the primary voters who vote every time, I think it will be Ted Cruz. Chris Christie may already be toast because during Hurricane Sandy, he put his arm around President Blackenstein, Piers, I mean he's already got Kenya coaties. He may not be able to run at all.
So, yeah, he's suspect. He's from the northeast and he's, once in awhile, said things that make sense. So I mean, he ...
MORGAN: Instantly rule him out.
MAHER: Yeah, he could be ruled out already. I would ...
MORGAN: What would you say about America if Ted Cruz was to win the presidency?
MAHER: You mean oversees, what are they saying about him?
MORGAN: Yeah. What would it mean for America and for America's reputations, you think?
MAHER: You know, we don't know until he -- if he became president. What it would mean, I mean that the Republicans are the masters of the, "Are you kidding me candidate, "you know. I mean, when Ronald Reagan first ran, people are like "Are you kidding me? Ronald Reagan, the Bonzo (ph) guy is getting into politics?" I mean, Dan Quayle was "Are you kidding me?"
George W. Bush, when he first ran, people thought it was his father. Sarah Palin, they have no shame. So I'm not surprised that it's going to be Ted Cruz. Better than Rick Santorum (inaudible). Think of that.
MORGAN: Let's take a break. Let's come back and talk about two things dear to your heart, sex and drugs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER: We know now that a record 58 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. Federal government has to hurry up and do something about it. Come on guys, I have to decide what I'm handing out for Halloween.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was my special guest Bill Maher. Lots of people tweeting tonight including Miah Farrah (ph) (inaudible) she just twitted Bill Maher, well said tonight on health care.
MAHER: Thank you, Mia (ph).
MORGAN: Real time, real opinion.
MAHER: Congratulations on your new celebrity, son.
MORGAN: Yeah, that would be interesting. Now, tell me this, because you're the perfect guy to ask. Why is it that issues like gay rights and marijuana moves so fast and so liberally if you like and yet nothing has happened on guns? What does it say about American culture that those two issues, people are very happy to move in times and change. But one is, culturally, apparently, irrevocable.
MAHER: Well, because first of all, we're the gun country.
MORGAN: Will it ever change?
MAHER: Probably not in my lifetime. You know, although less and less people do have gun -- has been -- and more guns being sold.
MORGAN: Less people have more guns, isn't that right?
MAHER: Right. It's the people -- it's a fetish at this point, you know. And look, I'm a gun owner. I'm just not a proud gun owner. I don't like guns. I would never want to have to use a gun. I would say, they're like antibiotics. I hope I never have to use them, but I don't love my antibiotics. I don't polish my amoxicillin and put my cipro in a glass case and take pictures with it.
But people are like that in America. You know, they'd try to pass legislature in the number of states limiting people to one gun a month and that was not acceptable.
MAHER: And then what about Christmas, when you have to buy, you know, guns for everybody. The kids.
MORGAN: The number of children being killed by guns in America is rocketing. They just -- figures came out yesterday just in a huge surge in the system accidental or otherwise deaths of kids around us.
MAHER: To answer your question why it's not changing is because there is no opposition party. The Democrats love guns too.
MAHER: They just love guns slightly less. And I mean, I would not be inspired by with the Democrats say about guns either. Joe Biden said this year, "You want a gun? Buy a shotgun." Well, that guy in Washington -- the Naval Center ...
MORGAN: There you go.
MAHER: I think he was listening to Joe Biden because he used a shotgun. I would say that the Democrats, they are asking for a three- second waiting period because that's what it would be if you limited the number of clips, somebody would have to change clips and then start shooting again.
So, unless we got a real political party that was going to go at the second amendment directly which they should because the second amendment was never meant to be what it ...
MAHER: ... come down to and what the Supreme Court has said at is now. Nothing is going to change. And that seems to be the way Americans like it.
MORGAN: Bill Clinton told me that the only way it would change would be if American people went to the ballot box and actively voted in favor of people who were in favor of some form of gun control.
MAHER: Yes. Well, I doubt if that's going to happen.
MORGAN: Would you didn't think would happen very well.
MAHER: No. I mean the Democrats he would know better than anyone, Al Gore lost Tennessee his home state in the 2000 election and the lesson the Democrats took from that was, don't come out against guns too strongly. But they had to say something after the Sandy Hook episode, but you saw far that went and that mentioned (inaudible) bill that came out was, you know, it was not something that was going to affect whether anybody was going to live or die in this country probably, maybe a few at the margins.
MORGAN: On a positive note on gay rights and on -- well many would say it's a positive marijuana as well much more accepted. Are you surprised that the speed with which both those things have moved in public opinion.
MAHER: Well, I would hardly call it speedy. When I was in college I remember I was talking about how well when we get a little older marijuana, you know, is going to be legal because, you know, we know it's not harmful and we're going to be the ones to takeover.
Well, I'm 57 now, it's -- and two states have it legal. So, it hasn't exactly been a speedy trip. But now that 58 percent of people that was a shocking poll that we have last week, 58 percent of people said, "They want marijuana to be legal." Yeah, we're working on something this week which is basically the idea that the Republicans would be smart to steal this issue.
This is an issue they could steal from the Democrats, Democrats have dropped the ball on this, Democrats always afraid of the polls that's one thing I'll give to Republicans they're not afraid at the polls, they move polls, they don't run from them. Democrats run from the polls.
As soon as gay marriage was at 51 percent approval suddenly a lot of Democrats evolved on that issue. Now, that's it's in 58 percent for pot we'll see, but I wouldn't bet on it because marijuana, being against marijuana is always been the little fig leaf that Democrats like to use to show America that they're tough on crime and mainstream, and all this nonsense.
But they should be careful because even John McCain said last week, "Maybe we should legalize it."
MAHER: And we should give the people what they want, listen to the will of the people. Rand Paul is on that page. Republicans could take this issue because unlike so many other issues this does not violate their principles, you know, what they are the people who want less government regulation, more individual freedom, a lot better than embracing pot.
So, you know, I say that like they're going to do it, they're not. But if they're smart they would.
MORGAN: Could you see a timing 30, 40 years in America, where issues like gay marriage, marijuana became federal issues? And will just a federal law encompassing the whole of America?
MAHER: Absolutely, I mean that's what happens when the tipping point is reached with the states, I think that's what would happen with gay marriage and probably some day with marijuana itself. I mean one reason to answer your question why marijuana has moved so slowly is because it's ...
MORGAN: But I thought it move quite quickly. But, you don't think you it has.
MAHER: No, I don't think it has, it's because people always found it so easy to get weed.
MAHER: Even before they had medical marijuana story I don't know anybody in America ever couldn't get weed like that and that include kids in high school.
So, there was never big motivation, "Oh we got to make it legal."
MORGAN: Let's take another break. Let's come back and talk about low tee what you call the feminizator (ph) of the country. Sounds fascinating.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER: I would say that the feminine values are now the values of America. Sensitivity is more important than truth. Feelings are more important than facts. Commitment is more important than individuality. Children are more important than people. Safety is more important than fun. I always hear women say, "You know, married men live longer." Yes, and indoor cat also. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was our special guest Bill Maher, the first stand up on TV.
MAHER: No, there.
MORGAN: What could you say give you one of these for the rest of your life? Which would you choose?
MAHER: You're asking me to choose between my children?
MAHER: I couldn't. I mean I love stand up so much. I mean it's -- I guess at this point a hobby because it's not really my day job and it's sort of a hobby in the sense that I love it like a hobby. I work on all the details. It's kind of like building a ship in a bottle when I'm putting my act together, but I wouldn't drag my ass around this country almost every weekend if I didn't love it.
And the other thing is that, you know, I've been lucky enough to be on TV for 20 years but it will end at some point. I mean they put Johnny Carson not to pass. Johnny was 67 and he was the biggest star in America. It's going to happen to all of us. And I know I still had stand up.
MORGAN: Will you literally do stand up until the day they carry you out in a box?
MAHER: George Carlin did. He was -- he almost died on stage.
MORGAN: Will that be your dream exit from life?
MAHER: It would be a great way to go.
MORGAN: Because as an atheist it's pretty final that moment, I mean.
MAHER: Yes. George Burns was booked when he was 100. He almost made it. He was booked to play the Palladium. And he damn near made it.
MORGAN: Truthfully you want to live to be 100?
MAHER: Well, I'm hoping Reichert Well (ph) is correct and I'll live forever because, you know, he says that what he calls the singularity that's coming in the year 2029 points out that we're already partly machine, people have all kinds of stents and artificial hearts. And Dick Cheney, you know, is healthier than he was at 40. Dick Cheney is such a lucky guy. Every time he was about to croak, they came up with some heart ...
MORGAN: No. I interviewed his surgeon this week.
MORGAN: And after, did he think he performed a valuable public service. He didn't really -- it's very funny but I want to play you a clip by just a bit.
MAHER: John called Dick Cheney home and he refused to go.
MORGAN: Let's play a clip from Dick Cheney talking to Billy O'Reilly this week about the media in America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: There are some elements out there like Fox, like your show that I think are seriously objective and reflective of what I think a lot of Americans believe. I do find that the names here in media often times is what I'd consider off- based or has a bias.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: So Fox is the voice of reason.
MAHER: Is that -- Is he the illegitimate father of Anne Coulter? Because he just discovers on -- that's -- I mean that's of course ridiculous of being Fox News that -- one of the main problems as we all know with the Republican Party in this era is where they get their information, you know, they get it in this bubble, and if you look at Republican polling.
And I'm not talking about just the Tea Party, it turned out the mainstream Republican Party. Look at some of the astounding percentages of what they believe like 44 percent think Benghazi is the worst scandal ever. Really? Worst than Watergate, the trail of tears and slavery, and Japanese interment, you're giving syphilis deliberately to Guatemalan mental patients, really? Benghazi, the worst scandal ever?
I think the same number, 44 percent think Obama is conniving for a way to stay in office, past 2017. I mean this is because they live in the Fox News bubble because in that bubble Benghazi for example is just the worst scandal that ever happened because ...
MORGAN: Someone just said now we have Fox News and you got MSNBC, you've got CNN, you got plenty of choice out there. Does it really matter, does it matter that Fox News does its agenda that Rachel Maddow does hers, I mean you go where you want to come in.
My dad came to America the first time last year. Listened to Bill O'Reilly every night and absolutely loved every word he said, and what I think (inaudible) come, we have Bill O'Reilly in Britain, I said, well there are number of reasons father, though.
MORGAN: I explain them to you.
MAHER: Margaret Thatcher's dead, that's why.
MORGAN: Right. Does it matter? MAHER: Well, it does matter because when we didn't use to have this kind of places where you could retreat to your, you know, (inaudible) of thinking, public discourse was the better for it because you had to hear a conflicting idea, now you don't. And that's true on the left and to and CNN suffers for that to a degree because it tries to play it down the middle and people generally want to hear what they already believe in.
MAHER: The difference between Fox and MSNBC is you could fact check what they say on MSNBC and they are very rarely wrong. They are not flying in the face of Fox. Fox checks what they say on Fox, you will find almost every night Bill O'Reilly says something that is insanely off-based and not true. It doesn't matter what Republicans do is they meet in their lair, they get their talking point straight.
Altogether they go on the talk how, they say the exact same talking points, things like, well, ObamaCare is causing people to fire workers and hire them back as part timers. Completely notch, they don't care, Fox never get in the way of their talking points.
And so for people that will only listen to Fox News, they can wake up with Matt Drudge and have lunch with Rush Limbaugh and go to bed with Bill O'Reilly and that's all they're going to know is what they hear there and very often this people do not care what the truth is.
MORGAN: Thank God you're here, it's the best things out in the month.
MAHER: Yes, thank God. Yeah, that's what I think.
MORGAN: Well, let's take another break and comeback and I have a picture of you wrestling Jay Leno.
MORGAN: That doesn't get him staying, nothing will.
MAHER: I can't even remember that.
MORGAN: You actually wrestled Jay Leno on camera.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER: You know you're a very good looking man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: They've called it one baby pool, back 1994. You couldn't even remember that happening.
MAHER: I'm watching it today. It's really not even coming back to me. You'd think I would remember that? But, you know ...
MORGAN: (inaudible) I'd remember it.
MAHER: I know -- oh, look at that. Jessie Jay always has to win. That's how immature it gets.
MORGAN: What do you make of Jay Leno?
MAHER: I like Jay Leno. I'm unabashedly a Jay Leno fan.
MORGAN: Why is it Jay is such a hard wrath from other comedians? Is it jealousy?
MAHER: Oh, well, of course a lot of it is that.
MORGAN: Because I always thought of him incredibility nice, charming.
MAHER: Yes. Believe me, everyone could do a lot better in their personal life by saying what would Jay do and they could do a lot better in their professional life.
You know, it's only held down that job for 20 years.
MAHER: I mean, you know, we're talking about Johnny Carson and being put out the past year when he was 67. But Johnny really had gotten a little old hat by that time.
Jay is pretty much the same Jay that he was. I understand why networks need to get rid of people, but this is twice their firing him for their crime of being number one.
And, you know, for any of you young people out there are looking to get at show business here is a great tip. You need an agent. This is the great lesson of the Jay Leno fiasco.
Jay doesn't have an agent.
MORGAN: He does himself right?
MAHER: He doesn't have someone talking in the ear of the network executive like the other guys do saying, get rid of Jay, he's too old.
You know, if he had an agent all the agent have to do he's number one. He's your catch cow. Don't get rid of the guy who is number one. But he doesn't have that ...
MORGAN: Do you have an agent?
MAHER: ... so he would listen -- of course. I'm not insane? You have to have someone representing you.
MORGAN: Bill Maher, I could talk to you for hours.
MAHER: Thank you. MORGAN: And I hope to do so again very soon. And catch Bill at Real Time (inaudible) on Friday night HBO 10 PM. Bill will also I can remind you be appearing at the Pearl of the Palms in Las Vegas November the 2nd and 3rd and (inaudible) theater in New Orleans on November the 16th. Great to see you.
MAHER: Thank you so much. I appreciate that.
MORGAN: Great to see you.
MAHER: Great pleasure.
MORGAN: Come back soon.
That's all for us tonight. AC 360 Later starts right now.