Real Time’s Bill Maher and smarmy Ted Cruz went at it this Friday when Cruz tried to weasel out of what he about Democrats not wanting to want to play by the rules of democracy. Cruz apparently has a book to sell, and Maher was way too nice to him during most of the interview, but he did at least shoot down the lame both siderism Cruz attempted here.
MAHER: You were one of 11 senators who voted not to certify the last election. One of 11. Do you think Biden didn’t win?
CRUZ: Biden is clearly the president.
MAHER: Well, that’s not the question, or the answer. Do you think he won? Was it a fair election?
CRUZ: Those are very different questions. Did he win and is he the president, yes. Was it fair? Look, there were lots of things that were unfair about the last election.
MAHER: But it’s been combed over more than any election ever, even by the people on your side, and they say it’s not. This is from your book. You say, “Democrats, whose capacity for shamelessness never ceases to astound me, were no longer willing to play by the rules of democracy.” Now I know you’re funny now, but is that a joke? The Democrats don’t want to play by the rules of democracy?
CRUZ: What was the context before and after that? I’m sorry, the one sentence I’m not remembering?
MAHER: Well, I don’t know, but you wrote that. The Democrats are “no longer willing to play by the rules of democracy.” I wanted to read it because I feel like it’s the exact opposite of what I think, which is that the Republicans, including you, January 6th, etc., are the ones who are no longer willing to play by the rules of democracy. It seems like your idea has switched, and the Republican party, to, elections only count if we win. And then we will endlessly litigate them, even though your own… it was laughed out of court, like sixty different courts. I mean, all we have, the Secretaries of State, even the Republican ones, everybody said, Trump’s own election people said it was one of the most fair, well run elections ever. Why won’t you let it go?
CRUZ: So, no, you’re the one that’s not letting it go. You’re the one that’s asking about it. But let me be clear about something.
MAHER: I’m asking about your history.
CRUZ: Listen, I believe passionately in democracy, and I also believe voter fraud is a real and persistent problem, and it’s weird that Democrats have taken the view…
MAHER: It’s not. It’s been studied.
CRUZ: Okay, so you don’t think it is, but you what? I have never once seen you, or any other host ask Hillary Clinton why she said in 2016 that Donald Trump was an illegitimate president. I’ve never seen you ask Democrats why they objected to the presidential certification in 2001, that was George W. Bush, in 2005, that was George W. Bush and in 2016, that was Donald Trump. And so I don’t think we should be… a double standard here.
MAHER: Okay, well, there is a double standard, because there’s two different things going on and one of them is a demonstration, a mild protestation of something. Al Gore was the head of the Senate that time. He had to pass the baton in an election he knew he won, and his…
CRUZ: He knew he won. Isn’t that being an election denier? You just said Al Gore won that election.
MAHER: Well he, okay, he did not win that election. I’m sorry. You’re right. I meant to say he won the popular vote. (crosstalk) Yes, I understand, but the other candidate’s brother stopped the count in Florida.
CRUZ: That’s not accurate.
MAHER: The Supreme Court stopped the counting. His own brother ran that election in Florida.
CRUZ: His brother was the governor of Florida. Hold on. Facts matter. They counted the votes four times in Florida. George W. Bush won all four times. I was part of the legal team litigating that case, so I was intimately involved in Bush vs Gore. Every time they counted the votes, Bush won.
MAHER: The bigger point is that Al Gore took one for the team. He came out and said, okay, you know, this is a really fucked up election, but this is America. The jewel in our crown is we pass power peacefully and I’m not going to be the first guy not to do that. Nixon let it go in 1960. That could have been a disputed election. Hillary came out in her God damned purple suit, so she did it! Before the sun rose, she did it, before the cock crowed three times, she came out and said Trump is the president. That’s what you guys will not do!
CRUZ: Joe Biden is the president. What do you mean we won’t do it? I’m fighting him every day and he’s screwing up the country and the world. No, I’m quite aware Joe Biden is the president. I wish he wasn’t but it’s not lost on me, who it is that caused a war in Europe with Ukraine, that gave a hundred billion dollars to Iran and the terrorists…
MAHER: Wait, he caused the war in Ukraine?
CRUZ: Yes. You want to know how?
MAHER: No, but next time.