Rand Paul and Bill Maher had drinks, according to Maher
The comedian has said he's open to backing Paul in 2016
But Maher says Paul's views on climate change may be a deal breaker
Sen. Rand Paul has spent quite a bit of time reaching out to liberals over the past year, and that list apparently now includes Bill Maher.
Paul, a libertarian-leaning Republican from Kentucky, and Maher, a comedian who shares some of Paul’s libertarian views, had drinks two weeks ago, Maher told the liberal news outlet Salon.
The two met not long after Maher said on his HBO show that Paul is “interesting” and could “possibly” get his vote. If the 2016 presidential race came down to Paul and Hillary Clinton, Maher said he might consider backing Paul.
Maher said he was most attracted to Paul because of the senator’s general views on foreign policy, though he’s not a fan of his recent support for bombing ISIS.
“He’s great on ending the empire, not getting into any more foreign entanglements – I’m even to the left of him on the bombing (of ISIS); he wants to keep bombing ISIS, I want us to stop bombing altogether,” he said.
While Maher donated $1 million to a super PAC backing President Barack Obama in 2012, he has been less than enthusiastic about a potential Clinton presidency, especially when it comes to her foreign policy.
But Maher told Salon there’s stark daylight between him and Paul on a different issue.
“I had drinks with him about two weeks ago. He’s a nice guy, he’s a smart guy. My big problem is I asked him about the environment, which is my big issue,” Maher said. “He had made a comment that was very similar to what Dick Cheney said about a month or two ago, which was basically, ‘Why are we talking the environment when ISIS is out there?’ I said, ‘Senator, y’know, you sounded just like Dick Cheney.’ “
Last month, Paul blasted Clinton for saying climate change marked the “most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face.”
“I don’t think we really want a commander in chief who’s battling climate change instead of terrorism,” Paul said on Fox News.
Maher said that Paul’s answer on the environment was “wholly unsatisfactory” and that the senator would lose his vote based entirely on that issue unless Paul comes up with a better answer.
“This is the deal-breaker issue with me. You’ve got to be good on this or, I’m sorry, not going to happen,” Maher said.
“Real Time with Bill Maher” airs on HBO, which, like CNN, is a division of Time Warner.