HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher declared he will vote in the midterms and beyond based on COVID policy, noting that Republican states like Florida are “freer” than blue states like California.
“I feel like Florida and California crystalize the two sides of America. And man, it’s so interesting, Republicans, freedom was always their brand. But now, abortion rights, taking away of freedom, it’s kind of a new ball game with that,” Maher said Friday.
Maher criticized California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) ad campaign claiming his state champions freedom more than other states despite imposing some of the strictest COVID policies in the nation.
“So, I guess my question is, who’s got the freedom fight now? Because I could see the Republicans saying, well, we stand up for your right to have your guns, we don’t [support] COVID bullshit mandates, you have your freedom to be free. I certainly don’t always feel free in this state, I must say. And I have felt freer in Florida,” he admitted.
Newsom’s ad campaign is likely driven by the fact California ranks second in outbound moves due to the high cost of living, arbitrary COVID mandates, and high crime.
Democratic Strategist Lis Smith later argued that Republicans want to make “private healthcare decisions” for women, referring to the abortion debate, but Maher cautioned her against that rhetoric, noting the hypocrisy pertaining to COVID mandates.
“And we’re all against that, I certainly am, but ‘private healthcare decisions,’ be careful with that phrase,” Maher told her. “I read on the front page of The New York Times this week, there is a new voting bloc, a new constituency: anti-mandate.”
“This is mostly parents, but these are people who are not going to vote based on Republican or Democrat. They’re going to vote based on COVID policy. I’m one of them and I don’t even have kids,” he said.
“It’s a medical issue. I do not want to be dictated. There is no ‘the science,’ especially in medical science. You can recommend whatever you like, but I must insist you don’t insist how I handle my health,” Maher added.