Governor Ron DeSantis appeared on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Saturday, where he received praise and faced challenging questions on various topics. Maher commended DeSantis for his handling of COVID-19, even criticizing a New York Times article for its negative portrayal of DeSantis’s pandemic response. Throughout the discussion, DeSantis seemed to strike a chord with the audience who responded to the governor with laughter and even applause at certain points. See clips from the show below.
DeSantis reminded Maher that he acted faster than most states in reducing lockdowns and reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. He went on, “I think we need accountability for what this government did to this country with the COVID restrictions mandates and lockdowns. Donald Trump is not gonna do that… He’s not going to clean house at CDC, NIH, FDA. I will do that.”
“You did handle it better … You were more right and they won’t give you credit for it,” Maher responded. “That’s the part of you I like.”
Bill Maher: “It is unfair what they did to you. You did handle COVID better, you were right…and they won’t give you credit.”
DeSantis: “Well it’s not about credit…they were wrong…and I’ll bring accountability so it never happens in our country again.”pic.twitter.com/Kr1xBDn5eh
— Michael P Senger (@michaelpsenger) September 30, 2023
A more light-hearted moment occurred when Maher mentioned another potential presidential candidate, Doug Burgum and his presence at debates.
— 2024WarRoom (@2024WarRoom) September 30, 2023
At the heart of the conversation between the two was DeSantis’ presidential ambition. Maher questioned DeSantis’s decision to run for the 2024 Republican nomination, especially against a prominent figure like former President Donald Trump. In response, DeSantis was confident, asserting that not only could he win the nomination but that he was the right candidate to “get the job done.” He added, “I don’t think he (Trump) can win the election. I could win the election. Two: I don’t think he could actually get the job done that we need to do.