On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” liberal host Bill Maher clashed with conservative commentator Ann Coulter over birtherism, immigration, lukewarm Republicans and the legacy of Coulter’s “boyfriend” Ronald Reagan.
Coulter began the segment by explaining one of the main points of her book, “Never Trust a Liberal over 3 — Especially a Republican,” which focused on Republicans who hurt the conservative cause. They led to a debate between her and the “Real Time” host over immigration reform and why it would hurt the Republican Party to go along with any of the measures being debated in Washington, D.C.
Partial transcript as follows:
COULTER: If you want to attack people in your own party you should become a Democrat? No, I am saying that maybe it would be better if we went after Democrats than one another when it comes to elections.
MAHER: But you have quite a shit list of people in your own party —
COULTER: Yes, I do.
MAHER: — who are apparently too liberal. Is that a problem, Republicans who are too liberal?
COULTER: A few of them. But I mean, a lot of Republicans that I attack I’m attacking because they’re attacking other Republicans. So —
MAHER: Marco Rubio, I mean he has 100 percent rating from the American Conservative [Union]
COULTER: He’s been in the Senate for six minutes.
MAHER: No, he’s been there for a couple of years.
COULTER: I’m attacking him on a particular issue. I’m attacking the issue of amnesty. I mean, you just had a monologue where you talk about the poorest Americans. Amnesty hurts the poorest Americans. It hurts the working class. It hurts African-Americans most of all. You know, Romney got 20 percent of the young black male vote. That’s higher than Republicans have gotten for 50 years. [To an audience heckler] We have a genius who is familiar with how young African-Americans vote. You want to come up and tell us about that?
MAHER: What are we defining as young?
COULTER: Under 30, which is shocking for Republicans. Why? Is it they want jobs, because he was the one who was the most anti-amnesty? That is why I’m against Marco Rubio pushing amnesty and by the way, lying about it. He goes around saying enforcement first, enforcement first. Look at the bill, first step — amnesty.
MAHER: Wasn’t the guy who did the most for amnesty your boyfriend, Ronald Reagan? Didn’t he sign amnesty?
COULTER: Well, he also signed the most liberal abortion bill in the country when he was governor of California. I don’t accept appeals to authority just because Reagan did something. I mean, we saw that it was a bad idea. It was only three million then. Unfortunately, you grant amnesty, it leads to a lot more people coming in. That’s one of the reasons we shouldn’t be granting amnesty.
MAHER: But you do realize that net immigration is zero from Mexico? Zero, zero.
COULTER: What do you mean net — oh, they’re claiming that now because of the economy. We’re hoping the economy will get better.
MAHER: Well, that’s not the only reason. It’s because 30 years ago, Mexican women were having seven children. Now they have two. Their economy is better. Ours is worse.
COULTER: Yeah, we have a rotten economy.
MAHER: But basically they’re not coming. No one wants to get into your shitty disco anymore.
COULTER: That’s not —
MAHER: Why do we need to put on extra security?
COULTER: The point is for the 11 million here, which is what they’re claiming it is. It could be more. It could be less. They are illegal aliens, so who knows? The point is do we give them amnesty? My thought is, A) it’s a seller’s market. Why shouldn’t we be skimming the cream and getting the best immigrants in the entire world getting to come here rather than: “lives within walking distance” — point one. And point two, it really does hurt the poorest among us. Why aren’t we getting people to compete with me, you, senators, governors?
MAHER: That’s actually a fair point, the Democrats, the party of the working man, should take on that issue.
COULTER: Yeah, that’s right. And why do they want it? They want it because they know that they will vote 8-to-2 for the Democrats. I promise you if illegal immigrants would vote 8-to-2 for the Republicans, Chuck Schumer will be on the border with the minute men.
Coulter also explained a comment from Rafael Cruz, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, who said President Barack Obama back to Kenya.
MAHER: But Ted Cruz’s father, you know, when he says go back to Kenya.
COULTER: That was a joke.
MAHER: It was so not a joke. We’ve all seen the video. It was not a —
COULTER: I’ve seen the video! They’re laughing and the audience is laughing. It’s a joke!
MAHER: They’re clapping. Are you serious?
MAHER: This is the question —
COULTER: I give speeches all around the country and I’m telling you Kenya references always kill. It’s a joke.
MAHER: They kill, yes.
COULTER: The whole birther reference, you know the whole birther theory came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was shot down by my newspaper, Human Events, by American Spectator, by National Review, by Fox. The only way you heard about the birther claim was on MSNBC, mostly Chris Matthews. We were the ones producing his birth certificate.