HBO host Bill Maher elicited an “Oh, my god,” from Chris Matthews when he appeared on Hardball and gave his assessment of conservative icon Sarah Palin and Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.).
Maher referenced a sexual euphemism by labeling the two female Republicans as ‘MILFs’ on Wednesday’s show.
“They’re attractive especially to the Republican Party, which is not known as a party that really does well with the opposite sex,” he said. “Usually they’re doughy white men and I think they look on Michele Bachmann and, and Sarah Palin, as you know, MILFs and I agree, they’re Morons I’d Like to Forget.”
Matthews seemed shocked by Maher’s statement even though he had demeaned Palin’s intelligence and knowledge of political issues only moments before.
“When she gives a prepared speech from her stump she’s talking about the Crimea, she’s talking about the Ukraine, about Chechnya,” Matthews said. “She’s got opinions about Iran. It’s absolutely world wide the areas she’s touching on. My only belief is she’s got neo-cons scribbling all this stuff in crayon for her and she’s reading it out like she knows what she’s talking about but if you ask her one question she doesn’t know any answer. So I am a little bit puzzled but I’m not really.”
Wednesday’s show wasn’t the first time Maher has made inflammatory statements about Palin. When he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno earlier this month, Maher slammed Palin for coining the term “death panels” to criticize health care reform.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sarah Palin screaming about death panelsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦you know Sarah? If we were killing off useless people, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be the first to know,” Maher said.
Bachmann and Palin have begun campaigning together in recent weeks, adding fuel to speculation that they are considering a bid for the presidency in 2012. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Palin said a Palin/Bachmann ticket for 2012 “sounds kinda cool.”
A transcript of Maher’s exchange with Matthews is available below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, that windshield wiper wave of her [Sarah Palin] attracts 10,000 people in Boston today in the Common. I don’t think Mike Huckabee could drive 10,000 or Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney in Boston, his hometown. She can draw a crowd and she turns them on and every time we watch a rally the people in front her seem to go into some sort of a frenzy. So what’s that about? Do we ignore that because it seems rare in politics today.
BILL MAHER: Yeah, you should ignore that. I mean you can get 10,000 people to Ã¢â‚¬â€œ what? I mean you have, you have a association your show called “The Sideshow” it is a, it is a sideshow. This is a person who, when Glenn Beck asked her to name her favorite Founding Father, other than George Washington, she couldn’t come up with one. You know she gave the same answer she gave to Katie Couric about magazines. “I like ’em all.”
MAHER: You know what, let’s not even go into, let’s not even go into specifics about that one.
MATTHEWS: But when you read it, the thing is, Bill, when you – she doesn’t know answers to questions, but and apparently according to our side show element tonight, the deal is when she gives a speech all questions have to be screened and approved by God knows who her camp. But yet when she gives a prepared speech from her stump she’s talking about the Crimea, she’s talking about the Ukraine, about Chechnya. She’s got opinions about Iran. It’s absolutely world wide the areas she’s touching on. My only belief is she’s got neo-cons scribbling all this stuff in crayon for her and she’s reading it out like she knows what she’s talking about but if you ask her one question she doesn’t know any answer. So I am a little bit puzzled but I’m not really.
MAHER: Yes. I’d like to see her on Jeopardy Chris.
MATTHEWS: Ha! Ha!
MAHER: I would love to see her and Michele Bachman on Jeopardy. I think it would be the all-time low score.
MATTHEWS: What do you make of those two ladies when they came out and did sort of a competition, they showed up together looking – well, they are attractive ladies, let’s say that, and they were very good at drawing that crowd up there in Minnesota, which I used to think was Hubert Humphrey and Gene McCarthy country, and now it’s that country.
MAHER: Well, I think you’re right. I think you hit on something there. They’re attractive especially to the Republican Party, which is not known as a party that really does well with the opposite sex. Usually they’re doughy white men and I think they look on Michele Bachmann and, and Sarah Palin, as you know, M.I.L.Fs and I agree, they’re Morons I’d Like to Forget.
MATTHEWS: Oh my God. Let’s take a look. Here’s Sarah Palin leaving the stage today in Boston. Here’s what the announcers said along those lines, Bill, I think you’ll have some material here. Let’s listen to what the announcers said as these, as this, as Sarah Palin left the stage.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Did you hear that my lefty friends? Did you see that? Conservative women, they’re smarter than you and they’re hotter than you!
MATTHEWS: Did you pick up on that little sidebar and there? “They’re hotter than you, they’re smarter than you.” So now they do claim an advantage in that department of glamour for the first time, I guess, in a while. The Democratic Party used to that that edge. Now the conservative party, the tea partiers are claiming the, the glamour edge Mr. Maher?
MAHER: Right and this is the, this is the criterion we’re using to judge our, our field for national candidates? You know we have a terrible deficit in this country. You know what else we also have a deficit in? Female role models.
MATTHEWS: Well, I don’t know about that. We’ve got, we’ve got the Secretary of State, we’ve got a couple of senators from California. They’re pretty impressive. We’ve got a very impressive senator from Missouri and from Minnesota. I’ve gotten to know a lot of them and they’re very impressive.