Bill Maher: Did Jeb Bush become a Catholic to 'play the margins' with Florida voters?
Bill Maher shows 'working title' for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) new book on Jan. 16, 2015. [YouTube]

Real Time host Bill Maher followed up on his recent criticism of ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) by suggesting that he may have converted to Catholicism in order to curry favor with voters.


"Jeb Bush converted to Catholicism in 1996 – 22 years after marrying his Mexican-born wife, Columba, -- and conveniently between the first time he ran for governor (and lost) and the second time he ran, and won," Maher wrote on the show's blog on Tuesday. "The Bushes play election hardball, but they also play the margins. They look for every little edge. So is there something to this?"

Maher argued that Bush's brother, former President George W. Bush, "coincidentally" became an evangelical Protestant before being elected governor of Texas, where those voters outnumber Catholics by 10 percentage points.

Similarly, Maher wrote, "Jeb noticed his wife was Catholic after 22 years" before running in Florida, where 26 percent of voters are Catholic, one percentage point more than evangelical Protestants. As the Washington Post reported in 2003, Bush became a Roman Catholic like his wife Columba in 1996, two years before being elected governor.

"Now, of course, who am I to question God's power to work wondrous change?" Maher wrote. "I'm just saying the Bush boys tend to believe in whatever juju the locals do."

Maher also accused Jeb Bush of "d*cking around with Terri Schiavo" using religion as an excuse, while approving the executions of 21 prisoners during his tenure as governor. Last Friday, he called Bush a "cynical turd" for pushing jail-only anti-drug laws as governor while making an exception for his own daughter.