WATCH: Bill Maher panel expertly explains how Trump used bigotry and fear to take over the GOP
HBO host Bill Maher, Fareed Zakaria -- HBO screenshot

On the "Overtime" segment of HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher and his panel of guests pondered whatever became of the resistance to Donald Trump from mainstream Republicans -- known as "Never Trumpers" -- since the election.

With the host comparing the changing of the Republican old guard to the demise of "neanderthals," the question turned to how Trump was able to take on 16 senators and governors in the primaries to snatch the nomination away.

According to guest, CNN host Fareed Zakaria, Trump set aside traditional GOP talking points from the Reagan era and instead appealed to the Republicans' simmering racist base.

"I think Trump recognized that the base of the Republican Party was in a completely different place than the elites in Washington," Zakaria explained. "The elites in Washington were still reciting the Reagan formula: free trade, expansionist foreign policy, entitlement reform."

"The base of the party is now a white working class base that wants to hear about Mexicans, Muslims and Chinese people," he elaborated. "They want to hear about how the Mexicans are taking their jobs, how the Chinese people are taking their factories and how the Muslims are killing you. Trump says, 'I'll beat them all up, you'll be great again.'"

Watch the video below via HBO on YouTube: