Real Time with Bill Maher: Ron DeSantis Faces Tough Questions in First Episode Post-Writers Guild Strike

On October 1, 2023, HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” aired an episode featuring Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as its guest.[0] This was Maher’s first episode since the Writers Guild of America strike, which had lasted for 148 days and recently ended. The episode garnered attention and sparked a heated discussion between Maher and DeSantis.

During the interview, Maher questioned DeSantis about his chances of defeating former President Donald Trump in the GOP primary.[1] Maher expressed skepticism, stating, “Why run against Trump? You’re trying to thread this needle that will never happen.”[1] He further added, “I mean, let’s face it Ron, if this campaign was going well, you wouldn’t be on this show.”[1] Maher continued to challenge DeSantis on his viability in the race, emphasizing that Trump was ahead in the polls.

DeSantis defended his candidacy, highlighting his track record as a leader in Florida. He claimed that he could win the election and criticized Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.[2] DeSantis stated, “We need accountability for what this government did to this country with the COVID restrictions, mandates, and lockdowns. Donald Trump is not going to do that.”[3]

The interview also touched on DeSantis’ ongoing legal battles with Disney and his support for election deniers. Maher criticized DeSantis for campaigning for election deniers in 2022, stating, “This I cannot forgive.”[3] DeSantis responded by pointing out that Hollywood celebrities had also questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s election in 2016.[4]

Maher and DeSantis discussed the recent Republican primary debate, which Maher described as a “s–t show.”[5] Maher questioned DeSantis about his victory in the debate, asking, “What did you win? No, honestly. With Trump not in the race, what did you win?”[5] DeSantis defended his performance and emphasized the importance of meeting voters and making the case for his candidacy.

The interview concluded with a lighthearted moment, as Maher jokingly remarked to DeSantis, “You know he is taller and better looking,” referring to California Governor Gavin Newsom.[1]

Overall, the episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” featuring Ron DeSantis sparked a lively debate between the two, highlighting the political landscape and the challenges faced by candidates in the GOP primary. The interview provided viewers with insights into DeSantis’ campaign and his views on various issues, including the pandemic and election integrity.

0. “Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ return to include presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis – X101 Always Classic” X101 Always Classic Local News, 28 Sep. 2023,

1. ““Why Is This Guy Picking A Fight With Mickey Mouse?” Bill Maher Asks Ron DeSantis On ‘Real Time’s Post-WGA Strike Return” Deadline, 30 Sep. 2023,

2. “Bill Maher Tells DeSantis, ‘Let’s Face It Ron, If This Campaign Was Going Well, You Wouldn’t Be on This Show’” Mediaite, 30 Sep. 2023,

3. “DeSantis says Trump can’t win and ‘can’t get the job done'” New York Post , 30 Sep. 2023,

4. “Is Real Time with Bill Maher new tonight, September 29?” Last Night On, 29 Sep. 2023,

5. “Bill Maher Asks Ron DeSantis to ‘Get Rid of’ Doug Burgum: ‘This Guy Could Start Dating Taylor Swift, No One Would Care’ (Video)” Yahoo Entertainment, 30 Sep. 2023,

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