Bill Maher called out the Republican presidential candidates for what he called an “empathy gap” that suggested hypocrisy in their hardline stances on new immigration despite personal family histories that reveal greater sympathy for immigrants in their own families.
“You can’t spend the first half of a debate bitching about how immigrants are ruining the country and the second half on the uplifting stories of your immigrant parents,” Maher said on his HBO show “Real Time.”
“The Republicans all talk about building walls and deportation and making people learn English — and then, John Kasich: ‘My grandmother was an immigrant who could barely speak English.’ Ted Cruz: ‘My father was an immigrant from Cuba who didn’t speak English.’ Marco Rubio: ‘My parents arrived with no money barely speaking English.'”
Maher being Maher, he saved his most comical zinger for the Republican frontrunner. “And of course, Donald Trump: ‘My father was an orangutan from Borneo who didn’t speak any English at all.”
“It’s pretty funny how Cruz and Rubio can wax nostalgic about their dishwasher father and hotel-maid mom and in the next breath tell you who they want to kick out of the country: maids and dishwashers,” he said.
The comic also said many conservative Republicans seem to take more moderate stances on bedrock conservative positions when the issue hits close to home. For instance, he noted that Dick Cheney, who has a lesbian daughter, supports same-sex marriage.
“Likewise, Jeb Bush has been very compassionate about Mexican immigrants, because he married one,” Maher claimed. “Jeb also had a fairly enlightened policy on drugs because his daughter had a serious problem with cocaine.”
The comic concluded, “On so many issues, you can only get Republican support if it touched one of their own.”
Watch the video above.