Bill Maher Interviews President Obama On Climate Change, Marijuana, And Immigration Reform [VIDEO]

ABC News recaps:

Bill Maher’s months-long on-air campaign to persuade President Barack Obama to appear on his HBO show “Real Time” culminated Friday evening with the airing of the president’s sit-down interview with the left-leaning host.

The 40-minute interview was taped Tuesday at the White House in the Roosevelt Room. The interview was wide-ranging, with the pair discussing the election, the popularity of Donald Trump, and issues including Obamacare, immigration reform, the legalization of marijuana and climate change.

Obama, who said the decision who to vote for Tuesday “should be really clear” (read: Hillary Clinton), didn’t mince words about disenfranchised voters. “Anyone who sits on the sidelines or makes a protest vote is a vote for Trump,” Obama said, “and that would be badly damaging to this country, and damaging for the world.”

The president continued, “The stakes are high. The choice in this election should be really clear. Every single issue we’ve made progress on in the last eight years is going to be on the ballot.”

  • Gustav2

    “If I watched Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me either.”

    Please, Kenya doesn’t get Fox News.

  • Ross

    I watched the interview. Obama is calm, radiates intelligence, and has a deep understanding of things.

    The contrast between Obama, and Trump, is breathtaking. As was the contrast between Obama and George W.

    Yet the Republicans have spent 8 years screaming how awful Obama is.

    Fuckwads. Fucking fuckwads.

    • lymis

      Some people’s hearing is linked to other people’s skin color. They almost literally cannot hear a thing the other person says.

      • Todd20036

        You raise a valid point. I cannot hear a thing Trump says.

        Must be the orange.

        • Lauraaheffner3

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      • that is the truth…many people have spent 8 years NOT embracing Obama as President….therefore NOT respecting the office of the President something that they would vehemently DEMAND others to do if their candidate was in office…the Tea Party started once there was a black President in the Oval office…really a shame but VERY telling of this great country built of Freedom

        https://brotherpeacemaker.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/tea-party-racism.jpg?w=408&h=318

        • CanuckDon

          It certainly shot this naive Canadian’s general world view all to hell.

        • Phillip in L.A.

          “this great country built of Freedom”

          and “free” slave labor

      • ceeenbee

        …and, now, as we see so clearly, linked to a person’s sex. With Obama it was skin color. With HRC it is that she is a woman and this, incredibly seems to be an even larger problem.

      • ceeenbee

        … and, as we see now, firmly linked to sex. With Obama, it was race. With HRC it is her sex that has become a lightening rod.

    • Todd20036

      That’s why when they issue the “threat” that Hillary Clinton means 4 more years of Obama, I say, “Yeah, sounds fine by me!”

      • andrew

        But the Democrats need to retake the Senate and greatly increase their numbers in the House, if we are to make progress on enacting more things on the progressive agenda and putting centrist or center-left judges on all the federal courts, especially the USSC.

  • This is still some people’s mindset and the result is the same…

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4x_7wf7fdkw/Vq40lLJlQqI/AAAAAAAERVs/yZ-nt4jYqzE/s1600/Acerbic%2B02906.jpg

    • DaddyRay

      I always maintained no matter which candidate won the Democratic Nomination I would gladly vote for. The Democratic primary had two very capable, intelligent, thoughtful and qualified candidates to be President of the United States.

      In republican primary there wasn’t one candidate that didn’t scare the crap out of me

  • Ross

    O/T: From Electoral-vote:

    “Latino Decisions, a polling firm that specializes in polling Latinos (in English and Spanish), is reporting that Latino early voting is up 100% in Florida, 60% in North Carolina, and 35% in Colorado and Nevada compared to 2012. The firm projects that 14.7 million Latinos will vote this year vs. 11.2 million in 2012. This is extremely good news for Hillary Clinton, as 79% of Latinos are expected to vote for her and only 18% are expected to vote for Donald Trump. That means an extra 2.8 million votes for her and an extra 0.6 million votes for Trump. A net gain of 2.2 million votes could push her over the top in some key swing states.”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6fda9b0bbca8292eb151943b9b4d737fbd9d39093f2a33dddebc6e9eda9dad59.png

    • Joe knows who I am.

      What this tells me is that Latinos are getting a grasp of how important their vote really can be. Now, we need to get African Americans to become just as invested.

    • It may be that Donald Trump will galvanize Latinx voters on a national level to do to the nation what Pete Wilson did to California, turning a state that almost always voted red in presidential elections solid blue. Trump has the opportunity to do the same for Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, Colorado, and many other states with a growing Latinx electorate.

    • Jerry

      And because of this, the election is really over. Win NV…Clinton wins; win FL, Clinton wins; win NC, CO, Clinton wins. She has out-performed Obama’s 2012 numbers in most of these states, and it’s over.

      • David L. Caster

        The Senate is the key to the inner door though: it comes after the outer one, but both are voted on Tuesday. Clinton will have to avoid the mistakes of Obama. To do that she will have to do a much better job of communicating with the electorate than Obama did in his first two years. In a sense, Hillary is likely to be in a worse position than Obama was when he took office with a Senate supermajority and control of the House. Clinton will have to adjust her strategy to conform to the new reality of partisan trench warfare and abandon the Obama pipe dream of kissing up to the GOP in the interest of reaching across the aisle. Democrats have to increase discipline within their ranks or we are on our way to another 4 to 8 years of gridlock.

        • Phillip in L.A.

          Thank God, there is at least one other non-temporarily-insane person here! Hi David! So nice to see you again! Missed you and your insightful comments

          • David L. Caster

            Thanks Phillip. Doing my best to remain calm through the storm. Hope all is well with you and yours.

        • Jerry

          Yes…the presidential race is over, but the down-ballot races are extremely important too. Unless we take at least the Senate, the presidential race means a lot less. Though having a president to veto the nonsense coming from the GOP does mean a lot.

          • David L. Caster

            The Senate is crucial. Without control of that house, it will be nearly impossible to get critical appointments made.

  • Treant

    Latino voting is waaaay up: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/04/politics/latinos-voter-turnout-early-voting-2016-election/index.html

    By the numbers, in Georgia (separated by 1% in the polls with 5.4 million registered voters), even that minor difference is almost enough to tilt the balance to Clinton. And no, I don’t expect that the poling is correct and that Trump will easily take GA. But it’s still amusing.

    • Reality Check

      Many are saying that these polls may be off because they do not poll in Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages. I will watch Georgia to see if becomes purple…

    • Bruno

      Really mind-boggling election where we’re talking about Clinton’s chances of taking Georgia and Arizona while showing cracks in New Hampshire.

      • Treant

        True, but swing states have historically shifted quite rapidly around the map. It’s a rarity that we saw four elections in a row where they were very stable.

        It looks like that stability is coming to an end to some extent, with the Sun Belt states and some Southern states turning D and the Rust Belt shifting R.

  • Joe in PA

    Compare and contrast: this interview and this photo (that appears in my JMG ad stream): https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aab780d9326fb35a60a670055c2d687a0aa6f1eddb622af86211d1e58abd13f4.png

    • Tiger Quinn

      Compare….what?

      • Joe in PA

        Sorry, I meant compare the statesman we heard in the interview to whatever these fools were trying to say: that he was the devil, the anti-christ.

    • David Walker

      Well, aren’t you the lucky one? That one hasn’t shown up. Other despicables, yes, but hot this one.

  • RobynWatts

    Thank you, President Obama. I wished that you had a chance to do more during your time in office.

    I also wished that people would stop and realize that unless you have supportive branches of the government, things that need to be accomplished will remain uncompleted. Which is why it’s important to vote for candidates in every election!

    • Ernest Endevor

      He was abandoned and vilified by our younger voters who were voting for the first time when he was elected. He got no support and no thanks as soon as he took office. Let’s not forget the mountains of outrage over Rick Warren at the inauguration. He did his best and we did not help till later. And yes, you’re right, Democrats don’t vote in mid-terms and we hobble those who are trying to move the nation forward. If Clinton is elected the same will happen. Immediately everyone will start complaining that their unicorn came in the wrong color while the Republicans plot to bring down the government.

      • CottonBlimp

        He was abandoned and vilified by our younger voters who were voting for the first time when he was elected.

        Uh, no, he abandoned and vilified *them*. In every press conference in his first two years he blamed *liberals* for his inability to get things done despite how the GOP had already begun their racist obstructionism, because he wanted to be Mr. Bipartisan back then.

        I like the man on the whole and I like how his second term turned out, but lets not have such short memories about his misdeeds, like his shameful and cowardly stance against gay rights back then.

        • Silver_Witch

          That I think is part of the problem. We forgive the Democratic President and can’t complain when they don’t do what is right and then are Shamed for saying something.

          President Obama did many many good things. He did NOT support gay rights or marriage and had to be dragged by Biden to do so. He did not do much to help with BLM or Flint or DALP. He stood and still stands with TPP.

          Selective memory is not helpful in bringing change. We have to face the truth and BE ABLE to speak truth to power…even if the Power is Democratic.

          • Gerry Fisher

            >He did NOT support gay rights

            Don’t conflate “marriage equality” with “LGBT rights.” He was fine on LGBT rights in his first term. It’s just that our community 1) Wanted it all right away, and 2) Didn’t believe that he’d stick with us and keep fighting for the things left undone after the first term. Our community was dead wrong about the guy.

        • Gerry Fisher

          You mistake “c’mon guys, follow my lead” with “abandoned and vilified.” Common mistake. And, yes, fighting to pass DADT and the hate crimes bill was a shameful and cowardly stance on LGBT rights. /s

      • Gerry Fisher

        Well, I dunno. Hillary Clinton is not being billed as a unicorn, if you know what I mean.

        • Ernest Endevor

          True. Except by Republicans.

  • Treant

    “Hillary Clinton is going to build a firewall, and Donald Trump is going to pay for it.”

    –Luke Brinker

  • OdieDenCO

    every single issue we’ve made progress on in the last 240 years is going to be on the ballot. We as American’s stand at the proverbial fork in the road. will we take the high road and continue this great experiment in democracy or the low road and descend into that which our ancestors fought so hard to overcome?

    • CatApostrophe

      YES YES YES!

    • I strongly encourage everyone, regardless of your stance on legalizing marijuana, to read “Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs”. If you support legalization it should motivate you to become an activist. If you don’t support legalization it should change your mind.

  • DaddyRay

    That was a terrific interview and a great perspective on what it is actually like to be in the Presidents shoes.

  • For President of the United States of America, hubby and I are voting historical blue, not hysterical orange, to preserve the sanctity of our legal marriage.

  • bear on the peaks

    I love Obama and Hillary. I don’t care about Hillary’s 80 billion arms deal with Saudia Arabia. So what if Hillary took 1 million dollars from Qatar and tried to hide it. I don’t care if people who tell the truth today like Chelsea Manning are locked up for life. Who gives a rat’s ass if Lybia was destroyed resulting in over 30,000 deaths. And so what if after Obama was elected over half of his cabinet was choosen by someone from Citybank. I don’t care. I just looooove Obama and Hillary!

    • All valid criticisms, but if the alternative is someone infinitely worse like Trump…. (and I say this as a Canadian who votes Green! :D).

    • KnownDonorDad

      Donald J. Trump appreciates your vote. As do Mike Pence, Tony Perkins, Brian Brown, Bryan Fischer, Mat Staver, Matt Barber, etc. etc. etc.

      • pch1013

        And Vladimir Putin.

    • CottonBlimp

      That ship has sailed, bro. You see someone better to vote for? Because I sure as fuck don’t. I don’t have any confidence in Dr. Woowoo Mom or Johnson the Boob or That Mormon Guy, and comparing Hillary’s scandals to Trump’s is like comparing a fart to a giant cloud of mustard gas.

      • Phillip in L.A.

        Well said, CottonBlimp!

  • The_Wretched

    Something is rotten in the state of America. Obama is vilified by 40% of the country and he’s great – just watch the clip. He wants to run the State and make things better for everyone. The same 40% want Trump – who is arguably the most worst candidate (plain scum) we’ve ever had on the presidential ticket.

  • EweTaw

    Maher was a mean drunk last night. He admitted to having “a couple of drinks” to which the panel guest nearest him soberly countered, “You had more than just a couple.” The Maher spent a great deal of his camera time warning the viewer audience how serious as a heart attack Trump is and how the world will come to an immediate end if he’s elected. It was an especially dark and cranky episode. But other than those who adore and worship Maher, I doubt anyone else paid much attention.

  • Charles Baldwin

    Great interview with one of america’s greatest presidents.

  • The_Wretched

    @12 minutes – Bill Maher actually asks the atheist question! Obama down plays the hostility and negs for nones. The exchange is notable in that Obama doesn’t demonize us and the conversation is happening at all.

    • Silver_Witch

      The President does however seem blind to the discrimination non-religious people suffer. Even down to some jobs that will not hire non-religious persons. He says he only see politics as being biased…not true at all.

      • Steve Teeter

        There’s a really strong analogy between being atheist and being gay, or the way being gay was in the bad days. Being in the closet, hiding who you are. Being worried about being found out. Fears about losing your job or your profession, or just any chance of professional advancement. And the big one, being terrified about your family finding out, fear of being disowned and thrown out of the family once they find out you’re one of them.

        Sound familiar? That’s reality for many atheists today. I’ve only recently recognized that the term atheist applies to me, though I realize I haven’t been a believer for many, many years. So this is only the second time I have declared outright that I’m an atheist. The first time was about a week ago, in a comment right here at JMG, about the safest space you can imagine for such a statement. See how deep the fear runs? And telling my mother I was gay was hard enough. I doubt I’ll ever have the courage to tell her I’m an atheist.

        • Silver_Witch

          I hear you Steve and I don’t think non-Christians know how horrible it is for us atheists/agnostics. I was fired once by a crazed christian that didn’t want to suffer a “witch” to live and so to him that meant me earning a living.

          I used to protect myself by just leaving the room at work when people discussed religion or avoided saying how I felt.

          Thankfully I am 60, an old “witch”, live with bipolar illness, am a woman outside, a man in my heart and agnostic and don’t give a flying Fuck what others think. I say who and what I am and hope somehow if people respect me or like me it will help them realize that none of these labels are really who I am inside.

          I love JMG for just that reason and although I have been absent for a little while due to politics I still feel like this is my home.

        • JCF

          “There’s a really strong analogy between being atheist and being gay”

          I would argue that there’s a strong correlation between being gay and becoming athiest (because the “god” one was taught was so anti-gay).

          …and then there are the rare birds like me: Gay Cradle Episcopalian! 🙂

  • e jerry powell

    “Left-leaning” might be pushing it a bit. He’s a pragmatic Libertarian, at best.

    • Tempus Fuggit

      As I understand it, he’s also largely responsible for loosing Ann Coulter on us.

      • e jerry powell

        Well, he does keep booking her, if for no other reason than to mock her on-air (which is still too much exposure for her, IMO).

  • bob

    Oh, please don’t go !

  • Related–I mentioned on another post that NPR’s This American Life suggessted current politics can be understood as a musical, and asked a number of composers and performers to do numbers on Obama, Paul Ryan, and the current Chairman of the RNC. The one on Obama is quite striking–basically the things he might be thinking but doesn’t say out-loud. All three numbers can be downloaded for free until early December at the following url, and you can read more about how the composers worked with reporters to make certain they were getting the ideas they wanted to express in an appropriate and accurate manner: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog/2016/10/this-american-vote-in-song