The presumed Dem candidate “is still at large,” Maher joked at the top of his HBO late night show, Real Time.
“Women are still being urged to walk at night in pairs.”
Maher explained to younger viewers that Biden’s hands have been part of an exploratory committee for decades.
“We’re getting a little nit-picky,” Maher scoffed. “No one likes to be touched unwantedly, and women get lots more of that than men. But the first person who brought this up said he made her feel gross and uneasy. You know what makes me feel gross and uneasy? A second Trump term!”
“He’s not Harvey Weinstein or R. Kelly. He’s more like the TSA,” Maher insisted.
Speaking to his first guest, Dem candidate/ former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, Maher credited Biden for being the first Dem to say, “I don’t say I’m sorry…I’m not sorry for my intentions.”
‘I like that,” Maher said, noting Castro had spoken to Biden’s past behavior “with great gravitas” on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show earlier in the week.
“I think he should joke about it. I don’t think it’s that big a deal,” Maher scolded Castro.
“I disagree,” the former San Antonio mayor Castro shot back, arguing that Biden was indeed out of line and, by implication, out of step with the times. For too long, he said, women have been told they have to be quiet “about stuff like this.”
Maher pounced on that, arguing Biden’s behavior “is not the same as sexual harassment,” adding, “He did it to men, too, and children. He’s a toucher!”
Castro conceded Biden did not intend to make people uncomfortable, but insisted it’s incumbent on men “to understand it’s not just your intention, it’s also how your actions are making somebody feel.”
“I think it’s bullshit to say people can get away with laughing it off,” Castro challenged Maher. “I think that’s completely the wrong way to look at it.”
But Maher stuck by his guns, saying Biden should joke about it, because “I don’t think it’s that big a deal.”
As mid-show guest Chelsea Handler came out and went for him with a hug, Mahrer gently pushed her away, saying we don’t touch any more, leading to a more than awkward moment.
Maher also wished the media would stop using #MeToo movement terms to report on Biden. “We have no sense of perspective Everything has to be…DEFCON 1,” he complained.
“These are not allegations. They actually happened. It’s on tape,” he pointed out during the show’s panel conversation. The women, he said, “are not victims stepping forward. All this is bullshit – he kissed the back of somebody’s head!”
Maher singled out Chris Cillizza’s coverage on CNN; he had described the controversy as “not a joking matter.”
“Yes it is,” Maher barked back. “It is exactly what is perfect for joking matter. It’s not that fucking serious!”