"Real Time" host Bill Maher on Friday night accused Elizabeth Warren of playing the "woman card" against Bernie Sanders during Tuesday's presidential debate in Iowa, suggesting it was a ploy designed to help the Massachusetts Democrat "save her campaign."
Maher's remarks came during the show's panel segment, after guest Kara Swisher of The New York Times asserted that Warren "brought up" Sanders' past comments about whether a woman could be president because she "had to."
"She had to?" an incredulous Maher responded. "To save her campaign. It was not an issue that needed to be brought up. It was like, 'We're sinking in the polls.'
"This is what politicians do," Maher continued. "They're on the trail for a year. Remember, she was going to be the one? Remember Bush in 2000? Brought out black babies with John McCain. [Bush] was like, 'I'm losing this thing -- black babies! That's all I want to hear about is black babies!' And they brought that s--- out."
Warren and Sanders clashed in Iowa after a CNN debate moderator asked Sanders about the network's earlier report, citing unnamed sources, that the U.S. senator from Vermont had told Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, in December 2018 that he believed a woman couldn't win the presidency.
Prior to the debate Sanders flatly denied the CNN story while Warren affirmed the report after initially declining to comment.
Immediately after the debate, Warren confronted Sanders, telling him "I think you called me a liar on national TV." Sanders later accused Warren of calling him a liar as well.
During Friday's show, Maher said he thought Sanders' remarks were being misinterpreted.
"Is it wrong just to ask this question?" Maher said. "It's not that Bernie Sanders, whatever he said ... Whether he did say it or not, she's not claiming that he said a woman shouldn't be president. Just that a woman couldn't. And we've always had these discussions. We're having them now, quite honestly. And it's not a crazy discussion to have, considering the most qualified person ever, Hillary Clinton, lost to the racist Teletubby in the last [election]."