Comedian Bill Maher has narrowed down the list of congressional targets in his “Flip a District ” campaign to oust Republican incumbents and elect Democrats.
Maher said on his HBO show, "Real Time With Bill Maher," Friday that the “Tweet 16” bracket was complete with the addition of Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., and Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.
The comedian said DesJarlais is “a family values, pro-life guy who had affairs with at least six women in his clinic,” adding, “Please, Jesus, let it be this guy.” Maher has urged his viewers to nominate a member of Congress that “has gotten a little too comfy” and instructed them to take to social media using the hashtag "flipadistrict" to vote for which congressman should be ousted in a bracket-style contest. The final four will be announced July 11.
The comedian will announce the “winner” of his competition during a live broadcast in Washington, D.C. on September 12. According to his website , the program “will periodically look at the district, get to know the entrenched incumbent and the people they’re supposed to serve, and generally do our level best to flip that district.”
The other House Republicans in the “Tweet 16” bracket include: Dan Benishek of Michigan; Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan; Mike Coffman of Colorado; Renee Ellmers of North Carolina; Blake Farenthold of Texas; Scott Garrett of New Jersey; Michael G. Grimm of New York; Steve King of Iowa; John Kline of Minnesota; Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin; Steve Southerland II of Florida; Tim Walberg of Michigan; Jackie Walorski of Indiana, and Ted Yoho of Florida.
Maher had some choice words about each of these members, including calling Ryan “The biggest fish we’re trying to grab, and then stab.”
Republicans mostly dismissed the threat of Maher’s influence in their re-election campaigns. Back in February, King said that Maher should run for Congress himself, telling CQ Roll Call, “Anybody that’d put their name on the ballot is deserving of our respect, so let’s see if I can start to respect Bill Maher.”
Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.