Bill Maher might be giving up on “flipping” Rep. Michael G. Grimm’s district.
The liberal comedian explained on his HBO show “Real Time” last week that the New York Republican is probably now capable of putting his seat in Democratic hands all by himself.
“There has been a development that I must tell you we here at 'Real Time' could not foresee,” said Maher, “and that is that the very first schmoe that we put up on our Tweet 16 board of finalists … has most likely flipped himself by getting arrested and possibly going to prison.” Maher is soliciting from viewers , via Twitter, candidates for a House Republican incumbent whose Democratic challenger Maher will back with money and support in the November midterm elections. Maher’s target will ultimately be narrowed down, bracket-style.
Grimm was recently slapped with a 20-count federal indictment in connection to the health food business he owned and operated prior to his election to Congress in 2010. But he was singled out by Maher and his audience before those revelations surfaced, back when Grimm was awaiting the outcome of a separate government investigation into alleged campaign finance fraud.
Others on the radar are Republican Reps. Blake Farenthold of Texas, Steve Southerland II of Florida, John Kline of Minnesota, Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan and Scott Garrett of New Jersey.
But Maher hasn’t taken his sights off Grimm just yet.
“We may have another opening on our grid so for now we are adding a new symbol to our board: The prison bars with a question mark, which indicates that the pick is still there, but perhaps is going to prison," Maher cracked on the May 9 show.
Before Grimm’s indictment late last month, CQ Roll Call caught up with the two-term representative from Staten Island and a sliver of Brooklyn to see if he feared the wrath of the “Real Time” host. He said he “concurred” with sentiments offered by House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., as to whether lawmakers should be worried.
Rogers said, “I think [Maher] ought to stick to Hollywood."
That was back in February.
Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.