Rep. John Kline may not have asked to be thrust into the re-election spotlight. But he’s certainly not shying away from raking in some extra dough after being named public enemy No. 1 in comedian Bill Maher’s inaugural “Flip A District ” campaign.
Kline beat out three other House Republicans for the honor of becoming Maher’s pet project from now until Election Day.
While targeting the regularly low-profile chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee might seem like a stretch to some, the “Real Time ” host insists that Kline’s virtual anonymity is exactly what makes him so contemptible.
“It’s much more appropriate to pick somebody who is quietly just doing the job wrong,” Maher told Minnesota Public Radio congressional reporter Brett Neely about the vetting process employed to flesh out this experiment into forced retirement.
The Minnesota Republican, naturally, is refusing to go down without a fight.
“I didn't serve my country to sit passively by and fall victim to someone like Bill Maher … Help me fight back by contributing now,” Kline implores supporters in an email soliciting a quick shot in the arm of anywhere from $10 to $250 to ward off the harassment from Hollywood.
Ex-Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., has entered the fray as well. And he’s not afraid to make things personal.
“While Bill Maher was honing his ‘entertainment skills starring in such cinematic classics as ‘Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death,’ my friend John Kline was serving his country as an officer in the United States Marine Corps,” the tea party favorite fumed in a fundraising missive.
West may have a point about Maher’s questionable judgment regarding film roles.
But Maher maintains this isn’t about him — or Kline’s Democratic challenger, Mike Obermueller.
“I don’t know anything about him [Obermueller]. And I don’t care … This is about the fact that whoever is running against Kline literally couldn’t be worse,” Maher assured Neely.
The six-term incumbent defeated Obermueller by some 29,000 votes (a roughly 8 percent margin of victory) when they faced off in the 2012 election cycle.
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