Video: Bill Maher Tells CNN's Chris Cuomo That 'Circular Firing Squad' 2020 Democratic Field Is Too Big: 'It Looks Silly'

American comedian and political commentator Bill Maher struck out at Democrats on Monday night for having such a "crowded" field of candidates in the 2020 race, saying it "looks silly," in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo.

"Democrats have a huge field," Cuomo said, before asking Maher: "What do you see in the field?"

"Well, first of all, too many people is what I see in the field," the comedian said. "That alone looks silly, when you have 23, 24 people."

It "looks silly."
"Real Time" host Bill Maher tells @ChrisCuomo that the Democratic 2020 field has too many candidates, some of whom have no good reason for running.

— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) June 11, 2019

So far, there are at least 24 Democrats who have announced that they are running for the 2020 race, with former Vice President Joe Biden currently in the lead in an average of polls published by Real Clear Politics.

Following behind Biden are Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Mayor of South Bend Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, a rising star in the 2020 race.

Buttigieg is, of course, not the only mayor in the running, with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also throwing his hat in the ring, along with former San Antonio, Texas mayor and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro.

Maher said he had interviewed several of the Democratic candidates "and some of them… I don't even know what their raison d'être is for running."

"I've asked them on the show, they've been on the show. I'm like, 'Why you?'" he said, throwing his hands up. "Right off the bat, we're stumped," he said.

Maher said the crowded Democratic field suggested that party members had not yet learned from their mistakes in the not-so-distant past.

"Donald Trump should have been someone who made the Democrats go, 'wow, we've gotta get serious now. We've gotta cut out all the nonsense that made us lose the election last time'," he said. "And I don't think I've seen that so far."

Instead of standing unified, Maher said, Democrats have engaged in "identity politics" and "cutting each other up."

Invoking former President Barack Obama's April warning that U.S. progressives were at risk of creating a "circular firing squad" with too much in-fighting in the 2020 race, Maher suggested that Democrats had yet to take the former U.S. leader's words seriously.

"Obama said about a month ago, he said, 'circular firing squad.' He invoked that phrase about the Democrats… You'd think with Donald Trump as president and the existential state we're in, this country that they would not need to have that warning be given, but I hope Obama does that again," Maher said.

"He is the one person who has the authority both as the ex-president and as a rather beloved president of recent vintage who can do that… Who can knock Democrats' heads together and say, 'look, we've got to get serious. Stop carping at each other.'"

Maher then turned to the recent controversy over accusations of inappropriate conduct from Biden towards women as an example, asserting: "The whole thing with the kissing the back of the head and the Eskimo kisses, who cares?

"You know, if this is the guy to beat Trump, it is unconscionable to be pecking at him in this way in the beginning," he said of Democratic candidates' criticisms of Biden and his alleged behavior.

"The president was very helpful in that also," Cuomo interjected. "He went after Biden for that and the media picked it up. They ran with it. It got traction."

Maher said, "And how he gets away with it with his history of real sexual assault when this guy, he's just being Joe. Okay, you don't like it, it's creepy I get it," he continued.

"Sometimes people do things to me that are too close and I don't like it. But that's life," he said. "Instead of writing a blog about it a year and-a-half later, just turn around and say, 'excuse me.' You know, some things you've got to handle yourself."

Maher said he believed that ultimately, Biden would "get knocked down" from his strong lead in the polls.

However, he said: "I think America right now looks like our feet hurt and we want the old comfortable pair of shoes. You know, he is a return to normalcy. I don't think he's a lot of people's favorite, but he's a lot of people's second or third choice and he's good enough and he's going to get us back to the America we kind of remember where things happened in a normal way and we weren't full of anxiety and looking at our phones every morning like, what did the mental patient do now? That's what I think people want to get back to."

Asked whether, if Obama had been a senator in today's current climate launching a presidential bid in the crowded Democratic field, he would be a strong contender, Maher laughed: "Yeah, he's a great politician."

Bill Maher
Television personality Bill Maher attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. Maher has said the crowded Democratic 2020 field 'looks silly' with nearly 25 contenders. Getty/John Shearer