Ron DeSantis tells Bill Maher he CAN beat Donald Trump in 2024 – but HBO host jokes that Florida governor wouldn’t be appearing on his show if his campaign was going well

Ron DeSantis has insisted he can beat Donald Trump to the Republican 2024 presidential nomination during an interview with Bill Maher. 

But the liberal HBO host, 67, joked that the Florida governor would not be appearing on his show if his campaign was going well. 

Maher grilled DeSantis, 45, on his tough battle to win the GOP primary during the latest episode of Real Time with Bill Maher which aired on Friday. 

He labelled the politician ‘crazy’ to run at his young age and questioned why he would go against the popular figure of former president Trump.

However, DeSantis insisted he could win and claimed he could be the person to ‘actually get the job done’.

Ron DeSantis is pictured during his appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday

Maher labelled the politician ‘crazy’ to run at his young age and questioned why he would go against the popular figure of former president Trump

‘You did not take my advice,’ Maher told him during the exchange. 

‘I was on the show- a few times we talked- I said, “this guy’s crazy to run this time”.

‘What are you, 45 years old? You just had a birthday, right?’ 

DeSantis responded ‘Yeah,’ and Maher added: ‘You could run for the next 20 years. If you were Biden, the next 40. Why run against Trump?

‘You’re trying to thread this needle that will never happen. You can’t disavow him because that’s the base, and yet you’re running against him. 

‘And that’s why, I mean, let’s face it Ron, if the campaign was going well, you wouldn’t be on this show.’

The Florida Governor hit back and said: ‘That’s not true. One: I don’t think he can win the election. I could win the election. Two: I don’t think he could actually get the job done that we need to do.

‘For example, COVID. I think we need accountability for what this government did to this country with the COVID restrictions mandates and lockdowns. Donald Trump is not gonna do that… He’s not going to clean house at CDC, NIH, FDA. I will do that. I will get the job done.’

He added: ‘The one thing about me in Florida, and even my critics will acknowledge- if he says he’s going to do something, he will follow through and get the job done.

Maher (right) grilled DeSantis, 45, on his tough battle to win the GOP primary during the latest episode of Real Time with Bill Maher which aired on Friday

DeSantis insisted he could beat Trump and claimed he could be the person to ‘actually get the job done’

‘So it’s about the country. Are we gonna get the country turned around or not? I don’t think he’s a vehicle that’s doing and I have been- when I supported them on things I liked.

‘I’ve said it, but I’ve been critical about the things that he didn’t do, and I’m gonna continue to do that.’ 

Comedian and talk show host Maher took aim at DeSantis’ past campaigning for ‘election deniers’ during the 2022 midterms. 

However, the politician defended his support for Republicans involved in key races. 

The HBO star pressed him further on how denying the 2020 election was not a ‘deal breaker’ for him. 

DeSantis then hit back and claimed there was election denialism from those on the left after Trump won in 2016. 

‘Your friends in Hollywood were cutting ads telling the Electoral College to vote against Trump in the Electoral College because it was stolen,’ he said. 

‘They said Russia stole the election, for years they said that. So don’t act like this is like a unique thing in modern history of the country

Former president Donald Trump speaks at the fall convention of the California Republican Party in Anaheim, California on Friday 

The ex-president got big laughs when he mimicked a moment when a confused Biden appeared not to be able to find his way off stage

Maher then joked: ‘First of all, Ron, I have no friends in Hollywood.’

The pair then agreed on their views towards ‘woke’ people and criticized The New York Times over an article about DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic in Florida.

Maher said the governor was in the right. 

DeSantis was involved the the Republican’s second 2024 presidential primary debate on Wednesday which Trump skipped again. 

He hit out at the former president for not turning up and challenged him to a debate. 

‘He’s not showing up he’s missing in action he owes it to voters to show up and defend his record,’ he said. 

‘I think he thinks he can take a juice poll and then people don’t get to vote that’s not the way the system works. You got to go earn votes so I’m showing up I’m showing that.’ 

Real Time with Bill Maher returned for the first time since April due to the writers’ strike which recently ended after 148 days. 

The Florida Governor is polling at around 14 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, whereas Trump has an enormous lead with around 58 percent support. 

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