Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle Fauci on Tucker Carlson vaccine comments: 'Typical crazy conspiracy theory' MORE (R-Ky.) went on the liberal turf of HBO’s "Real Time with Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherSharon Osbourne tells Maher she's 'angry' and 'hurt' after departure from 'The Talk' Bill Maher blasts Oscar picks: Hollywood movies now are 'just depressing' Why the unhinged woke brigade is a profound threat to our freedom MORE" Friday night and may have left with an influential ally in his potential 2016 bid.

“I think it’s only good for America when I’m not sure who I’m going to vote for next time,” the liberal talk show host told Paul after a conversation where the two found common ground on foreign policy, the war on drugs and prison sentencing reform.


While Maher says Paul is the first Republican presidential candidate in a long time that he’d consider voting for, he maintained that the Kentucky lawmaker's ambivalence towards addressing global warming is a deal breaker for him.

“I am available to the Rand Paul campaign but not if I don’t think you’re seeing this issue realistically,” Maher said.

But Paul seemed to make inroads with Maher when he fully explained his position.

“There’s abundant evidence that carbon is increasing and has been increasing since the Industrial Age,” Paul said. “All I ask for is that the solution has to be a balanced solution and that you have to account for jobs lost by regulation. And I’m not against regulation. I think the environment has been cleaned up dramatically through regulations on emissions as well as clean water over the last 40 or 50 years, I just don’t want to shut down all forms of energy such that thousands of thousands of people lose jobs.”

“We’re a growing population,” he added. “As we grow we need more energy, and maybe cleaner energy will supplant less clean energy over time, and I think it is, but I don’t think that shutting down dramatically one form of energy is a good idea for the economy.” 

Maher said he admired Paul’s openness to alternative forms of energy, and Paul responded by saying there’s a lot of “middle ground” to be found between Republicans and Democrats on the environment, but that his primary concern is keeping regulators from “turning over leaves” in the backyards of citizens.

Maher and Paul were in complete agreement on the issues where Libertarians and liberals overlap. For instance, they’re both foreign policy anti-interventionists, both for overhauling U.S. drug laws and support prison sentencing reform. 

“We’ve got a lot of problems with criminal justice, most of it stems with the war on drugs,” Paul said.

The Kentucky Republican made light-hearted jabs at Maher throughout the interview over Maher’s admitted pot use.

“I think it’s a fiscally conservative thing to want less people in prison, particularly nonviolent people, because it’s enormously expensive,” Paul said. “I think it’s fiscally conservative, because kids make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes, I know you Bill have made a lot of mistakes, and you deserve a second chance.”

Maher hit back at Paul by calling him the most interesting politician out of a supremely boring bunch.

A multitude of reports indicate that Paul is building out the infrastructure he’ll need to make a serious run for the White House in 2016. He’s courted Silicon Valley and turned out big crowds for Republican candidates in their congressional sweep.