Beto O’Rourke is the top-of-the-show interview guest on Real Time with Bill Maher this week — and here’s everything you need to know about the Texas Rep. currently in a robust battle for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s seat.
A fourth-generation Irish American, this charismatic Democratic congressman is making quite a buzz in Texas and in DC.
When O’Rourke announced his Senate candidacy on March 31, 2017, the media went wild. Since then, O’Rourke has been featured in everything from the Washington Post, the Texas Observer and Vanity Fair to Rolling Stone magazine.
O’Rourke’s growing profile was fueled by his social media, including when he live-streamed a sit-in by House Democrats to protest Republicans’ refusal to bring gun-control legislation to a floor vote after the Pulse nightclub massacre. When Speaker Paul Ryan called for a recess and C-SPAN’s cameras went dark, the networks used O’Rourke’s Facebook feed to report the event.
Another high-profile moment saw O’Rourke and Republican congressman Will Hurd touring VA hospitals in San Antonio when a blizzard cancelled their flight back to Washington D.C.
As a result O’Rourke and Hurd road tripped for 29 hours to the capitol, with O’Rourke filming their journey on Facebook Live. Footage showed the Democrat and Republican singing Johnny Cash tunes, eating burgers and discussing the Russian electoral interference. The unusual bipartisanship social media experiment was a huge hit.
O’Rourke refuses to take donations from PACs (political action committees), and wants congressional term limits and pot to be legalized. He also avoids outside campaign consultants and looks the part of a toothy “Kennedy” with a thick mop of hair who speaks fluent Spanish.
Real Time with Bill Maher: Who is the mid-show interview guest?
TV host Billy Bush is the mid-show interview guest. Bush is the nephew of former President George H.W. Bush and the first cousin of former President George W. Bush.
On October 2016, Billy Bush was part of a Trump-campaign bombshell when a raw Access Hollywood tape with behind-the-scenes commentary between him and now president Donald Trump led to his being fired from the Today show after a suspension.
Bush and his wife, Sydney Davis, with whom he shares three daughters, are still separated. In various interviews, Bush claims he has reclaimed his faith and has done a great deal of soul searching to make amends.
Who are the roundtable guests on Real Time with Bill Maher?
The roundtable guests are comedian Pete Dominick, policy commentator Nayyera Haq and journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin.
Dominick, a Sirius XM radio host and comic, was square in the middle of the Dana Loesch-Rick Sanchez “Jew” tweet scandal a few years back after his interview with Rick Sánchez, a fired CNN reporter.
Haq is a Pakistani-American Muslim academic who is now the CEO of Avicenna Strategy and a former Senior Advisor and Spokesperson for the State Department.
Andrew Ross Sorkin is a columnist for The New York Times as well as the founder and editor-at-large of DealBook, an online daily financial report published by The Times that he started in 2001. Sorkin is also an assistant editor of business and finance news for the Times.
What time is Real Time with Bill Maher airing on HBO?
Real Time with Bill Maher continues its 16th season Friday, March 16 at 10pm live ET/tape-delayed PT, with a replay at 11.30pm, on HBO.