Former Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell and Bill… (Janet Van Ham / HBO )
The highlight of Friday's "Real Time With Bill Maher" on HBO was an unlikely reunion.
Former Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell appeared on the HBO comedy-discussion show and was greeted warmly by Maher, despite their bumpy history.
Maher pushed the Delaware tea party politician into the ranks of notoriety in 2010 when he released a tape of his "Politically Correct" show in 1999 in which she made comments about having dabbled in witchcraft. Those comments shadowed the conservative Christian activist for the remainder of her unsuccessful Senate campaign, and her later ad declaring "I'm not a witch" only heated the furor.
Maher apologized to O'Donnell on Friday's show, saying that he realized that the release of those comments "made your life hell. I thought it would be funny, but it became the most reported story in the 2010 elections."
O'Donnell accepted the apology, adding that she made matters worse with her ad. "It was a self-inflicted wound," she said, maintaining that the ad leaked and she had never officially approved it.
Maher explained that he had released the tape because O'Donnell had refused his invitation to appear on the show, even though she had made 22 earlier appearances on "Politically Incorrect. "I kinda made you a star," he said.
O'Donnell said scheduling conflicts had prevented her from coming on his show. She then teased Maher, saying that since he had made her a star, he should contribute $1 million to her future political endeavors. Maher recently gave $1 million to a super PAC that supports President Obama's reelection.
Replied Maher: "Who said Republicans didn't have a sense of humor?"
The two argued about their differences over the presidential race and the just completed conventions, with O'Donnell maintaining that Obama is leading the country to "mutually assured economic disaster."
During their discussion and in other parts of the show, Maher heaped praise on the Democrats, and former President Bill Clinton's speech in particular: "He killed [the Republicans] with one word: arithmetic."
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