Bill Maher’s interview with Alaska’s Governor Frank Murkowski

Real Time with Bill Maher, March 18, 2005, Episode #55
HBO broadcast transcript

MAHER: I know you love your state and you’ll probably love whatever goes on up there, but I’m a member – a board member – of the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals—[applause]—okay, okay, wait, wait, wait. What about stopping that Iditarod? Because I think you’ve already made your point that if you hit an animal, it will run. [laughter]

MURKOWSKI: That’s right.

MAHER: Don’t you think it’s cruel to the dogs?

MURKOWSKI: [overlapping] And if you—

MAHER: Governor?

MURKOWSKI: And you know, you go out to Santa Anita and watch the races, and you get a big kick out of betting on the races. Do you think that’s cruel to the horse?

MAHER: I do.

MURKOWSKI: Or are the thoroughbreds bred – are they bred just like our dogs are bred?

MAHER: [overlapping] But that’s only – but that’s only a two—but that’s only a two-minute race. This one is like 6,000 miles. [laughter]

MURKOWSKI: [overlapping] No, but it’s pretty hard. Yeah, but they rest—

MAHER: I mean, a lot of times, the dogs run until they drop dead.

MURKOWSKI: [overlapping]—they rest every night.

MAHER: [overlapping] I never saw that at Santa Anita. [laughter] [applause]

MURKOWSKI: No, no, we’ve got – we’ve got veterinarians at every stop. We take good care of the dogs. And the dogs are bred for it just like you and I are bred for politics—

MAHER: The dogs are bred for it? That’s what they said about slaves! [laughter] [applause] You know. All right, I’m just – I’m just asking you to think about it.

MURKOWSKI: I’m thinking about it. [laughter].

[From the Sled Dog Action Coalition: Gov. Murkowski said that the dogs rest every night. However, Iditarod rules require only two eight hour rests and one twenty-four rest. The remainder of the time, the dogs may be racing.]