Minnesota Congressman Targeted by Bill Maher Goes on the Attack

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Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., isn't about to let TV host Bill Maher push him around.

After recently being named the "winning loser" of Maher's "Flip the District" campaign, Kline struck back with statements criticizing both Maher and his Democratic opponent, Mike Obermueller.

"Minnesotans are tired of sleazy and slimy politics, but DFL candidate Mike Obermueller certainly isn't," Kline's campaign spokesman Troy Young said in a statement. "Maher saluted 9/11 terrorist and called our troops ' cowardly,' he repeatedly has degraded Christians and calls them 'schizophrenic,' and he repugnantly compared special-needs children to 'dogs,' yet Mike Obermueller promotes this behavior essentially naming Maher as his campaign manager."

Maher announced the 67-year-old representative as the "Flip the District" winner Friday during his HBO show "Real Time with Bill Maher." Maher said he will devote time to studying the congressman and his constituents and campaign against him in hopes that Kline will "feel the heat."

Bill Maher Takes Aim at Minnesota Congressman

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Meanwhile, The Star Tribune reported that Kline hopes to raise $100,000 for ads to thwart Maher's efforts to oust him from office. In a fundraising e-mail Kline told his supporters, "Maher is turning his liberal guns on our districts and using his TV megaphone and million-dollar war chest to defeat me in November."

And while Kline is using Maher's effort to try to boost contributions, Obermueller, a former state legislator, used the news to fuel his campaign too, releasing this statement:

"This news confirms what we've been hearing more and more of each day: folks in the second district are tired of John Kline, and they're ready to kick him out office," Obermueller said in a statement. "People are fired up and are organizing across the district to remove him from a seat he's become too comfortable in."

Obermueller went on to say he is glad the "low-profile Kline" is finally getting the attention he deserves.

"The issue Mr. Kline may be the worst on is the one that inspired the most votes in our contest," Maher said. "And that is student debt."