Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel gave President Joe Biden some unsolicited advice: ‘I think you need to start yelling at people’
The president made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night, with the host lamenting Washington’s inability to address a slew of topics including gun violence, abortion, and climate change.
‘Why haven’t we done anything about this?’ Kimmel began his discussion with Biden, referring to the current run of mass shootings.
The president said, ‘This is not your father’s Republican Party,’ a line he’s been saying in front of campaign donors recently.
The president chastised his political opponents for being too terrified of primary election challenges to do anything about weapons.
Kimmel asked Biden on whether he could increase gun control through executive orders, adding that former President Donald Trump ‘handed them out like Halloween candy.’
Despite the fact that Biden has made some unilateral actions on firearms, the president has stated that he is not interested in going beyond his powers.
‘I don’t want to follow in Trump’s footsteps when it comes to abusing the Constitution and constitutional authority,’ Biden added.
‘Republicans don’t play it square, so why do you play it square?’ Biden said he understands why some people feel that way.
‘Well, let me tell you something,’ he continued. ‘If we follow in their footsteps, our democracy will be jeopardized.’ This isn’t a joke.’
‘It’s like playing Monopoly with someone who won’t pass go or follow any of the rules, and how do you ever make any progress if they don’t follow the rules?’ Kimmel answered.
‘You have to imprison them,’ Biden remarked.
Kimmel stated later in the interview that he was dissatisfied with the progress made on problems such as climate change and abortion.
‘We’ve taken a step back,’ he admitted.
Later, Kimmel expressed sympathy for Biden’s difficulties, notably the approaching Supreme Court decision that is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade, which allowed abortion access across the United States.
‘You have a lousy job,’ Kimmel observed. ‘I’m delighted you’re taking the initiative. But, boy, does this appear to be a dreadful job.’
Biden said he was looking into executive orders to help with abortion access – ‘we’re looking into it right now,’ he said – but that legislation and elections were the best remedies.
‘It’s going to trigger a minor revolution, and they’re going to vote a lot of these guys out of office,’ Biden predicted if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
In response to Kimmel’s suggestion that Biden become a yeller, Biden stated that he has “never been more optimistic in my life.”
‘Why are you so upbeat?’ Kimmel interjected quickly. ‘It doesn’t make any sense!’
Biden stated that he is placing his faith in the ‘best educated, least biased, and most charitable generation in American history.’
‘Everything is going to change because of this generation,’ Biden remarked. ‘All we have to do now is make sure we don’t give up.’
Biden has been frustrated by his low poll ratings, which have been fueled by concerns about high gas and oil prices, baby formula shortages, and a lack of movement on a number of legislative fronts, including voting rights, abortion rights, and gun safety.
In the coming weeks, his aides hope to retool their rhetoric to focus on the economy’s positive aspects, such as employment and pay growth.
‘The bane of our existence is inflation,’ Biden stated.
He chastised Exxon Mobil for raking in huge profits while not drilling additional wells or refining more fuel, instead opting to buy back its own stock.
‘I mean, it’s simply – pardon me – it’s backwards,’ Biden added.
Kimmel’s Hollywood studio was Biden’s first stop in Los Angeles, where he’s attending the Summit of the Americas. First Lady Jill Biden, as well as Biden’s granddaughter Naomi and her fiancé, were in the audience.
Biden’s sole earlier late-night engagement as president occurred in December, when he appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show via videoconference.
Biden kicked off the Summit of the Americas with a Holly-wood-style opening ceremony at the Microsoft Theater, which is usually where the Emmys are held.
‘At a time when democracy is under attack around the world, let us reaffirm our belief that democracy is not just a defining characteristic of American history, but also an essential ingredient in America’s future,’ the president added.
Prior to the summit, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that he would boycott the meeting of North, Central, and South American leaders since the United States had decided not to invite the authoritarian leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
Biden kept his snub, while López Obrador followed through on his promise to not show.
‘We have a wide and diverse territory. We don’t always see eye to eye. But, as democracies, we work through our differences through mutual respect and communication,’ Biden said the audience.
There were a number of heads of state in attendance, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, whom Biden hugged as they exchanged greetings just before the opening event. Vice President Kamala Harris, Governor Gavin Newsom, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti all spoke to welcome the gathering to their home state of California.
Biden emphasized to leaders that’safe and orderly migration’ benefited the area as he went over some of the summit’s goals.
‘Illegal migration is unacceptable,’ stated the president. ‘We will keep our borders secure.’
Apart from the Mexican president, the leaders of the three Northern Triangle countries – Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador – who are responsible for the majority of migrant crossings into the US, will not be present at the summit.
At the start of his comments, the president was momentarily interrupted by a solitary female protester. As she was escorted to the rear of the cinema by security, she continued to yell.
Emilio Estefan, who has long been active in Democratic politics, had put together a song-and-dance sequence, complete with percussionists wandering the auditorium, that the president had followed.
‘I probably should stop right here, I’ve followed some difficult acts in the past… but not such a difficult act as I’ve witnessed in the last 45 minutes up here,’ he remarked, addressing the performers but also the protester.
Colombian artist Jorge Celedon, Mexico’s Alex Fernandez, and the Mariachi Divas Espectacular – a big Mariachi ensemble, as the name suggests – all performed on the inaugural show.
Acrobats from Cirque du Soleil dangled from the stage to The Tenors’ rendition of ‘Lean on Me,’ with musical accompaniment provided by ‘The President’s Own’ Marine Band.
The theme music from the movie Hook, composed by John Williams, was played as the audience exited.
Biden arrived in Los Angeles for the Summit of the Americas on Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by Hunter’s daughter Naomi and her fiance Peter Neal.
At LAX, he was greeted by California Governor Gavin Newsom and his children, as well as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose nomination to be Biden’s ambassador to India is now delayed in the Senate.
When Naomi, the president’s granddaughter, and her fiancé, Neal, consummate the married in November, they will have their wedding celebration in the White House.
During the trip, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned that when Biden meets with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the summit on Thursday, nothing will be off the table, including a discussion of democratic elections after Bolsonaro questioned Biden’s 2020 victory earlier this week.
‘In whatever bilateral meeting the president has, including the first with President Bolsonaro, there are no issues off limits.’ Second, I expect the president to speak about open, free, fair, and transparent democratic elections,’ Sullivan said to reporters aboard Air Force One.
As part of the United States’ hosting of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, Biden will meet with Bolsonaro for the first time as president.
Bolsonaro, dubbed the “Trump of the Tropics,” cast doubt on Biden’s victory in the 2020 U.S. presidential election in the run-up to the summit, echoing his political partner, former President Donald Trump’s phony election fraud claims.
According to Reuters, he remarked in a TV interview that “the American people are the ones who talk about [election fraud.” ‘I will not discuss another country’s sovereignty.’ Trump, on the other hand, was doing exceptionally well.’
Bolsonaro, who is running for president in October, added, “We don’t want that to happen in Brazil.”
Why would Biden meet with Bolsonaro but ignoring a trio of authoritarian leaders from the continent, including Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega?
On a summit planning call with reporters, a senior administration official said, “I guess what I would say about the decision to do a meeting is that President Bolsonaro is a democratically elected leader of Brazil, a country with which the United States shares a significant set of common interests and concerns.”
Bolsonaro has hinted that he would pull a Trump and refuse to surrender his presidential campaign in October if he loses.
Protesters gathered around LA City Hall on Wednesday before the leaders arrived, calling Bolsonaro a “fraud” and accusing him of “destroying the Amazon.”
Biden will also debate Bolsonaro’s environmental record with the Brazilian president, according to Sullivan.
‘Climate change will be a major issue of discussion, and we believe it can be a source of progress in the US-Brazil relationship, particularly in terms of meaningful and tangible actions to safeguard the Amazon,’ Sullivan added.
Sullivan was also questioned if Biden is stressing democratic themes during his three days in Los Angeles, and why he isn’t holding a press conference to conclude the summit.
When challenged about the lack of a press conference, Sullivan responded, “I think it would be impossible to say that he hasn’t accepted many, many questions from the press.” ‘Over the next three days, he’ll be clearly in front of and addressing the press in various ways.’
After making a statement to media regarding Tuesday night’s primary results on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews, Biden ignored questions from the press on Wednesday morning.
He then tripped on Air Force One’s steps.
‘And I think you can be pretty confident by the conclusion of this that he’ll be showcasing – putting on full display – America’s rowdy democracy in all of its lovely and charming manifestations,’ Sullivan concluded.
‘I don’t see the question of a formal news conference as a litmus test,’ added the top Biden advisor.
Instead, when Biden arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, his first stop was to tape the presidential debate.
For a taped interview, Jimmy Kimmel went to his Hollywood studio.
It will be his first face-to-face interview with a late-night program host since becoming office.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! will air Biden’s segment later on Wednesday night.
Biden will kick off the Summit of the Americas Wednesday evening at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, which has hosted the Emmys, Grammys, MTV Video Music Awards, and other star-studded events.
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