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Little laughs, tough questions as Biden chats with Kimmel

LOS ANGELES – There wasn’t much to laugh about, but President Joe Biden got unsolicited advice from Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday as the president sat down for his first face-to-face interview with a late-night anchor since taking office.

The host of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” expressed frustration at the persistent problems in Washington and advised the president, “I think you need to start yelling at people.”

Biden disagreed, saying the country was still suffering the effects of the pandemic, but insisted he had “never been more optimistic in my life.”

Kimmel quickly interjected, “Why are you so optimistic? That makes no sense!”

Biden said he pinned his hopes on young people, the “best educated, least biased, and most generous generation in American history.”

“This generation will change everything,” Biden said. “We just have to be careful not to give up.”

The show was taped in Los Angeles that afternoon. Biden is visiting the city for this week’s Summit of the Americas, which brings together countries from across the hemisphere. First Lady Jill Biden was in the audience along with Biden’s granddaughter Naomi and her fiancé.

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Biden’s only late-night appearance as president was in December, when he spoke remotely with Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s The Tonight Show.

Kimmel began his interview with a question about gun control, citing a recent spate of mass shootings.

“I think, I mean, just getting into that, why haven’t we done anything about it?” asked Kimmel.

Biden responded that “this is not your father’s Republican Party,” and he accused his political opposition of being too afraid to do anything about guns because they feared challenges in the primary.

Kimmel pushed Biden on whether he could use executive orders to improve gun control, noting that former President Donald Trump “passed them out like Halloween candy.”

Although Biden has taken some unilateral moves on firearms, the president said he is not interested in overstepping the limits of his authority.

“I don’t want to emulate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution and constitutional authority,” he said.

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Biden said he knew some people felt, “Republicans aren’t playing it honestly, why are you playing it honestly.”

“Well, guess what?” he said. “If we do what they do, our democracy is literally in jeopardy. No joke.”

Kimmel replied, “It’s like you’re playing Monopoly with someone who doesn’t fit or doesn’t play by the rules, and how do you ever make progress if they don’t play by the rules?”

“You have to send them to jail,” Biden joked.

At another point in the interview, Kimmel indicated that he was disappointed with the progress made on issues like climate change and abortion.

“We moved backwards,” he said.

Kimmel later sympathized with Biden’s challenges, particularly the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision expected to result in Roe v. Wade, which legalized access to abortion nationwide.

“What a terrible job you have,” Kimmel said. “I’m glad you’re doing it. But, boy, does that look like a bad performance?

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Biden said he is considering executive orders that could help with abortion access — “we’re looking at that right now” — but said the best solutions are laws and elections.

If the court of Roe v. Wade, Biden said, “it’s going to start a mini-revolution and they’re going to vote a lot of these people out of office.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/06/09/few-laughs-tough-questions-as-biden-chats-with-kimmel/ Little laughs, tough questions as Biden chats with Kimmel

Sarah Y. Kim

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