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Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Less smiles, tough questions for Biden

LOS ANGELES –

Not a lot of laughs, but US President Joe Biden received some unsolicited advice from Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday as the president sat down for his first in-person interview with a host of the night. late since taking office.

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

Biden declined, 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? Does not make any sense!”

Biden said he is pinning his hopes on young people, the “best educated, least prejudiced, most dedicated generation in American history”.

“This generation is going to change everything,” Biden said. “We just have to make sure we don’t give up.”

The performance was taped in the afternoon in Los Angeles. Biden will visit the city for this week’s Summit of the Americas, which brings together nations from across the hemisphere. First Lady Jill Biden was in the stands, along with Biden’s niece Naomi and her fiancé.

Biden’s last previous appearance as president was in December, when he spoke remotely to Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.”

Kimmel began her interview by asking about gun control, referring to a recent spate of mass shootings.

“I guess, I mean, just to get in, why haven’t we done anything about this yet?” Kimmel asked.

Biden replied that “this is not my father’s Republican Party,” and he blamed his political opposition for being too scared to do anything about guns because they feared primary election challenges. the set.

Kimmel pressed Biden on whether he could use executive orders to strengthen gun control, noting that former President Donald Trump “gives them out like a Halloween candy.”

Although Biden has taken some unilateral steps on weapons, the president has said he has no interest in going beyond the limits of his powers.

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

Biden said he knows some people who feel like “Republicans don’t play it square, why would you play it square.”

“Well, guess what,” he said. “If we do the same thing they do, our democracy will literally be in jeopardy. Not a joke.”

Kimmel replied, “It’s like you’re playing Monopoly with someone who doesn’t make moves or doesn’t follow any of the rules, and how do you make any progress if they don’t follow them? rules.”

“You have to put them in jail,” Biden joked.

At another point in the interview, Kimmel said he was frustrated with the progress being made on issues like climate change and abortion.

“We have fallen behind,” he said.

Kimmel then sympathized with Biden’s challenges, particularly an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision expected to overturn the Roe v. Wade case, which has legalized abortion rights nationwide .

“What a terrible job you have,” Kimmel said. “I’m glad you’re doing it. But, boy, this sounds like a bad show. ”

Biden said he is looking at executive orders that could help access abortion – “we’re looking at it right now” – but said the best solutions are through legislation and elections.

If the court overturns the Roe and Wade case, Biden said, “it will cause a little revolution and they will vote a lot of these people out of office.”

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