In “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” appearance, Biden urges people to make guns ‘a voting issue’

Placeholder while article actions load

President Biden made his first in-studio appearance on a late-night talk show Wednesday, discussing gun control and other issues with host Jimmy Kimmel in Los Angeles.

The episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” opened with Kimmel asking why gun violence still plagued the United States, noting there had already been two dozen school shootings this year. Biden recalled his recent visit to Uvalde, Tex., where two weeks ago a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School — and where the president had been urged to “do something!”

“A lot of it’s intimidation by the NRA,” Biden said, referring to the National Rifle Association, on why there had not been movement on federal gun legislation. The House on Wednesday night passed several gun-control measures as a response to recent shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo and elsewhere, but they are not likely to pass the Senate because of GOP opposition.

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” Biden added, saying he believed a lot of Republican lawmakers feared that supporting “rational gun policy” would result in losing to a hard-right challenger in a GOP primary election.

At one point, Biden turned to the studio audience and urged them to make gun control a voting issue.

“You’ve got to make sure that this becomes a voting issue. It’s got to be one of those issues where you decide your position on the issue of senator or candidate for House or Senate, on what we’re going to do with assault weapons. … What you say on those things is going to determine how I vote for you,” Biden said. “It should be one of those issues.”

The House endorsed aggressive gun-control measures in a 223-to-204 vote on June 8. (Video: The Washington Post)

Biden also defended his record when Kimmel — a Democratic Party donor who contributed to Biden’s 2020 campaign — pressed him on why the administration hadn’t accomplished more. Biden said he had not issued more executive orders, including on guns, because he didn’t want “to emulate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution and constitutional authority.”

Kimmel pushed back slightly, saying a lot of Democrats were frustrated because “we got out and voted.”

“We won the House, the Senate, the White House, obviously, and still we have made very little progress as far as I’m concerned when it comes to guns, obviously, reproductive rights, voting rights, climate change — all these things ,” Kimmel said.

Biden argued that his administration had made limited progress on climate and said he was looking at executive orders he could issue if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. wade. But he also suggested that any new restrictions on abortion could only be reversed at the ballot box.

Yew Roe falls, “it’s going to cause a mini-revolution and they’re going to vote a lot of these folks out of office,” he said.

John Wagner contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.