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Jimmy Kimmel Presses President Biden on Gun Reform: Your Optimism 'Makes No Sense'

The president also discussed the climate crisis, Roe v. Wade, and the Republican playbook.
  • President Biden stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday for the first late-night interview of his presidency, and Kimmel didn't shy away from pressing the president on a number of difficult topics, including gun reform.

    As the two discussed common sense gun laws, Kimmel asked, "Can't you issue an executive order? Trump passed those out like Halloween candy."

    "What I don't want to do — and I'm not being facetious — I don't want to emulate Trump's abuse of the constitution and constitutional authority," said Biden. "I often get asked, 'Look, the Republicans don't play it square. Why do you play it square?' Well guess what? If we do the same thing they do, our democracy would literally be in jeopardy."

    Kimmel said he "understand[s] that argument," but suggested it doesn't apply when Republicans are playing an entirely different game. "It's like you're playing Monopoly with somebody who won't pass Go and won't follow any of the rules, and how do you ever make any progress if they're not following the rules?" he asked, prompting Biden to joke, "You've got to send them to jail."

    The late-night host also pressed Biden on the climate crisis and the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade, but despite these seemingly intractable issues, Biden declared, "I've never been more optimistic in my life."

    "Why are you so optimistic? It makes no sense!" replied Kimmel.

    "No, it does," Biden responded. "Look at the kids. Look at the young people. Best educated, least prejudiced, most giving generation in history."

    Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 PM ET on ABC.

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    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Jimmy Kimmel, ABC, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Joe Biden, Gun Violence, politics