President Joe Biden talked about guns, the Republican party, the economy’s performance after he took office, inflation, and the abortion issue on Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show Thursday.
Kimmel opened the interview with a question related to guns and schools. “There have been 27 shootings at schools,” this year, “Why haven’t we done anything about this?” asked Kimmel.
“A lot of it is intimidation by the NRA,” said the president, and immediately pivoted to the Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement started by former president Trump. “This is not your father’s Republican Party. This is a MAGA party.”
Biden said, “if they vote for the rational gun policy … they’re going to lose in a hard-right Republican primary.” Biden claimed that many Republicans would like to get behind a gun policy. He also respects Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) but “he’s a leader of the party that’s moved very hard right.”
Biden said that he sponsored a bill banning assault weapons and got it passed but it was voted out during the Bush administration. During the ban, crime went down, and came back up “significantly, three times,” while stressing on the “direct correlation” between the kinds of weapons and crime. Biden then started talking about Uvalde but couldn’t complete his thought.
Kimmel asked the president why he couldn’t issue an executive order on guns to which Biden replied, “I don’t want to emulate Trump’s abuse of constitution and constitutional authority.”
Biden had signed 28 executive orders in his first six days in office, along with actions, proclamations, memorandums, and agency directives—more than any other U.S. president in recorded history in the same timeframe.
Regarding climate change, Biden said that he has always “pushed electric vehicles,” and talked about the electric vehicle transformation commitments from General Motors and Ford. “I won by … 81 million votes, more than anybody’s ever gotten … but we still only ended up with 50 senators, which means we have 50 presidents.”
Kimmel said that two of the senators were “Iffy, I think,” referring to Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). “We have 48 out of 50 senators vote with me 95 percent of the time,” said Biden.
On the Economy
“We have the fastest growing economy in the world … 8.6 million jobs since I got into office … unemployment rates down to 3.6 percent … reduced the deficit last year by 320 billion dollars, this year, going to reduce by 1.7 trillion dollars,” Biden claimed. “Inflation is the bane of our existence … inflation is mostly in food and gasoline.”
U.S. citizens are grappling with sky-high inflation and poor growth. The annual Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of inflation, was 8.3 percent in April, just slightly lower than the 40-year high of 8.5 percent in March.
While food prices have risen by 9.4 percent, energy prices soared by 30.3 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. GDP declined by an annualized rate of 1.4 percent during Q1, 2022.
Regarding oil companies, Biden said, “Instead of everybody saying Biden won’t let them drill, they have 9,000 drilling sites they already own that are there. They’re not doing it.” The oil companies “make more money not drilling, and buying back their own stock,” claimed the president.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration recently canceled the sales of three major offshore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska. This has effectively blocked the opportunity to drill for oil in over 1 million acres while average gas prices have risen for the seventh straight week, and are heading towards $5 per gallon.
Also according to Biden, there are “54 major corporations in America, made 40 billion dollars last year, and don’t pay a penny in taxes.” If they could pay a minimum “15 percent,” then child care wouldn’t need to “cost 1,400 bucks a month.”
According to critics of the minimum 15 percent corporate tax, it will raise far less revenue than anticipated because of the continued tax credits for R&D or green energy and being able to carry losses forward. Besides this, it will make the existing tax system more complicated while, at the same time, discouraging further business investments.
“If the court overrules Roe v. Wade … we have to pass legislation making it a law,” said Biden. Kimmel claimed that 64 percent of Americans do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
“There are some executive orders I could employ … we’re looking at that right now,” said Biden. “If the decision comes down the way it does and these states impose the limitations they’re talking about, it’s going to cause a mini-revolution. They’re going to vote a lot of these folks out of office.”
The leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggested overturning the 1973 landmark decision guaranteeing the right to abortion across the United States.
Biden did not mention the alleged attempted murder of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his appearance on the Kimmel show.
The White House responded after Nicholas Roske was arrested for attempting to kill Kavanaugh on June 8.
“The president condemns the actions of this individual in the strongest terms and is grateful to law enforcement for quickly taking him into custody,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One en route to California.
Almost half of all states are expected to implement regulations and ban or restrict abortion access in some way if the decision is overturned.
Democrats had failed to turn the decision into law following roadblocks in the Senate.