As far as interviews with sitting presidents go, Biden’s sit-down with Jimmy Kimmel was not exactly a grilling by the late Tim Russert. The talk show host began by stating he has voted for Biden several times, then he tossed the president left-wing questions that allowed Biden to complain, blame, and lie.
“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,” Biden, who ordered OSHA last year to force businesses to force their employees to get a shot to stay employed, said with a straight face.
When Kimmel used the analogy of a Monopoly game to suggest Republicans aren’t playing by the “rules,” whatever that means, Biden went on to joke about sending his political opponents to jail, apparently referring to the board game. Or maybe not.
Curtis Houck of Media Research Center says it’s understandable for the White House to seize an opportunity to help Biden improve his public image.
“If you're this White House dealing with the poll numbers that you are, and struggling to deal with any number of crises,” he reasons, “why risk having the president sit through for these interviews when you know that despite their kvetching, this press corps will go along with whatever it is you want to talk about and peddle your talking point?”
Houck says Biden did face some “tough” questions, if you want to call them that, after Kimmel urged him to ignore those terrible Republicans and to take action on gun laws and climate change.
Kimmel’s line of questioning, like the Monopoly game analogy, then allowed Biden to appear to be a calm and rational voice reassuring the worried talk show host.
“I think you need to start yelling at people," Kimmel, appearing frustrated, suggested at one point.
Responding to that plea, Biden said he has “never been more optimistic in my life.”
"Why are you so optimistic? It makes no sense!” Kimmel replied.
"This generation is going to change everything,” Biden said. “We just have to make sure we don’t give up.”
“That is what we saw with Jimmy Kimmel,” Houck says, “where he hit Joe Biden from the left wondering why are you basically treating Republicans like human beings?”