President Joe Biden, during the recording of Jimmy Kimmel's program this Wednesday.
President Joe Biden, during the recording of Jimmy Kimmel’s program this Wednesday.KEVIN LAMARQUE (REUTERS)

And 118 days later, Joe Biden gave an interview. The president appeared on Wednesday night at the El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Boulevard to record Jimmy Kimmel Live!, one of the late night most viewed in the United States. From Los Angeles, where he opened the Summit of the Americas, the president shared his views on gun regulation, inflation, the threat hanging over abortion, Republican opposition and political polarization. “I have never been more optimistic in my life,” the president told Kimmel, who told him that, with the state of the country, it made no sense. “Look at the young people, they have never been better educated, with less prejudice, it is the most generous generation this country has had… That generation will change everything. We just have to make sure we don’t give up,” the president said.

Biden’s television appearance coincides with the congressional testimony of an 11-year-old survivor of the Uvalde massacre that shocked the country. Democrats on Wednesday approved laws that make it difficult for those under 21 to have access to weapons and limit large-capacity magazines. These laws have little chance of succeeding in the Senate, where the opposition easily prevails. “Shouldn’t we force all the senators to sit down with the Uvalde families?” Kimmel asked, her voice cracking. “This has to become an electoral issue, where you decide your vote depending on what your congressman or senator thinks about this issue,” Biden responded.

Kimmel, an outspoken Democratic supporter, who introduced the president by confessing that he had voted for him, asked what is on the minds of so many: why has nothing been done? “Couldn’t you issue an executive order? Trump distributed those as if they were Halloween candy”, the activist in favor of the regulation wanted to know. “I have, at least among the executive branches of arms, but what I don’t want to do is emulate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution and constitutional authority. Many ask me why I play fair if Republicans don’t play fair. Guess what? If I act like this, our democracy would be in danger,” said the president. Biden, however, has said that his government is considering issuing some of these orders if the Supreme Court decides to end the right to abortion protected in the Roe v. Wade ruling. “I don’t think the country will allow it, it would be ridiculous… If the decision goes the way it is believed and the States put these prohibitions, this will cause a small revolution, which will cause many to lose elections,” he confided.

Biden, who will turn 80 in November, reminded the audience that he was one of the promoters of the ban on assault weapons that was in force in the country between 1994 and 2004. “Violent crimes fell, but it was only in force for a decade and when it had to be authorized again, in the first administration of George W. Bush we did not have the votes, so he returned and with him the crimes returned, which tripled, “he assured.

Biden’s interview on the ABC program had caused resentment among the conservative media, who criticized the president for choosing a supporter to do his first interview since last February. “How comfortable will the president be with the liberal Jimmy Kimmel,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham complained recently. In response to all these remarks, Kimmel presented a montage of ridiculous questions made to Trump by network journalists.

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Kimmel wanted to know why the Biden administration is facing so many setbacks without yet having reached its halfway point. Women’s reproductive rights, minority rights, defending the vote, and climate change are just a few of the issues facing Democrats on an uphill road. Biden, however, assures that there is progress in the fight against climate change with the installation of new wind farms and with the commitment of GM and Ford to increase the manufacture of electric cars to 50% of production.

According to Guardian, Biden is one of the presidents who gives the fewest interviews. Between January 2021, when he came to power, and until last April, the president had given 23 interviews. Instead, his predecessor Donald Trump, in the first 18 months in office, had given 95 interviews. More sparing were Bill Clinton, with 64, and George Bush, with 70. The most talkative, Barack Obama, the president who held the most one-on-one meetings: 187. Almost one interview every three days, according to the British newspaper, who cites a White House Transition Project.

The president is in Los Angeles, where he inaugurated the most recent edition of the Summit of the Americas, marked by the absence of some presidents and over which the threat of lack of concrete agreements hangs over. The interview coincides with the publication of a new poll that places Biden at the lowest level of approval of his mandate, with only 39%. According to the Morning Consult firm, the Democratic president is several points below Donald Trump at the same level as his government. After 18 months in the White House, the Republican had a 45% approval rating.

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