President Joe Biden on Wednesday said gun safety policy must become “a voting issue” as Americans head to the polls for midterms.
“You’ve got to make sure that this becomes a voting issue,” the president said on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in his second appearance on a late-night show in his presidency and his first in person. “ 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. It should be one of those issues.”
Biden’s remarks come as the country reels from a string of mass shootings, including the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead. As pressure builds on Congress to act, bipartisan negotiations are gaining steam in the Senate.
The president talked about the hours he spent with victims’ families in Uvalde, and the fear he believes is keeping some Republicans from moving forward with gun legislation.
“This is not your father’s Republican Party. This is a MAGA party. It’s a very different Republican Party. And so you find people who are worried, I believe, that if they vote for rational gun policy, they’re gonna be primaried and they’re gonna lose in a hard-right Republican primary,” Biden said.
Kimmel kicked off his segment with a series of clips of Fox News personalities talking about Biden coming on to his show. The clips featured Fox hosts claiming that it wasn’t a real interview and that Kimmel would toss the president “softball” questions. The talk show host then played a round-up of interviews from Fox News, Newsmax and others, with former President Donald Trump. In one clip, Trump was asked about his golf game.
But Kimmel’s interview wasn’t as light as one may have expected, focusing extensively on policy issues. He asked the president why he couldn’t issue more executive orders on guns, in which Biden took a swing at his predecessor.
“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 said.
“Look, I often get asked, well the Republicans don’t play it square. Why do you play it square? Well guess, what? Well if we do the same thing they do, our democracy will literally be in jeopardy.”
The wide-ranging conversation also addressed inflation, what Biden called the “bane of our existence.” And Kimmel touched on the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on whether it will overturn Roe v. Wade.
“Boy these things just keep coming at you, don’t they?” Kimmel said. “What a terrible job you had.”
Biden laughed before diving into a serious answer, which was in line with message on guns. He called for legislation codifying the the right to abortion, but he said it’s another issue voters need to take to the polls.
“You’ve got to make sure that you vote,” Biden said. “You got to vote, let people know exactly what the devil you think.”
The post Biden urges Americans to make guns ‘a voting issue’ appeared first on Politico.