Jimmy Kimmel Responds to Claims He Acted as Pawn for Chuck Schumer in Health Care Debate
The ABC late-night host recapped the past few days' worth of developments concerning the Graham-Cassidy bill.
As Jimmy Kimmel continues his health care crusade, the opposition to the late-night host speaking out against the beleaguered Graham-Cassidy bill goes on as well.
Critics are now claiming that since the ABC late-night host got help from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as he was doing research on the bill, he's merely been acting as a pawn for Schumer and Democratic opposition to the legislation.
Kimmel took on that particular criticism on Monday night's episode of his eponymous late-night show as he also recapped the past few days' worth of developments on the Graham-Cassidy bill.
"All the propaganda outlets got very excited. They found out, meaning they read in an article, that I spoke to Senator Schumer, who's a Democrat, when I was doing research, and of course they went absolutely nuts. They called me a pawn and a mouthpiece, they said I was a puppet for the Democrats," Kimmel said as he introduced the latest dimension to the backlash he's received.
He also aired a Fox & Friends report about his alleged plot with Schumer.
"Think about this. For months, a network evening show has been talking to one side of the aisle to get their talking points on a bill. If you want confirmation that the so-called mainstream media is actually the opposition party in bed with the Democrats, there you have it," the Fox News host said. "How much talk has his staff had with Senator [Lindsey] Graham or [Bill] Cassidy? Or the Majority Leader? Probably none, maybe some, let us know, Jimmy Kimmel show, if you want to let us know that you've talked to both sides. But the reporting is, 'We're going to get the talking points from Chuck and Nancy [Pelosi], and we're going to fight this bill through the media.' It's no surprise to those of us who feel like the deck is stacked against real reform in Washington."
Kimmel responded with a deadpan, sarcastic "confession."
"You know it would be easy for me to dismiss this as some kind of right-wing hysteria, but he does have a point. I'd like to make a confession tonight. I think I need to come clean," the late-night host said. "Here's what happened. So my wife and I were worried about health care, we didn't like what the Republicans were doing. So we decided to have a baby with congenital heart defects. OK? And then once we had that going for us, I went on TV, I spoke out and we may have stopped Cassidy-Graham. I still can't believe we pulled it off. But we did. It's amazing, isn't it?"
Kimmel went on to say that since he started speaking out, organizations that have fact-checked him and major health care groups have all sided with him, "because the facts were on my side."
"It has nothing to do with me. It's just a matter of what's true and what isn't true," he added.
The host once again thanked Sens. John McCain and Susan Collins for declaring their opposition to the bill.
Kimmel commended McCain for opposing the bill even though it was written by Graham, one of his closest friends.
"Do you know how many times I've pretended to like something just because one of my friends wrote it? A million," Kimmel said.
And he used Maine Senator Collins' position to make a joke about the horror blockbuster It.
"Maine needs affordable health care almost more than any other state," he said. "You know the sewers up there are filled with child-eating clowns?"
Ultimately, Kimmel said "the whole thing has been a roller-coaster for me and my wife," and since Collins' opposition puts the bill on "life support," which Kimmel joked isn't covered under the legislation, he celebrated being able to get back to talking about other topics, like the Kardashians.
After Senate Republicans said they would not vote on Graham-Cassidy, Kimmel celebrated the legislation's defeat with a photo of his happy son.
Watch the full Kimmel video below.
Sept. 26, 1:26 p.m. This story has been updated with Kimmel's tweet after Senate Republicans said they wouldn't vote on Graham-Cassidy.