Jimmy Kimmel Escalates Senator War: "He Either Doesn’t Understand His Own Bill or He Lied to Me"
Kimmel's feud with Bill Cassidy over health care reform plans continued for a second night.
Jimmy Kimmel has a lot more to say about Sen. Bill Cassidy and his and Sen. Lindsey Graham's recent health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.
After restating his feelings on the new bill, Kimmel asked, "Oh I get it, I don’t understand because I’m a talk show host right? Which part am I not understanding? Or could it be that I do understand and that you got caught with your GOPenis out?" Saying he "doesn't want to turn this into a Kanye and Taylor Swift-type situation," he said the situation can be equated to a bad pitch at a Yankees game where "[Cassidy] made a pitch that looked pretty good at first … but then it took a dangerous turn — and hit us right in the nuts."
A clearly angry Kimmel added: "He made a total about face. Which means he either doesn’t understand his own bill — or he lied to me."
He then took to task others, including Sen. Graham and Fox News' Brian Kilmeade, who had issues with his previous remarks on the bill. After playing a clip of Kilmeade in which he blasts "Hollywood elites like comedian Jimmy Kimmel for pushing their politics on the rest of the country," Kimmel fires back, calling Kilmeade "particularly annoying" because he "kisses my ass" whenever he sees the comedian like a "little boy meeting Batman."
Kimmel continued his tear on Kilmeade by saying: "He’s been to the show; he follows me on Twitter; he asked me to write a blurb for his book, which I did; he calls my agent looking for projects. He is dying to be a member of the Hollywood elite. The only reason he’s not part of the Hollywood elite is because nobody will hire him to be one."
On Thursday, Kilmeade responded to the "personal" attack in a Twitter video, saying, "I hope your son gets better. I'm glad you're interested, you're doing a great job bringing the dialogue out but you should actually do what we're doing: Talk to the people who wrote it." He also denied both Kimmel's "kissing your butt" and blurb accusations.
As for Sen. Graham, Kimmel called him out because "he lashed out at me for not calling Senator Cassidy before I went on the air — I guess to give him a chance to lie to me again over the telephone. " Ultimately, Kimmel was more forgiving of Graham, though, because "he is one of the few Republicans who stands up to Donald Trump" and he "happens to look a lot like my Grandma Jane, who is now deceased."
These latest comments come after Cassidy, speaking on Wednesday's edition of CNN's New Day, claimed the late-night host "does not understand" and that the bill will actually "protect those with pre-existing conditions." Kimmel had first slammed the bill, and Cassidy, in a candid opening monologue on his show Tuesday. Kimmel said Cassidy "was not very honest" and "lied right to my face" when the senator appeared on the show back in May and said any future bills would pass "the Jimmy Kimmel test," which Kimmel explained is an idea that no child should be denied health care, emergency or otherwise, because the family cannot afford it.
Kimmel claims the new bill proposed last week does not pass that test, and also does not do any of the things Cassidy had reportedly promised — including "coverage for all, no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle-class families, and no lifetime caps."
Health care is a subject Kimmel is very passionate about. His nearly 5-month-old son, William "Billy" Kimmel, was born with congenital heart disease and had to undergo open-heart surgery at just 3 days old.
President Trump also got in on the action, tweeting on Wednesday in support of Sen. Cassidy. "Senator (Doctor) Bill Cassidy is a class act who really cares about people and their Health(care), he doesn't lie-just wants to help people!" Kimmel then responded to that tweet with: "That's great news Mr. President! Does that mean he'll vote against the horrible bill he wrote?"
Kimmel also addressed the tweet exchange on tonight's show, saying, "There’s no way President Trump read this bill — that he says is great! He just wants to get rid of it because Obama’s name is on it. The Democrats should just rename it Ivankacare — guaranteed it gets him on board."
He added, "Can you imagine Donald Trump actually sitting down to read a health care bill? It’s like trying to imagine a dog doing your taxes. It just doesn’t compute, you know?"
On Thursday, Kimmel continued his tirade, saying, "I guarantee [Trump] doesn’t know anything about this Graham-Cassidy bill. He doesn’t know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. He barely knows the difference between Melania and Ivanka!"
And as for those that question his qualifications for talking about health care, Kimmel says he's not the one people should be questioning: "The guy you voted for President — his job qualification was this: He fired Meatloaf. And you put him in the White House."
Watch a video of Wednesday and Thursday's monologues below.
Sept. 21, 8:25 a.m.: Updated with Kilmeade response.
Sept. 21, 7:38 p.m.: Updated with Thursday night's monologue.