President Joe Biden couldn’t resist blasting his predecessor, Donald Trump, during a Wednesday appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. When pushed by host Jimmy Kimmel about why he has not issued an executive order to help push gun control legislation forward, Biden said he didn’t want to “abuse” his power in office like Trump had done.
“Can’t you issue an executive order? Trump passed those out like Halloween candy. Isn’t that something that could happen?” Kimmel asked his guest during a discussion about gun policy and the lack of action despite multiple mass shootings, including the devastating deaths of 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas last month.
Biden replied, “Well, I have issued executive orders within the power of the presidency to be able to deal with these, everything having to do with guns, gun ownership, whether or not you have to have a waiting period — all the things that are within my power. But 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 the constitutional authority.”
While in office, Trump passed 220 executive orders between 2017 and 2021. In comparison, former President Barack Obama issued 276 executive orders between his two terms, which took place from 2009 to 2017.
Biden continued, “I often get asked, ‘Look, the Republicans don’t play it square. Why do you play it square?’ Well, guess what? If we do the same thing they do, our democracy literally would be in jeopardy. I mean, not a joke.”
Kimmel pushed back, telling the president he understood his approach, but compared it to “playing Monopoly with somebody who won’t pass Go and won’t follow any of the rules, and how do you ever make any progress if they’re not following the rules?”
Biden responded by carrying on the analogy, quipping, “You’ve got to send ’em to jail.”
Jimmy Kimmel Live airs weeknights at 11:35/10:35c on ABC. Watch Biden’s full conversation with Kimmel in the video above.