CNN's Bill Carter Gushes Over Kimmel's Anti-GOP Rant, 'Get Into' Cassidy's 'Heart'

Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's New Day, CNN media analyst Bill Carter talked up ABC comedian Jimmy Kimmel as someone who should challenge Republican Senator Bill Cassidy on the issue of replacing ObamaCare.

After CNN played clips of Kimmel from last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live in which the ABC host ranted against Senator Cassidy and the Republican effort to replace ObamaCare, Carter gushed:

Well, I think it plays very well. I think Jimmy is a really sincere guy. I mean, you know, he's not one of these polished and plucked persons that Kellyanne Conway attacks in Hollywood. This is a sincere -- he's a regular guy. Jimmy's a decent guy. I like him enormously. And he was in a personal situation -- he speaks from his heart.

Somehow, in his rush to honor Kimmel as a "decent" guy, he missed Kimmel mocking Conway in July with a grotesque-looking Kellyanne puppet saying stupid things. Or Kimmel cracking Ted Cruz "masturbates to pictures of poor people without health care."

After recalling that the late night host's son was born with a serious medical problem that will be expensive to treat, Carter added:

So I think Jimmy is connecting with people with this. They're looking at him and saying, "This guy is speaking for me if my kid has a problem."

The CNN media analyst then pined for Cassidy to go back onto Kimmel's show and debate him so that the late night host could "get into his heart."

They want to dismiss people like Jimmy Kimmel: "Well, what does he know?" I'd like to see Bill Cassidy go back on and talk to Jimmy now. Let's hear what he says to Jimmy now. Jimmy would get into his heart, I think, because this is what it's about. It's not about -- when it comes down to it, it's not about money anymore. It's not about politics or ideology.

After co-host Chris Cuomo pushed back, "And would it be fair to have a Senator who knows this stuff inside and out as a clinician and as a policy guy going against a comedian?" Carter continued to plug Kimmel as he responded:

I think Jimmy could stand up very well because I think he would cite the specifics of his situation, and, unlike Walter Cronkite, Walter Cronkite didn't have a son in Vietnam. This is about his own kid. It's about his own experience. I think that hits people in a different way than just (inaudible) policy.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, September 20, New Day on CNN:

CHRIS CUOMO: Joining us now is CNN media analyst Bill Carter. How does it play?

BILL CARTER: Well, I think it plays very well. I think Jimmy is a really sincere guy. I mean, you know, he's not one of these polished and plucked persons that Kellyanne Conway attacks in Hollywood. This is a sincere -- he's a regular guy. Jimmy's a decent guy. I like him enormously. And he was in a personal situation -- he speaks from his heart. This is a real-world problem he had. 

And he identified himself as a rich person so he didn't have to worry about taking care of his son, but another person would have all of these problems. There are hundreds of thousands of dollars of bills now, and then there'd be bills later. This boy is going to need a lot of care. When he's 20 years old, he's going to need another operation. So I think Jimmy is connecting with people with this. They're looking at him and saying, "This guy is speaking for me if my kid has a problem."

ALISYN CAMEROTA: And what's the upshot of that in terms of public policy? You know, obviously there was a time when what Walter Cronkite said sort of moved the political needle.

CARTER: In Vietnam, yes.

CAMEROTA: Yes, and so now all the late-night hosts are so political, does this change policy?

CARTER: I don't know if it changes policy. I don't know how these people respond? They want to dismiss people like Jimmy Kimmel: "Well, what does he know?" I'd like to see Bill Cassidy go back on and talk to Jimmy now. Let's hear what he says to Jimmy now. Jimmy would get into his heart, I think, because this is what it's about. It's not about -- when it comes down to it, it's not about money anymore. It's not about politics or ideology.

CUOMO: Putting a lot on his plate, though. I mean, first of all, comparing late-night guys to Cronkite. That was a very different moment, and it's why it changed the coverage.

CAMEROTA: My point is that they have a lot of eyeballs, and does it move the needle at all?

CUOMO: But it's about the forum also, all right. You know, Cronkite was the voice of American conscience, right? Would Kimmel be that? And would it be fair to have a Senator who knows this stuff inside and out as a clinician and as a policy guy going against a comedian?

CARTER: I think Jimmy could stand up very well because I think he would cite the specifics of his situation, and, unlike Walter Cronkite, Walter Cronkite didn't have a son in Vietnam. This is about his own kid. It's about his own experience. I think that hits people in a different way than just (inaudible) policy.

CUOMO: But Cassidy is going to say, "Yeah, but this bill takes care of it, it protects preexisting conditions, it gives more money to the states, it does a lot of good things.

CARTER: Jimmy would cite all of the organizations that say it doesn't, that have total credibility -- the AMA, the Cancer Society, and all of that are against it. And I think he would say, "I know from a lot of people in this situation -- and he talked to the doctors -- what would happen if these laws changed. I think he would be able to stand up very well. And Jimmy's a tough guy. I think he'd handle it really well.

NB Daily Health Care Medical Insurance ABC Jimmy Kimmel Live CNN New Day ObamaCare Video Bill Carter Jimmy Kimmel Bill Cassidy


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