During Tuesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, the eponymous ABC host brought on longtime lefty and current Esquire writer Charles Pierce. Kimmel praised Pierce and encouraged his audience to check out his work: “If you have an internet connection, read “‘Politics With Charles P. Pierce’ multiple times a day on Esquire.com.” After introducing Pierce, Kimmel told him “I love you. I’m very fond of your work.”
Pierce’s “work” includes a lot of vile commentary critical of conservatives and President Trump. Pierce earned himself a spot on Newsbusters’ list of the Most Outrageous Quotes of 2017 Part II due to his suggestion that the “massacre of country music fans” was a “blood sacrifice” to the Constitution, referring to the Las Vegas massacre that left dozens dead. Believe it or not, Kimmel himself tweeted out a link to that article.
In another piece, Pierce blamed Republican policies for the damage of Hurricane Harvey, arguing that conservatism led to a “political flood plain” that “we’re all being swept away” on. Pierce also has quite a bit of contempt for Vice President Mike Pence, once describing the then Vice Presidential nominee as a “creationist sexual bigot.”
During his Kimmel interview, Pierce bragged about writing about President Trump with an asterisk next to his name, effectively suggesting that he is not a legitimate President, as Kimmel laughed in amusement.
Not surprisingly, it did not take long for the discussion to turn to the 2020 Presidential race. Kimmel asked Pierce if he thought President Trump would make it to 2020. Pierce responded: “I think the odds are 60-40 that he will.” Pierce argued that if the President wanted to get out of running, “he could claim, I’m sure, that he has some sort of ailment....Because I think everyone would believe that.” Kimmel then quipped: “I would say, I went in for an MRI, and the needles in my wig went right through my head. I need to take a break.”
Eventually, Kimmel asked him to weigh in on Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, whom the ABC comic joked could have been “bitten by a radioactive clown.” Pierce seemed to agree, describing Giuliani as “the President’s buffoon.”
As the interview ended, Kimmel reiterated his admiration for Pierce by saying “I love your stuff.” Considering what Kimmel has said on his show in the Trump era, this should not come as a surprise to anyone at all.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Tuesday’s edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live is below. Click “expand” to read more.
ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live
JIMMY KIMMEL: Our next guest is an author, blogger, sportswriter. He was even a forest ranger at one point in time in his life. If you have an internet connection, read “Politics With Charles P. Pierce” multiple times a day on esquire.com. Please say hello to Charles Pierce.
(MUSIC AND APPLAUSE)
JIMMY KIMMEL: As I’ve expressed to you over, over the internet, I love you. I’m very fond of your work.
CHARLES PIERCE: Well, I’m, I’m very endeared by you, too. I’m just glad I didn’t get the menopause question. Don’t mix up the cards because…
KIMMEL: Do you know what menopause is?
PIERCE: Yes, I…yes I do actually, but I don’t want to go into it.
KIMMEL: You know a lot of stuff, yeah. You write multiple times a day on…online on esquire.com.
KIMMEL: A lot of it is about the President of the United States. You, when you write the word President, you add an asterisk after...
PIERCE: I do.
KIMMEL: When did that start?
PIERCE: Actually, I have to give my wife credit for that. I was trying to find a way to express my, the deep respect, you know, that I hold for the incumbent President as well as the respect I hold for the office, and I kept tearing up the language trying to find a way to do it, and my wife, my wife Margaret said why don’t you just use an asterisk? And, you know, in the spirit of Roger Maris, I said why not? We’ll give him an asterisk.
KIMMEL: You do not capitalize the word President either.
PIERCE: No, I don’t do that; no. That’s, that’s an old newspaper style thing. If you don’t use the surname…
KIMMEL: You do not, I see.
PIERCE: you don’t capitalize it.
KIMMEL: So you’re just being grammatically correct?
PIERCE: I am just being an Associated Press nerd. Yes.
KIMMEL: I see. I got you. All right. So you were supposed to be here after the State of the Union address.
PIERCE: I thought it was great, didn’t you?
KIMMEL: It was, it was the best one.
PIERCE: The best speech he ever gave.
KIMMEL: It was to the point, but when Nancy Pelosi disinvited the President, which I didn’t even know that was the way it went.
PIERCE: You have to, you have to be invited and, of course, nobody actually gave a speech between Tom…President Thomas Jefferson and President Woodrow Wilson. All they did was send up you know, a message.
PIERCE: So I figured the President could just tweet it out…
PIERCE: You know, I’m great and so is the State of the Union, fake news.
KIMMEL: Do you think it was…
PIERCE: And there we are.
KIMMEL: Do you think it was a productive thing that she did when she told him you may not come to the House and give this speech?
PIERCE: I thought it was a cutthroat thing she did. Which is, yeah, I mean, no, you can’t come in and we’re not going to let you come in, and by the way, I’ll let you know when you can come in.
KIMMEL: Yeah, well, it’s interesting and I wonder, but I wonder if it does any good. Do you think it does?
PIERCE: Oh, I’m not entirely sure anything does any good. You know, I mean, if everything, if the endless list of things that have happened around this President hasn’t done any good yet, doing that isn’t going to do it. I mean I think it did the nation good, because we didn’t have to listen to it.
KIMMEL: Well, now we do on Tuesday anyway.
PIERCE: That’s right.
KIMMEL: As you know, a lot of people are throwing their hat in the ring. They say they want to be President in 2020.
PIERCE: Except Eric Garcetti, who doesn’t want to be President.
KIMMEL: Do you think… and he’s the mayor of Los Angeles.
KIMMEL: Do you think he doesn’t want to be President?
PIERCE: I don’t…I think he doesn’t want to run for President, and frankly, I don’t blame him, I mean, nobody…I mean, it’s a soul destroying, spirit sucking process that requires you to kiss a pig in Iowa so I mean anybody who doesn’t want to run for President, they have my respect too.
KIMMEL: Do you think Trump will make it to 2020 as President of the United States?
PIERCE: I think the, I think the odds are probably around 60-40 that he will.
KIMMEL: That he will.
PIERCE: That he will. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know…you know, he is, he has the…he has the best genes.
KIMMEL: Oh, well, yeah.
PIERCE: And he has, and he has husbanded the finite amount of energy that every human being has. I mean, this is all stuff he says. People, people have forgotten most of this stuff.
KIMMEL: He doesn’t know the word husbanded.
PIERCE: No, well, he doesn’t know the meaning of it; that’s for sure.
KIMMEL: He’s been de-husbanded a few times. But he doesn’t know husbanded.
PIERCE: No. I mean, I mean, if he wanted a way out, he could claim, I’m sure, that he has some sort of ailment.
KIMMEL: That’s what I would do.
PIERCE: Because I think everyone would believe that.
KIMMEL: That’s what I would do too. I would say, I went in for an MRI, and the needles in my wig went right through my head.
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
KIMMEL: I need to take a break. That is what he should do.
KIMMEL: A lot of people think Joe Biden is the Democrats’ best chance to win. You do not agree with that.
PIERCE: No, I don’t. And I, and I like Joe Biden, and I thought he was a heck of a Vice President. In fact, if he wanted to announce right now he’s running for Vice President, I would vote for him.
KIMMEL: You’d be on board?
PIERCE: I would. Yes. I think you should have to run for Vice President too like the old days. But no, I think, I think he’s missed his window, sometime in the 1980s, to be perfectly honest with you. And I think that the party has moved considerably in a more progressive direction than to…to be satisfied with Joe Biden. I think there are people out there who can appeal to the same, you know, Joe Biden voters in the Midwest. I think certainly, Sherrod Brown from Ohio, if he gets in, could do that. I think, you know Senator Elizabeth Warren from my own state is, is moving…is moving in that direction as is Kamala Harris. I just don’t think, I don’t think there’s a spot for him this time. I think if he wanted to be king maker, that would be his role.
KIMMEL: I see.
KIMMEL: He could go and support someone…
PIERCE: I mean, I would have him…if I was a Democratic politician, I would love to have Joe Biden on the stump for me because he really liked…I mean, I talked about kissing a pig in Iowa, Joe Biden will slow dance with the pig in Iowa. He loves all the political stuff that most politicians hate.
KIMMEL: Trump said that, he said we’re going to take a break from the shutdown, we’re going to three weeks, we’re going to negotiate, we’re going to try to come up with a deal for the wall and if not, I’m going to shut the government down. Will he shut the government down in two and a half weeks’ time?
PIERCE: No, because the Republican Senators will run for the lifeboats. Chuck Schumer could put up a bill saying we’re reopening the government and we’re going to give everybody in America a $10,000 check and the Republicans would sign onto that. They don’t want another shutdown. Nobody wants another shutdown. I mean, they had, you know, air traffic controllers saying, hey, don’t get on an airplane this week. I mean, that was a…that was some very serious business. I mean, you had multi-million dollar damage to places like Joshua Tree out here. The shutdown helps nobody and it really help…it doesn’t help the Republicans, and they’ve got, you know, somebody’s got to run for Senate again in 2020. And they don’t want that hung around their necks.
KIMMEL: Today, Roger Stone pled not guilty to a variety of counts. Is he…do you know him?
PIERCE: No, I don’t, I mean obviously every, anyone around politics.
KIMMEL: He seems like a good guy.
PIERCE: You know, he’s a swell guy. Yeah, yeah, absolutely, if like HR Puffenstuff had gone to Slytherin; that would be Roger Stone. He has sort of in, you know, the long history of American political pranksters, which is, you know, a proud tradition in American politics. He’s kind of like the evil twin of that. He…what he, what he does hurts people. What he does is damage people and I think that, you know, there are limits to political pranksterism. That being said, he’s a great show. I mean…
KIMMEL: Speaking of great shows, Rudy Giuliani. Was Rudy Giuliani always like this and we didn’t realize it or did something… Some believe he was, he was bitten by a radioactive clown. How did this happen?
PIERCE: I honestly don’t know. Because when he was the U.S. Attorney in New York he was a very stern, you know, Catholic kind of rigid guy who used to perp walk stockbrokers out of, you know, Wall Street offices in handcuffs.
KIMMEL: Right. Yeah.
PIERCE: You know, at the same time he was, he had this baroque private life which we only learned about afterwards.
PIERCE: But now, I mean, now, now he’s out there being, you know, the President’s buffoon. And I’m not exactly …I mean, this guy, if I’m ever charged with capital murder, don’t hire Rudy Giuliani as my lawyer, please? Because he’s going to get on television and tell people I did it.
KIMMEL: Is there some…
PIERCE: He’s gonna…no, no, seriously, he’s going to have the knife. This is the one he used. Right here.
KIMMEL: And we’re selling it for a very low price.
PIERCE: That’s right. And you can have it on Ebay.
KIMMEL: Well, I love your…I love your stuff.
PIERCE: I appreciate it.