Bill Cassidy ‘didn’t know who Jimmy Kimmel was’: report

Four months after U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., went on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” television show to explain his bipartisan attempt to fix the health care law known as Obamacare, Kimmel trashed him. But it turns out Cassidy “didn’t know who Jimmy Kimmel was,” he told the Washington Examiner editorial board recently.

Kimmel had delivered an emotional monologue about his newborn son’s three-hour heart surgery to correct a defect that he said would leave the boy with a “pre-existing condition” for life. He used that to rail against congressional proposals to put caps on spending for such patients.

Cassidy soon said he wanted legislation that would “pass the Jimmy Kimmel test,” so the talk-show host invited him onto the show. They chatted amiably on air May 8.

On his Sept. 19 show, however, Kimmel spent almost seven minutes of the opening monologue slamming the senator, who was not present. “This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face,” Kimmel said.

Cassidy got on cable television the next morning to defend his proposal. “I’m sorry he does not understand,” Cassidy said of Kimmel. That night, Kimmel was back censuring Cassidy and his legislation again: “It is, by many accounts, the worst health care bill yet,” he said.

His rhetoric made Kimmel a darling of the left, and for good reason. The Daily Beast reported Sept. 23 that among his advisers had been the office of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

In his interview with the Examiner, Cassidy said he didn’t know all that earlier in the summer, and he seemed miffed that Kimmel teed off on him without calling him. “I actually didn’t know who Jimmy Kimmel was,” he said.

“With Kimmel, I did not know that he would just take Schumer’s talking points, never call me for rebuttal, and go to press on that. … “It just seems the decent thing to do if you’re going to call someone out to give them call beforehand.”

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Drew Broach covers Jefferson Parish politics and Louisiana interests in Congress, plus other odds and ends, for | The Times-Picayune. Email: Facebook: Drew Broach TP. Twitter: drewbroach1. Google+: Drew Broach.

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