President Obama Reads Mean Tweets, Discusses Ferguson on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'
The president found humor in the social media criticisms.
For Mean Tweets -- a recurring segment that features celebrities reading online vitriol about themselves aloud -- Obama was a good sport, finding humor in the social media criticisms.
One tweet: “Is there any way we could fly Obama to some golf course halfway around the world and just leave him there?”
“I think that’s a great idea,” Obama responded.
In a subsequent interview with Kimmel, Obama addressed the online opinions.
“Those weren’t that mean. You should see what the Senate says about me,” Obama said.
Obama and Kimmel discussed social media and mobile technology. The president admitted that he generally doesn’t tweet or send text messages. He can’t use smartphones that feature recording devices for security reasons, so he relies on a Blackberry.
And yes, he has Hillary Clinton’s email address.
“I can’t share it with you. ... I don’t think she’d want you to have it,” Obama told Kimmel.
Obama also addressed the situation in Ferguson, where two police officers were shot early Thursday amid protests. Both of the officers were later released from the hospital, but the shooting brings new focus and concern for the St. Louis suburb, which has been reeling since the August police shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, as well as subsequent reports about the city’s governmental practices.
“What happened in Ferguson was oppressive and was worthy of protest, but it was no excuse for criminal acts. No one should be shot. [The shooters] are criminals and need to be arrested,” Obama said.
There were also some laughs with regard to marijuana legalization. When Obama sat down next to Kimmel, he noticed the host was up much higher than him.
“How come you’re so much higher than me?" the president asked. "It’s kind of a power play. But that’s OK. I’m glad you feel good about yourself."
“Listen, if they legalize marijuana in Washington, D.C., you can be higher than me!” Kimmel fired back.
The president also jokingly provided some insight into what he does -- or doesn’t do -- in the White House. Cook? No. Drive? No (although he can drive). Go to the dentist? Nope. The dentist comes to him, of course. But, the president is allowed to go to the refrigerator and pick up his own silverware. In response to Kimmel's question about whether the president runs to the kitchen in his underpants, Obama said, “I mean, I could, but I don’t. I wouldn't wake somebody up to have a sandwich. There is a fridge and silverware.”
And then there were aliens. Kimmel said if he was elected, as unlikely as that might be, he would go through Area 51 files first thing.
“It’s at the top of my list,” he said.
“The aliens won’t let it happen," Obama said. "You’d reveal all their secrets. They would exercise control over us."
The president’s appearance closed with discussion of the Student Aid Bill of Rights, which Obama announced Tuesday at Georgia Tech. The Student Aid Bill of Rights would essentially make the process of repaying students loans easier and more manageable.
“The reason America ended up becoming the economic superpower it did is because we're the first to have universal public high schools, we had the GI bill so we had the best trained workforce, and young people understand that," Obama said. "The problem is, it's also becoming more and more expensive, and what we've said is -- in addition to the work we've already done to make student loans cheaper, to expand Pell grants -- [let's] set up [a] repayment program so that young people who want to go into teaching or some other helping profession aren't priced out of it because they've got to pay student loans.”