It was Thursday, which meant GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson was discovered to have said something colossally stupid.
No, it wasn’t that Noah’s Ark was real (although he has tweeted that before). The former neurosurgeon—whose life outside the hospital walls he claims resembled something closer to West Side Story—said in a 1998 commencement speech for Andrews University that he believes the pyramids were built by Joseph… to store grain.“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Carson said in an address uncovered by BuzzFeed News. “Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.”
So, when Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night, the bearded host couldn’t help but ask her all about it.
“[Carson] said, ‘Evolution is a theory from Satan.’ ‘Obamacare is like slavery.’ He said, ‘Homosexuality is a choice,’ and he knows this because ‘people go into prison straight and come out of prison gay.’ He said Joseph from the Bible ‘built the pyramids to store grain.’ And yet this Quinnipiac University poll that they released today said that if you ran against him today, he would beat you by 10 percent,” said a perplexed Jimmy Kimmel.
The pyramid quote prompted Clinton to crack up.Once she came to, the former secretary of state gave a pretty measured reply. “You know, we’ll just have to wait and see how that turns out,” she said. “You know, seriously, it really does matter what you say when you are president, and it probably should matter what you say when you’re running for president, because people all over the world—especially leaders of friends and foes alike—they pay attention to what presidents say. I really know we’re in the campaign season and people are saying all kinds of stuff—some of which they believe, some of which they think will get them votes, whatever the case might be—but then it does have to turn serious because we have a lot of problems facing us.”
Kimmel came prepared and hit Clinton with a barrage of questions about her Republican opponents—including Jeb Bush’s much-derided “Jeb Can Fix It” slogan that he desperately wheeled out this week.
“Do you guys back at the office die laughing?” Kimmel asked of the slogan.
This, again, made Clinton laugh out loud. “You know, look, it’s really hard to do this. And people’s campaigns change. You start with something that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll stick with it all the way because you get feedback. He’s obviously trying to continue to relate to the Republican electorate.
“If I were to advise him, I’d say, ‘There’s a lot you can do about trying to fix things, and maybe they should put a number on the side of the bus that you could call?’”
One point that Kimmel tried to get Clinton on was her relationship with one of the frontrunners for the GOP presidential nomination, Donald Trump. The two have copped to being chummy in the past, with Clinton even attending Trump’s wedding to Wife No. 3, Melania Knauss. Kimmel ran a photo of them all looking cheery at the wedding and then asked whether she and Trump were ever friends, or whether she still considers him a friend.“I knew Donald Trump. I represented New York. I got to know him… I was at his wedding,” she acknowledged.
So then why, asked Kimmel, did he brand her as the worst secretary of state in history when he’s complimented her quite a bit in the past? Why has he done a 180 on her?
“Well, he’s not the only one,” said Clinton. “When I’m not running for something, Republicans actually say nice things about the job I do. In the Senate I worked with a lot of Republicans. As secretary of state, I worked with a lot of Republicans. We have a long list of the nice things Republicans have said about me. You may be hearing more about it in the months ahead.”“I criticize [Trump’s] positions because I really disagree so strongly with what he has said about immigration, women,” she continued. “I don’t understand why he’s saying a lot of that. So I criticize his positions, but I try not to get into the personal stuff that you hear a lot from the Republicans as they go back and forth. I don’t think you need to do that. I think it’s important that you give voters an idea of what you stand for, what you’re willing to do, where you draw the lines. I’ve said I will do anything to find common ground, but I’ll also stand my ground, because I think there are some things that are very important to do that over. But I don’t take it seriously. I don’t know why they do it. I guess they want to appeal to the far, far right of their party and their cottage industry that is out there being mean-spirited and negative about everybody, but I’m not going to go there.”She will, however, probably tune in to see Trump host Saturday Night Live this weekend.“That I might do, actually,” she said, chuckling. “I think he watched me.”
One of the more comical exchanges between Clinton and Kimmel came when the late-night host asked her what they’re going to call her husband if she wins the presidency.“Would he be the first man? Would he be the first gentleman? Would he be the first mate?”“Well, he said the other day that it was fine for all this talk about me running to break the big, hard glass ceiling and become president, but he was running to break the iron grip women had had on being spouse of the president,” she joked. “So I think part of what we’ll have to figure out is what do you call the male spouse of a female president? Now, it’s a little bit more complicated with him because people still call former presidents ‘Mr. President.’ So I have to really work on this. First dude? First mate? First gentleman? I’m just not sure about it.”“First dude” does have a nice ring to it.