Kimmel: Losing Republican Viewers Is 'Not Ideal'

'I probably wouldn't want to have a conversation with them anyway'

October 15, 2017

ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel said seeing his popularity with Republicans decline was "not ideal" but that he'd take on highly charged political issues "again in a heartbeat."

Kimmel, who was not known for his political views prior to 2017, has received high marks in the press for his monologues advocating for gun control and universal health care. One CNN columnist said he had become "America's conscience," but he has rejected that label.

"I'm nobody's moral arbiter. You don't have to watch the show. You don't have to listen to what I say," he said on "CBS Sunday Morning."

Conservatives have criticized him for getting his facts wrong and also acknowledging he had accepted talking points from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.).

Kimmel told CBS he had seen a study or poll three years ago saying he was equally liked by Democrats and Republicans, but he'd now seen his numbers with Republicans down "30 percent."

"As a talk show host, that's not ideal," Kimmel said. "But I would do it again in a heartbeat."

"So you don't mind if Republicans turn off your show?" CBS reporter Tracy Smith asked.

"I don't say I don't mind," Kimmel said. "I want everyone with a television to watch the show, but if they're so turned off by my opinion on health care and gun violence, then ... I probably wouldn't want to have a conversation with them anyway."

"Good riddance?" Smith asked.

"Well, not good riddance, but riddance," Kimmel said, laughing.