Gene Simmons, the 73-year-old bassist-singer of KISS, admits that he’s an “ageist” when it comes to his evaluating President Biden’s first term in the Oval Office. The veteran rocker said as much while guesting on Bill Maher’s Club Random podcast.
The conversation started with Simmons telling Maher that he was initially pleased with Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, but then was disappointed with his presidency.
“When he first fan in 2016, when he first got elected, I was happy,” said Simmons, who appeared on Trump’s NBC show Celebrity Apprentice. “I knew the guy from before then. … I didn’t want Hillary [Clinton]. I thought, ‘Oh, businessman that’s coming in. He understands how to run things.'”
When Maher challenged Simmons by contending, “That’s the stupidest reason,” the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer responded, “I am sometimes stupid,” before adding. “The person that I saw first coming into power is not the person I saw within a year or two of that.”
Maher then retorted, “Also ridiculous. He’s been the same douchebag for 50 years. What are you talking about?”
Simmons answered by saying his opinion also changed of Biden, who recently turned 80 years old. He replied, “Look, I thought Biden was going to come in and be a major force. You know, I’ve got some big reservations about the man. Not about his ethics and morality but about his physical ability to do all that.”
That’s when Maher exclaimed, “Oh for fuck’s sake, I would think you of all people, being 73, wouldn’t want to be an ageist like that.”
To which Simmons declared, “I am an ageist, depending on the vibrancy and the mental alertness of what you’ve got. At a certain age you can’t look at a person and not say, okay, you’re X number of years old, now how sharp are you? You’re talking about the most powerful person on the planet.”
He further explained, “There is such a thing as the cult of personality and I like the man, but the ability to communicate a message is nil.”
Elsewhere in the podcast, Simmons and Maher discussed transgender rights. Simmons said, “For the record, I fully support anybody who wants to identify themselves as anything, you honor them,” but added that when it comes to competitive sports, assigned sex at birth should matter. “
“Actually, Dave Chappelle made a really interesting point and I think it was in jest, and I think it was meant as a joke not to infuriate anybody,” Simmons added. “He said [that if] LeBron James today decides that he’s going to identify as a female, and everybody applauds, you should have the right to do that. So he joins the WNBA and scores 870 points the first game and destroys everybody.”
Watch Gene Simmons’ full appearance on Bill Maher’s Club Random podcast below.