Did Joe Biden steal Ronald Reagan's Coast Guard joke? President botches delivery, calls graduating cadets 'dull'

The 78-year-old gave his first commencement speech as president on Wednesday, May 19, where he also recalled his college days

                            Did Joe Biden steal Ronald Reagan's Coast Guard joke? President botches delivery, calls graduating cadets 'dull'
Joe Biden has reportedly copied a line from Ronald Reagan's famous speech in 1988 (Getty Images)

President Joe Biden visited the US Coast Guard Academy commencement ceremony in New London, Connecticut, on Wednesday, May 19, where he interacted with cadets from the Bears stadium located on the Thames river. However, while delivering his first commencement speech as president, the 78-year-old apparently copied a joke from a famous speech of former President Ronald Reagan. Not just that, he reportedly seemed to botch the joke as well and when no one laughed, he appeared to get upset.

Biden made a joke about the Navy while addressing the Coast Guard as he quipped, “I can only assume that you'll enjoy educating your family about how the Coastguard is, quote, the hard nucleus around the Navy forms in times of war.” However, his humor reportedly failed to lighten up the atmosphere during the graduation ceremony and he told them, “You are a really dull class.”


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People on the internet were quick to call out Biden for lifting a line from Reagan’s speech. In 1988, the 40th president of the US had said in front of the graduating class of the US Coast Guard Academy, “My coastguard aides have been excellent. One of them taught me that that the Coastguard is that hard nucleus about which the navy forms in time of war.” The joke soon became a hit at the time.

U.S. President Joe Biden removes his face mask as he walks to Marine One for a departure from the Ellipse near the White House on May 19, 2021 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

But decades later, Biden failed to do so and a comparison video between the two presidents soon went viral, with one user tweeting, “Ronald Reagan at age 77 vs Joe Biden at age 78.” Another user said, “Can you spot the difference?” “Joe Biden is no Ronald Reagan. At this point Joe Biden isn't even Joe Biden,” the third stated. A comment on Twitter read, “Biden: ‘The hard nucleus around...the Navy forms in time of war.’ Comedians know the importance of clarity and meter in delivery. The Great Communicator had both. Biden dropped the word ‘which’ and stumbled to the end of the joke. Hence the audience confusion. So who's dull?” “You can tell Biden was totally expecting a huge response there. Instead, he gets the crickets he deserves,” a user added.











Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan prepares a speech at his desk in the Oval Office for a Joint Session of Congress on April 28, 1981 (Getty Images)

However, lifting words from other famous speeches is reportedly not new for Biden, who had to even quit his first run for president in 1987 after it was found he had plagiarized a speech from former British Labour leader Neil Kinnock. The then 44-year-old gave a speech that year and said, “Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Is it because I'm the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree that I was smarter than the rest?” Soon it was revealed that his words were almost similar to Kinnock’s who delivered a speech a few months ago. Kinnock had said, “Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Why is (his wife) Glenys the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Was it because all our predecessors were thick?”

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the COVID-19 response and vaccination program in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 13, 2021 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, while addressing the Coast Guard graduates on Wednesday, Biden recalled his college days and mentioned, “As your commander in chief I've been looking forward to being able to do this for a long time. I want to keep the longstanding tradition: I hereby absolve all those serving restrictions [for] minor infractions – absolved,” before adding, “You have no idea how much I wish you’d have been able to do that in my graduation. You all think I'm kidding. I'm not. Minor infractions like using a fire extinguisher to hose down a room assistant, but other than that …”

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