President Joe Biden joked that the graduating class at the Coast Guard Academy was “dull,” after they failed to react to his applause lines and jokes during his commencement speech Wednesday.
Biden referenced the description of the Coast Guard as “that hard nucleus around which the Navy forms in time of war,” though he fumbled with the quote. When the line was met with silence, Biden joked that the graduates were “a really dull class” and suggested the sun was getting to them. (RELATED: Biden’s Families Plan Would Cause Negative Economic Growth, Analysis Shows)
Biden appears peeved at the lack of applause from Navy cadets.
“You are a really dull class. Come on, man. Is the sun getting to you? I would think you’d have an opportunity when I say that about the Navy to clap — to be here together …” pic.twitter.com/OFuXYiL4s5
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 19, 2021
“You’re a really dull class. Come on, man? Is the sun getting to ya?” Biden jokes when he isn’t getting enough of a response from the Coast Guard Academy grads
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) May 19, 2021
The quote is a longstanding saying within the Coast Guard, but its origins are unclear. President Ronald Reagan referenced the quote in an address to the National Guard Academy in 1988, but he did not use it as an applause line.
Notably, former Vice President Dick Cheney made the same reference when he delivered the commencement speech to the National Guard Academy in 2008, and he did receive applause.
“There’s a saying in your line of work — that the U.S. Coast Guard is the ‘hard nucleus about which the Navy forms in time of war’,” Cheney said, pausing for applause according to a transcript.
“I’m not sure what the Navy thinks of that,” he finished.