Biden Botches Reagan Joke, Scolds Coast Guard for Not Applauding Him
May 20, 2021
BRETT: This time of year, I always think about the men and women serving and working so hard at the service academies around the country. These are among our absolute best that we have who will assume positions of leadership in a variety of assignments in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, of course, the Coast Guard and the Merchant Mariners as well.
And it’s an incredible thing to kind of behold when you have the commander-in-chief attend the graduation ceremony for these very, very special young people who are going to be making their way out into the world as the first line of defense, as the front-line defense of our nation in an incredibly dangerous place.
And yesterday, President Biden gave his very first commencement speech as president of the United States to the Coast Guard cadets in New London, Connecticut, and he used the same quote that Reagan did in the 1988 address, but he didn’t quite get the same reaction. Here’s the side-by-side comparison.
REAGAN: My Coast Guard aides have been excellent. One of them taught me that — and I quote — “The Coast Guard is that hard nucleus about which the Navy forms in time of war.”
CADETS: (wild cheers and applause)
BIDEN: You will enjoy educating your family about how the Coast Guard is, quote, “The hard nucleus around the Navy forms in times of war.”
BIDEN: You are… You are really a dull class. I mean, c’mon, man! Is the sun getting to you? I would think you’ve had an opportunity when I say that about the Navy to clap, being here together.
RUSH: I want you to listen to Trump doing his commencement speech, and I want to you to tell me how is it that you really hate this guy. How can you?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: To the nearly 1,000 cadets — who I have agreed to shake every single hand.
CADETS: (wild cheering)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: They gave me a choice. They said, “Sir, you don’t have to shake any hands. Some people do that.” Those are the smart ones; they’re outta here.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You can shake one hand, to the one person, top of the class. You could shake 10, 50, or a hundred, and you could also stay for a thousand,” and I’m staying for a thousand, okay?
CADETS: (wild cheering)
RUSH: Obviously, he’d much rather be with the cadets at the Air Force Academy than back in that den of vipers in the nation’s capital. Now, here’s the president telling them… Classic Trump. He’s telling them that they will never get tired of winning.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You choose to break old boundaries and unlock new frontiers and live life on the cutting edge, the first air combat happened just one century ago. You are the ones who will invent and define the next generation of air warfare, and you are the ones who will secure American victory all the time. Victory! To dominate the future, America must rule the skies.
CADETS: (cheering and applause)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And that is what your time at this great academy has been all about, preparing you to do whatever it takes to learn, to adapt — and to win, win, win. Win so much! You’re gonna get so tired of winning, but not really.
CADETS: (cheers, whistling, applause)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Not really. We never get tired of winning, do we?
RUSH: “Do we?” The old line from the campaign. “We’re gonna win so much, you’re gonna be calling me. ‘Mr. President, we need a break! We need a break. We need to lose some. We’re winning too much,'” which actually happens to be an active belief of the American left — people that detest a country so much they won’t leave it. Finally, the president declaring that now that we are putting America first when we deploy the military, and I think this actually could trigger some of our European allies, like maybe Angela Merkel.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We are respected again, and we’re reawakening American pride, American confidence, and American greatness. You know that. These gentlemen know it. I’ll tell you right now.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. That’s very nice. And we’re restoring the fundamental principle that our first obligation and highest loyalty is to the American citizen. No longer will we sacrifice America’s interests to any foreign power. We don’t do that anymore!
CADETS: (cheering and applause)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: In all things and ways, we are putting America first — and it’s about time.
CADETS: (wild cheering)
RUSH: And the cadets erupted. Man, when you’re in the U.S. military and your commander-in-chief tells you that you are being put first, that you and your efforts will not be sacrificed to America’s interests or enemies and foreign powers? That’s gonna ring true like something you haven’t heard in a long time.
I will guarantee you that the military did not feel that way or have that confidence when Barack Hussein O was commander-in-chief, not with his rules of engagement and not with his fundamental belief that the United States was an undeserving superpower, and that our military needed to be used in very limited ways so that we didn’t offend people and give them the wrong idea that everything was about us — and so, defensive posture after defensive posture.
BRETT: What is it that is so offensive about an honest display of American patriotism? Not just by hanging a flag out in front of your house or business, which is a vitally important thing to do. You certainly want to express yours as an American citizen and as somebody who loves the country, and that’s a great way to do it.
But what is this prohibition that exists from the left that if you are celebrating the greatness of America, you are somehow… It’s gotta be the zero-sum game thing that we always hear about, right, the only reason somebody is rich is somebody has been paid poor so the only reason why you’re patriotic is because you have prevented some other country from being patriotic, which is nonsense, right?
‘Cause there’s not a hard limit on the amount of patriotism that’s available around the world, and there’s not a hard limit on the amount of wealth that’s available or could be created around the world; so the zero-sum game model is just something that’s a simpleton’s approach to not being able to process how you’re supposed to feel. What is it about a display of patriotism?
What is it about a display with Air Force cadets or midshipmen or people at West Point? What is it about that that is so offensive to people? If you’re celebrating, if you’re uplifting the United States military, you’re not downgrading some other institution in our country. I mean, everybody can celebrate.
I look at what’s happening over the course of this last year or so. We remember when President Trump and the first lady went out to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, and they had that speech, and they had that fireworks display that absolutely set people off. They were furious that that had taken place.
We know that Governor Noem there in South Dakota wanted to do the same sort of fireworks show, and we know that the federal government said, “No. We’re not gonna allow you to do fireworks that way over Mount Rushmore.” We know that Rolling Thunder wanted to go into Washington, D.C., and show an expression of support for our POWs and MIAs.
And we know that the Department of Defense declined the use of their parking lots for these American patriots to remember those who had been left behind or had been forgotten about or had been not remembered quite enough for the sacrifices they also made for the country.
It’s things like that that your average American, to the extent that there is an average American, gets frustrated with. It’s the punitive nature of that. It’s the punitive nature of that, in the same way that Speaker Pelosi wants to fine members of the United States House of Representatives for not adequately wearing the masks where she wants them to wear it.
See, you can be patriotic if you are a Democrat, a Republican, an independent, a you-don’t-know. You can love your country, you can respect your military, you can respect the institutions, you can respect the sacrifices made to take us to this place. Every sacrifice made to take us to this place was, by design, taking us to this place so that we could improve the country.
It’s just something that I oftentimes will think about and I think we should all think about. Patriotism is an incredibly important value. This is a very special place. It’s about a lot in this country, and that’s something we should be thinking about.