In a speech to the US Coast Guard’s graduating class yesterday, Joe Biden tried to make a joke that sounded a little familiar.
See for yourself:
Reagan vs. Biden delivering the same joke to the U.S. Coast Guard academy 😬😳 pic.twitter.com/d984ZOVqCH
— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) May 19, 2021
Except, Reagan actually knew how to land the joke.
Apparently, the cadets hurt Joe’s feelings. Not only did he call them a “really dull class” for not clapping at a statement in which he missed a crucial modifier, but then he went on to tell them that they really should clap for him, eventually getting some pity applause.
Check out his satisfied grin after they finally clap.
Twitter thought the whole thing was hilarious:
Watch as Joe Biden "borrows" a joke from Ronald Reagan, delivered decades earlier to another Coast Guard class. Of course he botches the joke. pic.twitter.com/CLdJ2DPULV
— Scott Whitlock (@ScottJW) May 20, 2021
Viral Video: Reagan Told Same Joke As Biden, But The Gipper Actually Nailed It https://t.co/BH0c3hpvAs
— David Kisamfu (@thedextazlab) May 20, 2021
— All American Girl (@AIIAmericanGirI) May 20, 2021
This is not the first time Biden has “borrowed” from other great orators without giving them credit.
In his first bid for the Presidency in 1987, Biden used phrases from one of former leader of Britain’s Labour party, Neil Kinnock’s most famous speeches. The scandal that resulted is said to have been one of the reasons he may have lost.
According to The Guardian:
In his closing remarks at a Democratic primary debate, he (Biden) lifted passages from one of Kinnock’s most moving speeches without attribution. The resulting plagiarism “scandal” sank Biden’s campaign.
The Insider reports it this way:
During an event at the Iowa State Fair, Biden mimicked entire portions of Kinnock’s speech from earlier in the year. At one moment, Biden repeated the line that he was the first “in a thousand generations” to graduate from college, gesturing to his wife in the exact same way Kinnock did, while also saying the same line about her education and lineage.
Biden would later acknowledge that he in fact did have relatives who attended college, directly contrasting the Kinnock lines.
As Dowd reported, Biden’s staffers were defensive about the allegations of blatant plagiarism. Nevertheless, Biden dropped out of the race by the end of the month.
According to another 1987 article in The Times, Biden acknowledged plagiarizing a law review journal for a paper during law school, and asked school administrators not to be expelled. But Biden also said he made a mistake in the citation process.
“My intent was not to deceive anyone,” Biden wrote at the time. ”For if it were, I would not have been so blatant.”
The scandal erupted at the same time Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was overseeing the infamously partisan confirmation process of the failed-Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.
Biden’s plagiarism became a hot campaign issue which his 1988 Democratic rival, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, used in a video attack ad that was passed around to several media outlets, according to a Washington Post article in 1987.
At the time, Biden dismissed the distribution of the video by other campaigns as dirty politics.
“Look, I’m a big boy,” he said. ”I’ve been in politics for 15 years. This is not my style. If they want to do it this way, so be it.
Another incident was reported last August by the New York Post:
That’s sloppy, Joe.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reprised his penchant for borrowing lines from other people’s work this week — apparently relying a bit too heavily on the words of a deceased Canuck party leader during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, reports said.
Biden concluded his Thursday night speech by saying: “For love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear. Light is more powerful than dark.”
But Canadian media quickly noted that the former veep’s words were uncannily similar to those of Jack Layton, the leader of Canada’s left-wing New Democratic Party, who issued a poignant open letter to his fellow citizens as he lay dying in 2011.
“My friends,” Layton wrote, “Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.”
Biden’s word play — delivered two days before the nine-year anniversary of Layton’s death — gave some in the Great White North a serious case of déjà vu.
Whether or not that was intentional, here’s a rule of thumb speakers should always keep in mind.
Some people are just originals.
It doesn’t go well if you try to copy them.
Ronald Reagan was one of them.
And Joe Biden is no Ronald Reagan.