President Joe Biden was up to his old tricks during his commencement address for U.S. Coast Guard graduates Wednesday, letting loose with a short-fused pointed put-down when they didn't applaud him on cue.
"I can only assume that you will enjoy educating your family about how the Coast Guard is, quote, the hard nucleus around the Navy formed in times of war," Biden said during the ceremony in New London, Connecticut, which was his first commencement address as president.
But when Biden's words elicited nothing but silence, he broke through the lull with one of his famous unscripted verbal punches.
"You're a really dull class," Biden remarked with some exasperation. "I mean, come on, man! Is the sun gettin' to ya? I would think you'd have an opportunity when I say that about the Navy to clap."
With that, some laughter and applause was audible. Hey, what the commander-in-chief wants, the commander-in-chief gets, one supposes:
More from the DW:
At another point in the speech, Biden also quoted communist Chinese dictator Mao Zedong to praise the large number of female graduates in the class and the increasing number of women in leading military positions. "There's a saying we use in a different context, it's a Chinese saying, it says, 'Women hold up half the world.' It's an absolutely stupid position not to make sure they represent at least half of what we do."
For those who've been watching Biden over the years, it comes as no surprise that beneath the sort-of-joking tone he took with the Coast Guard grads for not applauding him is a real temper just waiting to show itself at any moment.
A few days ago the New York Times published a story based on interviews with over two dozen current and former Biden associates that said the president "will often snap" at staffers and issue "outburst[s] of frustration often laced with profanity."
But Biden hasn't always buttoned his lip in that respect in public settings.
In his first debate last fall with then-President Donald Trump, Biden referred to Trump as "buddy," said he "doesn't know what he's talking about," challenged the president to "keep yappin'" — and at one point asked Fox News moderator Chris Wallace and the audience, "Folks, do you have any idea what this clown's doing?"
And earlier in 2020, Biden treated the American people to a showdown with an auto-plant worker in Michigan, telling the voter, "you're full of s**t."
In fact, Biden ended up pointing his finger right in the worker's face, which led the man to tell Biden, "This is not OK, all right?"
Then Biden really lost it: "Don't tell me that, pal, or I'm going to go outside with you."
"You're working for me, man!" the worker angrily replied.
"I'm not working for you," Biden growled back. "Don't be such a horse's ass."
Here's the clip. (Content warning: profanity)