Jill Biden’s Tough Crowd Moment Goes Viral: ‘Applause For This!’

A clip of first lady Jill Biden urging an audience to applaud comments she made during a speech has gone viral.

Biden appeared disappointed as remarks that she gave at the Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE) event in Washington, DC on Thursday fell flat. This led President Joe Biden’s wife to call on the audience to applaud.

“I’ve visited red states and blue states, and found that the common values ​​that unite us run deeper than our divisions,” Biden said. After a brief pause, the first lady said to the crowd, “And, uh, I thought you could clap for that,” prompting laughter and eventual applause.

United States First Lady Jill Biden delivers remarks during a celebration marking American Jewish Heritage Month in the East Room of the White House on May 16, 2023 in Washington, D.C. A clip of Biden asking a crowd to applauding his speech on Thursday went viral.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The moment was skipped by a number of Republican groups, who shared the “I thought you might clap” moment on Twitter as a way to mock Biden. The official GOP Twitter account tweeted a snippet of the remarks with the caption “TOUGH SCENE.”

The GOP added that the moment was reminiscent of the infamous “please clap” comment by 2016 presidential hopeful Jeb Bush. However, other Twitter users supported the first ladytweeting that the official GOP account should focus elsewhere: “you need to do better than mock the First Lady of the United States. It’s divisive and there are more pressing issues than that in our country right now.”

During the campaign trial in the 2016 GOP primaries, Bush – a former governor of Florida and the brother and son of former US presidents George W. Bush and George HW Bush respectively – called on a New Hampshire crowd to applaud his speech, which appeared to attack Donald Trump.

“I think the next president needs to be a lot quieter but send a signal that we’re ready to act in the national security interests of this country, to get back to business for a more peaceful world,” Jeb said. Bush. He then told the crowd “please clap” after a moment of audience silence.

Conservative news site TownHall also shared Biden’s clip while tweeting that there were “*crickets*” in the crowd before she asked them to applaud. The clips have been viewed tens of thousands of times on the social network.

This isn’t the first time Biden has playfully asked a crowd to applaud his remarks. In 2019, she was speaking in Iowa to campaign for her husband’s candidacy for the 2020 presidential election. At the small event in Parkersburg, Biden praised her husband as someone who “stands up to the NRA and keeps our children and our schools safe.”

After beginning to continue his speech, Biden stops and tells the crowd, “That’s my line of applause, come on!” The reaction also drew laughter and applause from onlookers.

The two-day RISE event at which Biden appeared on Thursday aimed to “examine policy and practice from early childhood to post-secondary education and beyond,” according to the Reagan Foundation’s website. “The imperative for education reform is even greater as the United States emerges from the global pandemic.

“We must heed the call to modernize our education system and prepare for the challenges of the 22nd century,” the foundation’s description page adds.

Newsweek contacted the White House by email for comment.


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