11 Photos of Recent Presidents Sitting in Trucks and Their Thoughts on the Auto Industry

11 Photos of Recent Presidents Sitting in Trucks and Their Thoughts on the Auto Industry

Illustration for article titled 11 Photos of Recent Presidents Sitting in Trucks and Their Thoughts on the Auto Industry
Photo: Evan Vucci (AP)

Do you like looking at pictures of old, powerful white men who are technically not allowed to drive by themselves anymore sitting behind the wheels of big, fancy trucks and cars? You’re in luck. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden got the chance to test drive Ford’s new electric truck, the F-150 Lightning, ahead of its official unveiling on Wednesday. (“This sucker’s quick,” Biden told reporters after he zoomed the truck around the racetrack for a bit.)

But he’s not the only president to mug for cameras, playing the role of Cool Truck Guy. Our last president also got the chance to take some photos like a real big boy behind the wheel of a truck. Let’s remember some moments in recent presidential truck history along with totally unrelated quotes.

Writing about climate change, renewable energy, and Big Oil/Big Gas/Big Everything for Earther. Formerly of the Center for Public Integrity & Nexus Media News. I'm very tall & have a very short dog.

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“The future of the auto industry is electric.”

“The future of the auto industry is electric.”

Illustration for article titled 11 Photos of Recent Presidents Sitting in Trucks and Their Thoughts on the Auto Industry
Photo: Evan Vucci (AP)

“The future of the auto industry is electric. There’s no turning back. Right now, China is leading in this race—make no bones about it, it’s a fact. They think they’re going to win. But I’ve got news for them—they will not win this race.” -Joe Biden

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“We send them beef.”

“We send them beef.”

Illustration for article titled 11 Photos of Recent Presidents Sitting in Trucks and Their Thoughts on the Auto Industry
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP (Getty Images)

“I was in Los Angeles. I saw the biggest ships you have ever seen with cars pouring off from Japan into Los Angeles. Just pouring off these ships, and I am saying to myself, we send them beef, it’s a tiny fraction, and, by the way, they don’t even want it, they have to fight in order to take it in because they don’t even want it, and it’s very perishable, they’ll send it back, they’ll find reasons not to take it. And yet the ships, the boats, the ships are loaded up with cars, thousands of cars and they are just pouring off.” -Donald Trump

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“Trump picks big oil.”

“Trump picks big oil.”

Illustration for article titled 11 Photos of Recent Presidents Sitting in Trucks and Their Thoughts on the Auto Industry
Photo: Evan Vucci (AP)

“Where [Trump] reverses the Obama-Biden fuel efficiency standards, he picks Big Oil. He picks Big Oil companies over American workers, even when the automobile industry agreed. I don’t want to bring the standards back, I’ll set new ambitious ones that our workers are ready to meet. I also see American workers building and installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations along our newly engaged infrastructure programs and highways, all across the country. I see American consumers switching to electric vehicles through rebates and initiatives.

“Not only that, the U.S. owns and maintains an enormous fleet of vehicles. And we’re going to harness the purchasing power of our federal government to make sure we’re buying electric vehicles that are made and sourced by union workers right here in the United States of America. And together, this will mean more than a million new jobs in the American auto industry.” -Joe Biden

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“Darling, where do I get a charge?”

“Darling, where do I get a charge?”

Illustration for article titled 11 Photos of Recent Presidents Sitting in Trucks and Their Thoughts on the Auto Industry
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

“No more airplanes, no more cows, one car per family. You know, I don’t think one car per family in Michigan plays too well, do you? And it’s got to be of course an electric car, even if it only goes... 160 miles? What do you do with 160 miles. ...Darling, where do I get a charge?” -Donald Trump (There is no mention of a limit on cars per family in the Green New Deal or in any other legislation.)

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“You think I’m kidding.”

“You think I’m kidding.”

Illustration for article titled 11 Photos of Recent Presidents Sitting in Trucks and Their Thoughts on the Auto Industry
Photo: Carlos Osorio (AP)

“By the way, they tell me, and I’m looking forward to it if it’s true to driving one, that they’re making an electric Corvette that can go 200 mph. You think I’m kidding, I’m not kidding.” - Joe Biden (That Corvette exists and costs a cool $750,000.)

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“What they’ve done in California is just crazy.”

“What they’ve done in California is just crazy.”

Former President Donald Trump pretends to drive a fire truck.
Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP (Getty Images)

“I’m OK with electric cars, too. I’m all for electric cars. I’ve given big incentives for electric cars. What they’ve done in California is just crazy.” -Donald Trump (The Trump administration gave no incentives to electric vehicles; the incentives he appears to be referencing were an Obama-era initiative.)

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“We’re going to set a new pace for electric vehicles.”

“We’re going to set a new pace for electric vehicles.”

President Joe Biden drives the new electric Ford F-150 Lightning.
Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP (Getty Images)

“We’re going to set a new pace for electric vehicles. That means reversing the previous administration’s short-sighted rollback of vehicle emissions and efficiency standards, setting strong, clear targets where we need to go.” -Joe Biden

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“They are beautiful, beautiful trucks.”

“They are beautiful, beautiful trucks.”

Former President Donald Trump reaches out to pat the hood of a truck.
Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP (Getty Images)

“They are beautiful, beautiful trucks. That’s the real deal.” -Donald Trump

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“I’m a car guy.”

“I’m a car guy.”

President Joe Biden tours the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.
Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP (Getty Images)

“My name is Joe Biden and I’m a car guy.” -Joe Biden

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“Beep, beep.”

“Beep, beep.”

Former President Donald Trump sits in the drivers seat of a semi-truck.
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP (Getty Images)

“Beep, beep.” -Donald Trump (Please note the former president did not make this sound, but he sure did seem to enjoy honking a big rig horn.)

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Writing about climate change, renewable energy, and Big Oil/Big Gas/Big Everything for Earther. Formerly of the Center for Public Integrity & Nexus Media News. I'm very tall & have a very short dog.

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