Is Biden the only president who struggled on the Air Force One stairs?

Biden, 80, isn’t the only president who’s had problems with Air Force One’s stairs: Gerald Ford tumbled to the bottom, Obama lost his footing – and Trump boarded with toilet paper stuck on his shoe

  • President Joe Biden is falling in the footsteps of several other presidents who have had trouble managing Air Force One’s stairs 
  • Presidents Barack Obama and Gerald Ford tripped on the stairs, while Donald Trump walked up them with toilet paper stuck to his shoe 
  • READ MORE: Biden concluded his three-day European trip with a fall  

President Joe Biden concluded his three-day European trip with exactly that – a fall up the stairs as he boarded Air Force One in Warsaw to return to the United States.

The 80-year-old is stranger to embarrassing moments on the plane’s steps, but he’s also following in the footsteps of several modern presidents. 

Presidents Barack Obama and Gerald Ford each had trouble with the presidential plane’s stairs, while former President Donald Trump boarded the aircraft with a piece of toilet paper stuck to his shoe.  

Biden’s latest spill on the stairs – the second of his presidency – comes as questions surround whether he’ll run for reelection, and after Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley proclaimed that political candidates older than 75 should submit to ‘competency tests.’

President Joe Biden briefly fell as he walked up the stairs to board Air Force One Wednesday as he departed Warsaw after a three-day trip to Kyiv and the Polish capital 

When he turned 80 in November, Biden became the first president in history to mark that birthday in the White House. 

Biden’s latest fall followed a spill up the stairs in March 2021, just two months into his tenure, during a windy day at Joint Base Andrews, and a June 2022 fall off his bike during a Rehoboth Beach trip. 

Biden had pedaled over to say hello to a group of onlookers and his foot got stuck on his toe clip, causing him to fall to the side. 

He immediately got up after Secret Service scrambled to assist him.

The president quickly recovered from his Air Force One stairway falls too. 

The stumbles have added to the narrative that Biden is gaffe-prone. 

Despite being a student athlete, Ford had a reputation of being clumsy too.

The most memorable example came on June 1, 1975 when the Republican president fell down Air Force One’s slippery stairs as he arrived in Salzburg, Austria.

The late President Gerald Ford is helped by a military aide after slipping and falling down the steps as he deplaned Air Force One on June 1, 1975 during a trip abroad to Salzburg, Austria 

President Gerald Ford is helped to his feet after spilling down the steps of Air Force One in 1975 on a trip to Austria

Former Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer recalled another incident, this one from the campaign trail in 1976. 

He recalled reporting that Ford stumbled, missed the door and then bumped his head as he tried to depart the rear platform of a train in Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

There were also several stories about Ford falling while skiing. 

Decades before, Ford nearly fell overboard when serving as a navigation officer during World War II on the USS Monterey. 

A wave had crashed up on the ship’s deck. Ford was saved because his foot got caught in a grate, the story goes. 

That moment was memoralized in a statue of Ford that’s on display on the USS Ford, when the ship isn’t deployed, according to Insider. 

If you look closely, you can see that one of the statue’s feet is stuck in a grate.

Former President Barack Obama briefly stumbled on the stair of Air Force One on March 30, 2015 as he returned to Washington after a golf trip in Florida 

Former President Donald Trump can be seen with toilet paper stuck to his shoe when boarding Air Force One to to Minneapolis in 2018  

Toilet paper can be seen stuck to former President Donald Trump’s shoe as he walks to Marine One upon departing New York on November 12, 2019 

Ford’s clumsiness became part of his pop culture persona too, with Saturday Night Live cast member Chevy Chase using it in his presidential bits of the time.

When elected in 2008, President Barack Obama ranked among the nation’s youngest president. 

He notably turned the White House tennis court into where he’d play his basketball games with staffers.

Still, Air Force One’s steps became a challenge for the Democratic leader.

He stumbled on the stairs on March 30, 2015 upon returning from a golf trip in Florida.

Former President Donald Trump didn’t have any notable falls, but that didn’t keep attention away from his toes.

There were at least two instances when it appeared he got toilet paper stuck to his shoe.

In October 2018, he boarded Air Force One to Minneapolis and a white sheet appears glued to his left shoe. 

And then in November 2019 as he departed New York, it looks like some toilet paper got stuck again. 

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