Kamala Harris was mocked after it emerged youngsters who appeared with her in a video to promote space exploration were professional child actors who auditioned for the parts.
Republicans lambasted the US vice president for taking part in a "fake" and "cringeworthy" video.
Ms Harris was appointed by Joe Biden as chairwoman of the National Space Council in May amid suggestions she was not being given enough to do.
The council helps to shape US space and national security policy, and was revived under Donald Trump after lapsing for two decades.
In a nine-minute YouTube video called "Get Curious With Vice President Kamala Harris" to mark National Space Week, Ms Harris speaks with five children.
Kamala Harris talks to a student who is a child actor
One of them, Trevor Bernardino, 13, a child actor from Carmel, California, later revealed he had sent an application to a production company, then had an interview with a director.
He told a local TV station in California: "Then after that, like a week later, my agent called me and was like ‘Hey Trevor, you booked it’."
The child actor said he had only been told he would be interviewing someone important in Washington.
He said: "Me, my Mom, Dad, we were speculating who could be this important that we meet them in DC and we get to go on a cool trip and film."
The Biden administration is using tax dollars to pay child actors to try and make Kamala Harris seem relatable.
Better than VEEP. https://t.co/4meYS6HW0R pic.twitter.com/5fjxBE7HX5
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) October 11, 2021
In the video, Trevor and four other child actors were taken to the US Naval Observatory, which is the vice president’s residence, to meet Ms Harris.
Carlo Bernardino, Trevor’s father, told the Washington Examiner: "He’s a child actor. He’s been trying to do this type of thing for a while.
"And so he has a manager, and an agent, in LA and they send him castings. This was a casting call. All five of them are actors."
The short film was produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment, an Emmy award-winning Canadian production company based in Toronto.
It was filmed in August as the Taliban were heading for Kabul and the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan loomed, something that Ms Harris was purposefully kept insulated from.
In the video the vice president tells the child actors: "To think about so much that’s out there that we still have to learn, like, I love that. I love that. And so, I’m very excited about the Space Council.
"We’re going to learn so much. You’re going to literally see the craters on the moon with your own eyes. With your own eyes, I’m telling you."
Kamala Harris used child actors in her space video AND not even they could make her likable!
(Fox News) pic.twitter.com/n1wb9Jp5Yr
— Breanna Morello🇺🇸 (@BreannaMorello) October 12, 2021
In addition to the use of child actors her performance was mocked by Republicans who compared it to "Veep," the TV show starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a hapless vice president.
Donald Trump Jr. said: "Just when you thought the most fake human being in the history of the world couldn’t get any more phony there’s this…Her commitment to cringe is truly impressive!"
Tim Murtaugh, Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign communications director, said: "A video with Kamala Harris features child actors, with agents, auditions, and all. But here’s the punchline: The project is being produced by a company called Sinking Ship. You couldn’t make it up."
It was the latest in a series of incidents which have seen Ms Harris struggling in polls.
Missteps have included delaying going to the Mexico border after Mr Biden put her in charge of the migration crisis, and there have been reports of dysfunction in her office.
Last month she hired a veteran Washington crisis communications expert.