June 7th, 2013
12:55 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama speech-less

(CNN) - President Barack Obama got off to an awkward and unusual start Friday morning as he took the stage to give a speech on health care reform.

Once he took the podium, he realized he didn't have anything to talk about.

"Good morning everybody. It is wonderful to see all of you and I want to thank everybody who is here," he said at the San Jose, California, event. "I think there is only one problem. My remarks aren't sitting here."

As the audience began to chuckle, Obama looked off stage, searching for his aides and uttering: "People?"

"Things by Friday afternoon-things get a little challenged," he added, trying to stall.

And what a week it has been for the Obama administration. Faced with criticism from the right and left over reports of the National Security Agency's surveillance of phone and internet records, the president's administration has played defense in the last couple of days over what was supposed to be a classified program.

Obama himself defended the program after finishing his health care speech, answering a question from a reporter and describing the records as "modest encroachments on privacy" that "help us prevent terrorist attacks."

Before the speech got started–and as the president was still looking for his printed remarks–a reporter asked if Obama will answer a question.

"I am going to answer a question at the end of the remarks but I want to make sure that we get in the remarks," he said. "People?"

"Oh, goodness," he said as an aide rushed out with the pages and slightly tripped on stage.

"Oh, somebody is tripping," the president said to laughter. "Folks are sweating back there right now."


Filed under: NSA • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Wes

    Blame the video.

    June 7, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. n222s

    I am not a fan of Obama but people should not be judged based upon their ability to speak extemporaneously. I thought it was silly to judge Bush based upon his lack of skill in this area and I don't think it is fair to judge Obama by that standard either.

    As for being able to speak from the heart in order to do it, that isn't what is needed. I possess the ability to speak off the cuff (that ability, and about $5 will get you a coffee at Starbucks so no big deal).

    What it requires is knowing what you want to say, organizing it in your mind into specific points (no more than 3) and sticking to those points only. Do not deviate and don't talk too much.

    Again, not a skill that makes me qualified for President (or dog catcher for that matter!).

    June 7, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. David

    Just another day in a downward spiral for the Prez. He needs a script to keep him on message and mis-direct the public off point on all the controversies.

    June 7, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. MIKE CALIF

    He doesn't make the rules!!
    He just thinks them up ad writes them down........

    June 7, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Guest

    Impeach the corrupt incompetent!

    June 7, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. DH

    We know you Repubs are desperate as you have no plans, no vision and no apology for your party taking this country to its knees.
    We told you in November by re-electing Pres Obama so move out of the way or help your president as 2014 and 2016 will resemble November 2012 for you.

    June 7, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. steve

    "Sorry folks, I don't have my remarks with me, so I'll just read a few humorous emails. Yours."

    June 7, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Outstanding President.
    Master chess player surrounded by Pick-Up-Jacks amateurs.
    Keep digging GOP you're getting close to China.

    June 7, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. The Facts

    PEOPLE.. I don't have a mind.. Put some words in front of me !!!

    June 7, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. ST

    How funny this reporting is. You are writing that Pres. Obama was speechless, while yourself you are just reporting nothing.

    June 7, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Thinkergal

    Obama will be viewed as one of our greatest presidents. Health care is working and doing goo things for the people of this country. He thinks before he speaks, unlike the Repugs, who seldom bother to think at all.

    June 7, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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