June 7th, 2013
12:55 PM ET
5 years 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. Fair is Fair

    Teleprompter malfunction?

    June 7, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Donna

    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.

    Not more of the same old lies?! Was he asked about the train wreck that Max Baucas has predicted? Was he asked about all of his union supporters that want exemptions from the law or have it repealed because their members are going to get the shaft?

    the 2014 elections is going to be all about the Obamacare train wreck. Democrats will NOT be available to avoid it this time because people will be losing their healthcare plan. People will be seeing the higher prices. People will be getting calls from the IRS. People will be fined for not buying healthcare. Now the very ugly side of Obama becomes obvious to people.

    June 7, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. California Gary

    Stuff happens.......

    June 7, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    A prepared speech means that he isn't making stuff up as he goes along.

    June 7, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Warren

    I just love that man. So real..

    June 7, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    No one is tripping–entire this nation has been tripping for the last sixty years when insurance thugs were robbing, denying coverage etc. now it is going to be good.

    June 7, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Tony

    Republicans will investigate this as another cover-up. Obama's aides intentionally covered up his printed remarks so that Republicans will have another cover-up to investigate. News at 11.

    June 7, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. JCal

    THere is no such thing as a "modest encroachment on privacy." There is either privacy or no privacy. It's like saying someone can put a peephole on a toilet stall that can only spy on you some times. This just isn't right.

    June 7, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. JONES

    It's unfortunate (for lack of a better word) that the president cannot speak without scripted material. Those speechwriters and aides will surely be in hot water by now.

    June 7, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. wolfpackbob

    Susan Rice has President Obama's notes.

    June 7, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. George Lopez

    I stole the speech notes!

    June 7, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Steves

    Meh. Side show compared to all the other problems right now.

    June 7, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. blueskiesmom

    If you tell the truth and speak from the heart – you can say what you have to say without notes. But if someone is writing down what someone else thinks you should say or if you're covering the truth with lies – then I understand the immobilizing panic.

    June 7, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. Paul

    You cannot get more real than that. Obama is not only smart but also a normal guy. Good to have a Prez like him!

    June 7, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Angelo

    Maybe he should get up there and say "Well George Bush was right about this" instead of blaming everything on him and then doing the same things anc claiming it's ok if I do it......LOL

    June 7, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. John

    Maybe he should have asked the NSA. I'm sure they could have found him a copy in their archives. With every draft and keystroke made typing it, too.

    June 7, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. cliffintex

    Empty suit. No prepared notes – can't talk. No wonder he voted present so often in the IL Senate...he hadn't a clue of what the issues were.

    June 7, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. davecu

    Barry doesn't know what he believes without his notes.

    June 7, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. John

    We've all been waiting to see what happens when Obama didn't have his teleprompter...here it is. Priceless!!

    June 7, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Leo

    A great man indeed...

    June 7, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. NameTodd A

    Racist Africans only Support islamabama because he's Mohammed

    June 7, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. daniel

    He certainly has a way with words and making light of things.

    June 7, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. just sayin

    Rudy NYC
    A prepared speech means that he isn't making stuff up as he goes along.

    no, it means he wrote down all of his lies ahead of time so he wouldn't trip all over them. when is he actually going to take real questions from real interviewers about this pending fiasco? why always just prepared lies?

    June 7, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. bobo

    Obama Sucks!

    June 7, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Moderately Amused

    Cue the Benny Hill music....

    June 7, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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