September 7th, 2009
07:33 PM ET
13 years ago

Florida GOP chair: WH 'redid the lesson plans'

(CNN) – Jim Greer, the Florida Republican party chairman who accused President Barack Obama last week of trying to "indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda," suggested Monday that the president's original speech on education was "different," but said he is now encouraging all kids to watch it.

Greer called Obama "very aggressive and very vocal on what he believes government's role is" and said he believed the initial intention of the speech "was about the White House writing lesson plans." He specifically took issue with a section that encouraged students to write letters to the president on how they could help him meet his goals, which has since been removed.

"When you ask students to write a letter to the president on how we can help you with your new ideas, that is leading the students in an effort to push the president's agenda," Greer told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux on The Situation Room. "Now that the White House got their hand in the cookie jar caught, they changed everything. They redid the lesson plans."

But after reading the speech, Greer called it one that all presidents "should give to students about the importance of education" and said that he hopes his own kids will watch it on Tuesday.

"After reading the text, seeing the Department of Education has told teachers they are not to lead students in the direction that they would have a week ago, my kids will be watching the president's speech as I hope all kids will," Greer said. "I don't advocate children not watching this president's speech with this text. Now who knows what last week's speech might have looked like, but tomorrow my kids will be listening to the president."

Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. KLJ

    Another example of a right wing extremist. Since Mr. Greer is so upset about the President speaking to kids about education, hoe come he is so quiet aboout the pastor who prays for the death of the President? The extremists prove everyday that this is really silly season in politics.

    September 7, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. Proud American

    It's not the WH that got caught in the cookie's the headline-grabbing politician who spouted out anti-American, anti-President, hateful rhetoric before he even knew what he was talking about.

    Who made you back down – your constituents, your fellow Repubs who felt you went too far, or your children who surely looked at you like you were crazy when you told them they couldn't hear the President speak?

    September 7, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I can't believe that this guy never read the speach before commenting. I don't think that Obama was ever going to stay anything else. The idea is that students could tell the president how to keep the students in school. How could they think otherwise unless it was Reagan telling people that government was bad.

    September 7, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  4. Jeffery Meaux, Sr.

    Just another reason not to trust Obama and his agenda

    September 7, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  5. A Real Republican - Not a Teabagger

    How does he know what the speech was before. Just admit it – he's black and anything he does is wrong. Stop with nonsense! You guys have been around the crazy Palin too long....

    September 7, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. liberal in Madison, WI

    Another nutjob. hop on the Tea Party nut job express!

    September 7, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  7. suzyku

    How on earth to NUTS like this guy in the Florida GeeOhPee, get elected anyway?! Any what kind of idiots believe and follow this jerks lead? Anyone who thinks that by our President telling kids to stay in school is wrong is seriously deficient in the brain department and shouldn't have kids.

    September 7, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  8. Jim

    Wouldn't the appropriate response to disagreeing with the lesson plan have been to contact the White House and ask them to reword that one sentence? Instead we heard more accusations of socialism and indoctrination. I am so tired of the right wing screaming about everything that the President does. I wish they would just work with him to solve our problems.

    September 7, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  9. bella

    I don't know why you waste your money on this guy, CNN! He is just another disgruntled and angry Republican who is ANGRY because his candidate lost!!! He is a complete waste!!!

    September 7, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  10. Carolyn Fuchs

    To me this is just sad. Part of democracy is being able to have a voice. President Obama is encouraging children to use thiers – he is not telling them what to say.

    September 7, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  11. RenieFL

    The speech was ALWAYS going to be about personal responsiblity and staying in school and setting goals. As told to the schools, that is now and was then what the speech was going to be from the very beginning. These so-called "lessons" that the Dept. of Education sent to was created FROM TEACHERS TO TEACHERS and included various ideas which teachers MIGHT want to do and were ENTIRELY OPTIONAL!
    Now this jerk says its OK to watch the speech?!? Well, it's too late for some. Because the "knee-jerk" media made such a big deal out of this and has already shown crazy right-wing parents who were so concerned about "Hitler talking to their kids" that now some schools got scared of these lunatics and cancelled the speech altogether!!
    Laura Bush had it right. Presidents of the United States should be respected. Except THIS PRESIDENT has been treated like a piece of DIRT by the party of so-called "Christain values!"
    I am so embarrased to say I was ever a Republican. Shame on all of included!!!!

    September 7, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  12. Tbone85

    In other words: "I never really knew what was in the speech, but it was my chance to get my name out in the public. Now that everyone knows what's in the speech, I don't want to appear too stupid or disrespectful of the office of the President–in case my party gets it back one day. Plus I can take credit somehow for changing the speech."

    September 7, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. Brian S

    Classic republican playbook.
    1) Put head into the sand and deny that there is a problem.
    2) Claim there is a need for change but for some different unrelated change
    3) Play patriotic songs and scream work America as loud as possible.
    4) Come up with some nonsense to argue your point
    5) Blame other side and call the socialists, because they taking on insurance lobby
    6) Create fake outrage.
    7) Try to scare feeble minded and uneducated.

    September 7, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  14. Jackson

    ok this makes no sense "When you ask students to write a letter to the president on how we can help you with your new ideas, that is leading the students in an effort to push the president's agenda," How is this pushing the President's agenda? To me its getting kids involved and allows them to think about how they can help their country.

    September 7, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. maurice from Ontario

    Okay, Greer, it's time to put your other foot in now!

    September 7, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  16. 23bigdon1

    This guy Greer must be graduate of the Glenn Beck School of Deep Thinking. What an idiot. When Reagan did it and Bush 41 did it, it was accepted as a fine idea by all concerned, Rep or Dem. Because Obama is doing it, it immediately becomes an insidious attempt to indoctrinate the nations children with the evil, socialist agenda of the Democrat Party. Shameful.

    September 7, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  17. Todd

    I will be the first to say good job by obama in his motivational speech to the children to stay in school and work hard, and any deviant from that program will be indoctranation. Iam indepedent, but these kids, teachers, and parents need to have a foot implanted in their butt, education is a privilage not a right. Obama for ONCE you can be a leader.

    September 7, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. peter vaguely

    The GOP is pathetic and bankrupt of ideas. We must stop allowing the conservative roadblock machine to hijack public policy. They lost the election. They should get out of the way.

    September 7, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  19. Liz

    Greer–I applaud you for revisiting your stance after reading the speech. I also think you should applaud the white house for listening to critics and concerned parents and changing the optional lesson guides. There are former white houses that would not listen to the critics as much.

    September 7, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. IndyVoter

    The WH changed the questioning NOT because there was anything wrong with it, but because of ignorant people who would make a huge deal out of nothing. It was better to just change it, to shut the silly people up and still be able to accomplish their goals of encouraging the students. Sometimes you have to pick your gunfights and save your bullets.

    Students could have thought of several ways to help the President that have nothing to do with party or an "agenda" like: starting a recycling club at their school, writing letters to the troops to help the President boost morale, write letters to Israeli chidren or send clothes/supplies to NGOs for Palestinian school children who don't have anything to help the President to allay hardship in the Israeli/Palestinian peace process, volunteer in their community as part of the President's "United We Serve" initiative, etc. etc.

    Grow up people, its called responsible citizenship!

    September 7, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  21. Dan

    That is the right approach. Last week my child would not have participated. Tomorrow he will listen, because the total message is a good one. As long as you don't try to indoctrinate my children or turn me into a socialist, I will listen and decide on my own.

    September 7, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  22. Joy P. Robinson

    I was very disappointed with Jim Greer, Florida Republican Party chairman. I am an educator that lives and votes here in Florida. As a teacher I would always view the contents of any material before I would present it to my classroom. Since the speech of the president was airing on Tuesday I would record it and listen to it before I would let my classroom children listen to it. We were always instructed to view anything like videos, DVDs, and any educational programs for the computers first before a teacher would even let the students look at it. Please let us teachers do our jobs! We do have something between both ears. As far as writing to the president I would give them three choices. The students could decide on their own which one that they would like to write. This would be a great writing assignment so they could work on their writing skills.

    September 7, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  23. Soccer Nana

    When will these liars stop? There was no lesson plan; ask the educators who received them.

    Even former first lady Laura Bush is not pleased with the disrespect being shown to President Obama. I knew there was a reason I admired this woman; she is fair-minded.

    The children of those irrationally behaving parents are going to feel left out when their fellow students, who were allowed to view the President's speech, will be discussing the speech during class.

    September 7, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  24. I am Newt's ex wife

    greer is drinking the same Kool-Aid as michael steele. i am using lower case letters...because this is a new low in american politics.

    where was this greer idiot when bush and cheney were running loose?

    re-did the lesson plans??? ...what wackos the gop has turned into.

    it is obvious that under no circumstance will the gop ever give OBAMA a chance

    September 7, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  25. SamSunny

    So this guy is psychic? He knows other people's speeches before they give them? The GOP sure has a lot of special people.

    September 7, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
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