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. bozo the obama

    somebody tell bozo this is America not Cuba (yet)

    September 7, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  2. center left

    CNN, along with the rest of the media needs to be the adult in our society. Stop the yellow journalism. Will the new Cronkites and Russerts step up to the plate. Please!

    September 7, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  3. KD in Houston

    This is bull. He has NO IDEA how much if any of the original speech was changed. Why can't people, for once, give Obama's administration some credit. He wants to encourage kids to stay in school and be educated. I doubt touting a healthcare agenda could have been put anywhere in that speech previously without being extremely out of place. Give the man and his team some credit. Stop being divisive!

    September 7, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  4. james

    This guy needs to shut his face. How the heck did he know what the earlier text of the speech was? He just assumed some motive. He is the one who realized he was prejudging.

    September 7, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  5. Gary's Opinion

    The uproar seems crazy but if it resulted in a better speech with less political undertones, then it was worth it.

    September 7, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  6. Molly Weasley

    This guy is so full of crap. Where are the responsible Republicans to go tell him to take a flying leap? IT'S THE SAME SPEECH IT WAS A WEEK AGO, YOU BOZO!

    September 7, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. Derek

    You're a back-peddlin tool, Greer. You put you foot in your mouth without even knowing what speech was going to be about. Characters like you are slowly killing the party.

    September 7, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  8. Roger in CA

    Disingenuous cretin. Nothing even in the draft lesson plans would have amounted to "indoctrination" of any political positions.

    The conservatives really look stupid having gone down this path. Really, America: did you actually think that the President of the United States (of either party), would have used the occasion of a speech to the country's students as an attempt to "indoctrinate"??? Some seriously deluded minds on the extreme right...

    September 7, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  9. Repeat

    Didn't President George H.W. Bush ask children to write to him with ideas after he gave his classroom speech?

    I see nothing wrong with a president asking children to write to him.

    September 7, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. Bill

    Now was that so hard? Amazing what a GOP'er can accomplish by shutting the mouth and educating him/herself. After doing so (and only after doing so) THEN it may be appropriate to criticise – or even agree.

    Governor Jim-bob here discovered that facts can be fun! After reading them, he can make intelligent remarks.

    Good for you, Jim-bob!

    September 7, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  11. Shazia

    Hmm, the president shouldn't encourage children to write to their government. This is America. Leave it to School House Rock and other cartoons during "Social Studies" to inform our youth about taking initiative. And kids shouldn't even have to bother with a letter, just tell them to send over a facebook message.

    September 7, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  12. JR

    I was angry when I watched this interview today as your anchor let this man spew hate and lies without rebuttal. Upon reflection, thank you CNN for allowing him to demonstrate so clearly how disingenuous the Republican Party leaders are and the ridiculousness of their faux outrage.

    September 7, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  13. mel

    The president, the department of Education or the federal government is prevented by statute from dictating the states educational curriculum. Thats what the whole problem is really. The reason this is in place is to preserve the states rights, the parental role and the necessity to avoid politicizing curriculum which happens often in other countries and is normally called propaganda. I have several soviet era textbooks from the 1970's and 1980's which target elementary school age children and indoctrinate them into relinquishing self determination over to the power of the communist party to assist them in achieving the goals of the soviet union. This whole thing is just a little to close to that I am afraid.

    September 7, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  14. Joe MN

    He said it was "different" last week and "socialist" and then goes on to admit he had no idea what the speech last week looked like. Nothing like talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    September 7, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  15. Steph

    Who is he, and why do I care what some completely partisan freak from Florida thinks about a man who has been elected President of The United States? Don't you think this dude will say just about anything to keep getting national attention?!?!

    September 7, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |

    I know a clown when I see one. This guy is a clown.

    September 7, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  17. Indiana Mike

    How does Jim Greer know what the Presidents original speech was? Sounds like Jim Greer is just spreading lies and hate. Oh that's right, he's the chairman of the Republican party in Florida.

    September 7, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  18. ATL Guy

    Man, these Republicans are begining to look like dummies everyday. He redid the speech? Or maybe you guys had an over active imagination? You guys are so pathetic.

    September 7, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  19. Elephant Red

    Greer, still an idiot. The wording was to ask students how they could help him meet his goal of having them take personal responsibility regarding their education. His interpretation is paranoid and ridiculous, but these days I don't expect anything less from high-ranking members of the GOP.

    September 7, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  20. Rushlicans agaisnt EDUCATION

    Greer, You are an idiot!

    September 7, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  21. Beverly in NC

    Greer is just running for cover aftter a total fool of himself. He whipped up a bunch on nonsense hysteria over something he knew nothing about – and just made up lies what President Obama was going to say.
    Now that we have seen what a wonderful and inspiring speech President Obama plans to give to our school children, Greer has to make up some other excuse/lie to cover his stupidity.
    Republicans once again show they are a Party of Ignorance, Fear-Mongering, and Bigotry. They prove again why we need to get rid of even more of them come 2010. They obstruct progress and do nothing but criticize and cry wolf. Americans are sick of this negative and untrustworthy group of unethical nuts.
    Where was the Republican leadership in decrying this absurdity?? Oh that.s right – they have no leaders. They have to depend on the common sense of Former First Lady Laura Bush to act and speak with civility and truth.

    September 7, 2009 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  22. Rick

    I am tired of reading where if somone disagrees with Obama they are a "racist". Let's face it, Obama has not helped out this country one bit. Why would I want my children to listen to him lie like he did to the voters? (BTW My son is African American and he thinks Obama is bad for the country so please put away the race card)

    September 7, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  23. G Khan

    Apparently, Greer took a lot of heat for the asinne position he originally took regarding President Barach Hussein Obama's intended speech to school children. Unfortunately, his words last week poisoned many parents against the speech. Most of these parents will not be aware that Greer changed his position regarding the speech. Its sad that Greer and others made a political issue out of this matter. The low score on standarized tests show America's children need al the encourage they can get to study hard and succeed in school.

    September 7, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  24. mary

    we as american don't deserve president obama to be our leader, mr greer shame on you and your party by dividing american people with your lies and much lower can gop go? i was a republican and i vote for bush on 2004 election,but after all drama that republican played i desided to change my party.

    September 7, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  25. Mai

    "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,"

    No, that is called being actively involved in government. Voters are essentially doing this very same thing when they vote for a candidate. Conservatives object to this not because they think he is trying to brainwash kids (which is utterly ridiculous), but because his name is Obama and they need to feed the storyline that Obama is Hitler.

    September 8, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
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