September 8th, 2009
11:27 AM ET
10 years ago

White House says speech to students not altered

White House spokesman Bill Burton says President Obama's speech to school children was not altered.

White House spokesman Bill Burton says President Obama's speech to school children was not altered.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House spokesman Bill Burton says President Obama's speech to school children was not altered as a result of the controversy over the remarks - that it is the same speech that was originally to be delivered to students before critics began accusing the President of trying to indoctrinate the nation's children.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says the speech was "largely written (over) the past week or two." White House officials say the claims by Jim Greer, the chair of the Republican party of Florida, are not credible.

Greer originally said the speech was "socialist ideology." Since Greer read the speech he has backed off that claim and reversed his position, saying he will now send his four children to school to listen to the President's remarks. Greer accused the White House Monday of putting out an altered speech, but admitted he had no proof substantiating his claim.

soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. Operation Crush Rush

    Great job,President Obama.It was wonderful and will even inspire the children of republicans,if they were allowed to listen.

    September 8, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Educated Mommy

    Upon watching the president's speech, I cried 3 times, as I never would have dreamed of being thrusted into the role of single mother raising a male child.
    Perhaps had my husband been privey to such a speech 30 years ago, he'd have realized his self worth and not made many of the choices he's made. Thanks President Obama for being the fatherly voice many young americans needed to hear this morning.
    God bless you!!!

    September 8, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. susanj

    Why would President Obama say anything out of line regarding politics to school children. You people who kept your kids home are really fanatical. This is the President of the United States. Give him the respect he deserves. You are brainwashed. He wasn't going to brainwash your children. YOU ARE BRAINWASHED, and a disgrace to this country. Grow Up. We had to put up with Bush's lies for 8 years. LIES and he murdered over 4,000 of our troops. This all comes down to President Obama being black. That's it in a nutshell. RACISM.

    September 8, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Many more of my republican family members have watched the prejudice, lies, hate, and fear-mongering of the last few weeks and they have switched from R to Independent or Democrat or Libertarian or whatever. No one wants to be associated with the right-wing fringe that has been so idiotically vocal this past few weeks.

    Thanks GOP. Our country will be better for all the show.

    September 8, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Mr Greer was just as stupid as Sen McCain when the Senator was saying we need to "bomb bomb bomb, Iran." Think before one inserts foot into mouth would be appropriate. The Republicans have a bad case of "foot and mouth disease."

    September 8, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Elizabeth

    My child was thourghly indoctrinated today.

    Thank god for President Obama.

    September 8, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Toni from Texas

    There is no hope for some of you. This was a great speech and so what if the kids had to write an essay on how to help the President. It would amaze me if those that sat out could even write a sentence. Who needs the Taliban when we are at war with each other. This is a sad day in America indeed.

    September 8, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Rosie

    I just heard President Obama and could not be more proud. I loved it! It is not everyday when we get to hear a person who is in the highest level of Leadership who cares enough about all, not just the top level. It is important that he as a leader resets the stage for success for our children – they are our future. Amazing, where there is no vision the people perish. I thank him for giving a goal and sharing his vision of hope. I was once that kid and now am successful. I wish someone would have said those words to me back then. Though today his words are embraced. Success – It begins and ends with leadership. Thank you President Obama. You are an inspiration.

    September 8, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Sheryl

    This is not about a speech it's is the color of his skin and conservatives can't get pass that!!!!! Lets call it what it is!!

    September 8, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Susan

    What in the world is the matter with these people? Greer is a hypocrite looking for media attention. The goof in Texas who plans to sue because the lesson plan asked for 'personal information' (one question asked students what they wanted to do after schooling...heavens to betsy, a communist plot to make sure we have enough burger flippers, I guess) is not worth anyone's time. The speech was positive, funny, and nothing that indicated political motives. And why is it always the white guys who are so against this President? One guess.

    September 8, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    There are wingnuts of all persuasions, but those of the far right seem to be the most foolish. So much unwarranted fear and blatant deception!

    September 8, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. Shay

    President Obama is about Education. Did anyone forget that President Obama use to be a teacher.

    What I want to know is did President Obama do a better job at encouraging our children than Greer.

    Everyone know the answer

    Greer need to apologize

    September 8, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Someone said that Republican's hate education? One case scenario is when Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he began to cut education funding to the State College system in order to keep the number of college graduates down.

    September 8, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Linell, former Republican, Winter Park, FL

    Mr. Greer, along with Sarah Palin, are prime examples of why I am no longer a Republican. I don't know how he can look at himself in the mirror. What a hypocritical idiot...oh wait we already said he was a Republican...

    September 8, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. KirksNoseHair

    Greer is an idiot, plain and simple.

    September 8, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. EBJ

    you have all these rightwingers moaning and crying about President Obama giving a speech to kids in school, yet you have a lunatic in Arizona that claims to be a minister praying death to the president and says that he HATES him from his own pulpit. WHERE is all the far right outrage over this? Why hasn't the Rush/Hannity lovers denounced this type of speech..you know that they are aware of it. Just shows what the far right REALLY is all about!

    September 8, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. Equality for all

    This was a wonderful and inspirational speech. Absolutely nothing partisan about it, unless you think working hard and challenging yourself to do better is the goal of only one party. I hope my daughter, who started 9th grade today, saw this speech and that she felt moved to rise to her challenges. It seems the only parents that could object are the ones who want to teach their children to hate and be disrespectful to others who have a different opinion, religion, or lifestyle than theirs.

    September 8, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Nick

    The far right pushed it too far this time. In their blind hatred of Obama, they proved themselves - once again - to be out of step with average Americans. Their paranoia will serve to destroy the GOP. Good riddance!

    September 8, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. Char

    Tim Greer shows no credibility in any statements that he has made. He opened up a can of worms and now he is backing down. He did that for political reasons to help his own agenda and this had nothing to do about indoctrination of Children. You can look at him and see that he doesn't even believe his own words! Is he "The Boy that cried Wolf?"

    September 8, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. An observer

    Excellent speech/message, with energy,and relevance...and he looked great giving it!

    What a smile!

    September 8, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. They call me "Tater Salad"

    OMG will you people stop acting like children and grow up! WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT!!!!!! GET OVER IT ALREADY!!!!!!!! I find it more difficult everyday to call myself an AMERICAN, and actually be proud of it! This country is slowly becoming the worlds punchline, and all of you petty, narrow minded, mental midgets who refuse, (or are just simply too lazy) to pick up a book or do any kind of research on your own, and view both sides of an arguement BEFORE you make up your own mind are making that happen! It's sad to live in a country populated and governed by simple minded idiot's!

    September 8, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. Proud to be Opinionated

    I guess the parents want their kids to grow up to be just as narrow-minded as them. How dare the president care about education of the American children! How dare he want them to pursue their dreams and be successful! Seems like the parents fear that their children might realize that Obama isn't the hateful, evil man they thought he was.

    September 8, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. Jorge en Texas

    Greer got caught in his initial lies and then tried to extricate himself by telling more lies!
    This guy is the head of the republican party in one of the biggest states in the union!

    September 8, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. Angelique

    Once he got warmed up (and stopped speaking in generalities) the President gave a great speech that most kids could easily understand. The only thing I wish he had done differently - hopefully he will consider this in the future– would have been to give a few examples of "success" that are more common experiences, e.g. a kid working hard to get into a state university rather than the ivy leagues. He also should have mentioned popular and realistic goals like owning your own small business, managing a department withiin a large business or becoming a computer programmer.

    September 8, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    The speech was fantastic! Fantastic I say! Can't wait to see the GOP spin. Somewhwere out there in a dark and lonely room republican minds are working hard hard hard right now.

    September 8, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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