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. Sue

    I cannot believe that a speech by our own President could cause such a fuss. That it even had to be posted ahead of time is ridiculous. I think that on 7-11 President Bush was in a classroom when he was notified of the attack. Did he tell the news that he was going there that day, did we know what he was going to say that day. Come On. This is so stupid . It was a good speech for the first day of school, I bet most kids were excited about it (cause a lot of young kids actually like our President). Way to go President, I am glad your tough enough to stand up against the opposition. It makes me proud.

    September 8, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. jeeze

    It must suck for the kids of Greer to have a dad like that.

    September 8, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Nick

    By not distancing themselves from the far right, the GOP has made a deal with the devil: "You'll dent Obama's poll numbers in August of 2009, buuuuuuut you'll turn off so many voters with your rage that you'll never win a national election again." I hope you enjoyed the summer.

    September 8, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. victim of republican greed

    Greer has to stop spreading his moron ideology. It even makes decent Floridians and republicans look more stupid.

    September 8, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. clarence

    Schools across America showed their independence from government. White parents have the right to protect their children from the black president. This is a country of free will. You cant forced our children to be led by inferior people.

    September 8, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. James

    Greer made a claim that he, himself, could not substantiate and has the gall to say he "altered Obama's message." The media does a bad job by showing people parroting what the Republicans and conservatives are saying without proof nor justification. Greer's statement borders on lunacy and without justifying what the previous Presidents have done and said in the past. This is an example of using fear as a tactic. I am from Florida and one thing is certain both parties are a disgrace.

    September 8, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. BK

    Do Republicans have so little to say to us now that they make stuff up?

    I haven't heard a Republican tell us what THEY want to do in what seems like forever. Its always whining about what the Democrats or Obama is doing or about their policies but none of them bother to let us know what THEY would do in their place.

    I long for the days of Reagan and HW Bush whe Republicans had ideas that were great enough that they din't have to hide them.

    September 8, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Jorge en Texas

    I would love to see Greer go on "The View."
    It would be even better than McCain trying to defend the "lipstick on a pig" dustup.

    September 8, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. Teena

    These republicans are like little children crying "the sky is falling, the sky is falling"
    They should just own up to the fact that they do not want or like a president who happens to be black and then just move on–but of course they can not in any way seem racist even though they are racist!

    September 8, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Jim

    I am tremendously proud of our President for taking time from his schedule to deliver such a positive message to our children! I can imagine Franklin Roosevelt doing similar things in his fireside chats. A President's job is to inspire and give hope to all Americans, especially the next generation. The rest of the world must be amazed that some parents didn't want their children to hear Obama's important message.

    September 8, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Danny

    Oh my God! This is like some nightmare out of a Communist/Nazi propaganda film! Republicans want to keep their children home from school because the President is going to address children stressing the importance of getting an education?? They're afraid he might try to force his "liberal agenda" on the children's impressionable minds?? This is absolutely insane! What ever happened to America being a place where differing opinions can be shared and debated?? I fear for the future of this once great country when one of the two major parties are preaching censorship of a speech given by the POTUS as acceptable behavior. What's next? Are we to have a State sponsored agency providing the only source of news for the masses? Americans better wake up and overthrow these madmen, or before we know it we'll all be members of an official State party, with an official State religion, and an official State doctrine of thought. Welcome to the machine America!

    September 8, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Tom L

    In all actuality, Republicans are treating this president the exact same way Democrats treated Geogre Bush. They are opposed to many of the things he is trying to push through and they are peacefully voicing their opposition. What is more American than that?
    The only time I hear about racism is from the left. Aren't they the ones that constatn

    September 8, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Tony

    Republican Strategy: "Keep up enough noise, even if it is not productive, to stop any progress by the Obama administration." Even at the cost of the country's advancement. They know that there are some independent minded voters who will be persuaded by any good Obama brings to the country. Yet if the Republicans make enough noise those same independents either won't get the message or they will be turned off completely.

    In the end if there is no progress, all those new voters will become disenchanted and they won't vote next time around.

    The goal: Take back the White House and both Houses of Congress with the Republican minority that exists in this country

    This is the epitome of political selfishness. What happened to "Country First".

    September 8, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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