Laura Bush Defends Obama Speech to Kids (VIDEO)

  • laura bush reads to children in a classroom
  • barack obama speaks to school kids photo

Barack Obama created a firestorm when he decided to address the nation's school children on their first day back after summer vacation.  What started out to be a message that was intended to urge students to stay in school, has been turned into a a politically partisan event that has educators and parents nearly frothing at the mouth.

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke out in support of Obama's "back-to-school speech".  He said, "President Reagan did it, President George H.W. Bush did it.  If he could give a speech tomorrow night in the tone of his speech today to the students, this country would be much better off...It's a good speech, I recommend it to everybody if you have any doubts."

Former first lady Laura Bush, a former teacher and librarian, supports the president's speech that will be broadcast later today on C-SPAN - see full speech transcript here.  She said, "There's a place for the president of the United States to talk to school children and encourage school children to stay in school."  She went on to say, "I also think it's really important for everyone to respect the president of the United States."

In an already released speech transcript, Obama will tell students, "What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country.  What you're learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future."

View Obama speech and Laura Bush remarks on the videos below.

Obama Speech

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Laura Bush remarks