In what has now become a ridiculous overreaction to President Obama's planned back-to-school speech to students across the country Tuesday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty took on the national Republican talking point this morning, saying he is questioning Obama's motives in an "uninvited" speech. The Minnesota teachers union, on the other hand, fully supports the speech and encouraged schools to air it.
During his time on WCCO-AM this morning, Pawlenty seemed highly suspicious of Obama's plan, particularly of the president asking students to write to him.
"There are going to be questions about -- well, what are they are going to do with those names and is that for the purpose of a mailing list?" the governor said, according to the Star Tribune report. The original lesson plan sent out by the U.S. Department of Education suggested that students send letters to the White House about how they would help the president. That has been dropped from the lesson plan.
Pawlenty also said Obama was "forcing this into the school," but there has been no release requiring schools to show the speech. And let's not forget that Republican presidents have created speeches for schools before too. This isn't some new socialist movement.
The top teachers union official in the state came out with a counter statement encouraging schools to show the speech. The airing is optional, but the union says it will focus on the importance of education and staying in school.