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Bush Speaks at a Middle School in North Carolina

Aired April 11, 2001 - 11:54   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: We are going now to a middle school in Concord, North Carolina, where President Bush has just taken the lectern. Let's listen to his remarks there.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Dr. "O"...

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: ... thank you for your hospitality. It's an honor to be here. I want to thank you all for coming.

Before I talk about a subject dear to my heart, which is education, and before I recognize all of the distinguished guests, I do want to say that right after my visit here, I am going to meet with the family of Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Blocker.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: As you know, Steven is one of our 24 service men and women in China. I'm really looking forward to letting Steven's family know that we are in the process of bringing their son home.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Steven grew up in Charlotte, and I know this entire Charlotte area and I know this entire community joins in looking forward to welcoming him home.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to tell the Blockers how much America appreciates their son's patriotism and service to his country and how much we appreciate the service of our men and women in uniform throughout the world.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Situations such as this remind us how much our military personnel and their families sacrifice for our freedom. It also reminds me, it's such an honor to be the commander in chief of such wonderful people.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: It's also an honor to be here in the great state of North Carolina.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: I've got a lot of friends here.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: And I'm grateful.

It's also good to get out of Washington, D.C., on a regular basis.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: It kind of helps us stay in touch with reality. It is important to listen to people who are on the front lines of making their communities a much better place. And there is no better place to listen and to say thanks than our schools all across America, where people are working their heart out to make a difference in the lives of our children.

So first, I want to thank all the teachers who are here.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: I don't know if you know this, and I'm sorry the first lady is not with us, but she's heading down to Texas for the Easter break. I'm following shortly thereafter, I want you to know.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: One of her missions, besides making sure every child can read, is to remind folks about what an important profession teaching is. Teaching is a noble profession. And that for the youngsters who are looking for something to do after college, become a teacher. Or for those who have just gotten out of the military, become a teacher. We need good teachers in America. We need people to understand what an important job it is.

So for those of you who are thinking about something to do when you get out of junior high, then high school, then college, give teaching a shot. It will not only change some child's life, it will change your life for the better as well.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: It's good to see Phil Kirk (ph).

Phil, thank you very much.

And I was honored to be escorted around the school by a man I proudly call "Mr. President," Graham Boone (ph).

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: I appreciate Senator Edwards being here. Senator, it's good to see you, sir.

I appreciate Congressman Hayes.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: I can assure you, on the ride in from the airport, he gave me a full briefing...

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: ... about every single aspect of this community.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: He pointed out every NASCAR garage...

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: ... and every four-lane highway that needed to be expanded.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Congressmen Coble, Ballenger and Taylor are also here, and I want to thank you all for coming, and I appreciate your loyal support.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: I guess when the president shows up, all kinds of elected officials come, and I appreciate your coming. The mayors, the mayor of Charlotte and the mayor of Concord, I want to thank you both for being here as well.

FRAZIER: President Bush speaking at a middle school in Concord, North Carolina, demonstrating what one White House official said, was business as usual for the president, although his first remarks there as you saw, were about the release of 24 crew members of a Navy spy plane who have been detained in China now for 10 days. Big news there.

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