Former Bush Speechwriter Mark Theissen was watching President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address last night, and he suddenly had an eerie sense of déjà vu.
If you were one of the many Americans watching or listening to President Obama’s State of the Union address, you can be forgiven for experiencing a bit of déjà vu yourself. According to Mark Theissen, lead speech writer for President George W. Bush, there is a very good reason parts of President Obama’s speech may have sounded familiar. The reason is because Mr. Theissen claims he wrote them in 2007.
Appearing on “The Kelly File”, Mr. Thiessen said:
“It was eerily familiar. There were lines like, ‘Our job is to help Americans build a future of hope and opportunity. A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy. A future of hope and opportunity requires our citizens have affordable and available health care.’ ‘Extending opportunity and hope depends on a stable supply of energy.’ All of that came from the 2007 State of the Union address by George W. Bush. So, Barack Obama has gone from blaming George W. bush to plagiarizing George W. Bush.”
Early in the speech, President Obama’s remarks that led to Mark Theissen’s plagiarizing claim read as:
“In the coming months, let’s see where else we can make progress together. Let’s make this a year of action. That’s what most Americans want – for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations. And what I believe unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young or old, rich or poor, is the simple, profound belief in opportunity for all – the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead.”
The exact portion of the 2007 Bush SOTU speech Mr. Theissen is referring to reads as follows:
“Our job is to make life better for our fellow Americans, and to help them build a future of hope and opportunity. And this is the business before us tonight. A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy, and that is what we have. We are now in the 41st month of uninterrupted job growth, a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs so far.”
There are marked differences between the two speeches, and while there are similarities in tone and message, a direct copy and paste by Obama’s speech writer doesn’t seem likely.
One thing is remarkably different between the two President’s is the relationship between the executive branch and the legislative branch. In President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Speech, he said:
“We are not the first to come here with government divided and uncertainty in the air. Like many before us, we can work through our differences and we can achieve big things for the American people. Our citizens don’t much care which side of the aisle we sit on, as long as we are willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done.”
The Inquisitr reported on the “Call to Action” theme of the State of Union, and in the speech, Obama showed the action he was willing to take if he was not happy with Congress. He warned:
“But America does not stand still – and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
While Mark Theissen may be exaggerating slightly with his claim of plagiarism, one thing he said is certainly true. Bush and Obama are two very different men, and Obama is certainly not in a conciliatory mood when it comes to dealing with the loyal opposition.