George W. Bush photo

Remarks at a White House Tee-Ball Game

September 07, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to tee-ball on the South Lawn. Laura and I are honored you are here, and we welcome the military families and players from all across the United States of America.

We are really looking forward to seeing you all play, and it gives us a chance to thank your moms and dads for their sacrifice and service to the United States of America.

I'm proud to be here with the honorary commissioner, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. We are joined today with—by the Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates; General Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force; Chief Master Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force, Rod McKinley.

We welcome Congressman Tom Davis. Welcome, Tom. Thanks for coming, and thanks for bringing Jeannemarie. Glad you all are here.

What an honor it is to have Rascal Flatts not only play the national anthem, but entertain you at the picnic at the South Lawn after the game. Thank you guys for coming.

I do want to thank the Dunbar High School Junior ROTC for carrying the flag. Welcome; thank you all for coming.

Handling the first base coaching duties, former New York Yankee, Bernie Williams; third base, General Pete Pace.

I'm about to—we don't actually throw out the first pitch here at the South Lawn. We have ball presenters: Ambassador Karen Hughes, who helped originate tee-ball at the White House 20 games ago, as well as the CEO and president of Little League International, Steve Keener.

We are especially pleased to have two broadcast giants with us today—first, Tim McCarver, FOX; all-star catcher, 19—on the 1964 Cardinal World Series team; awesome guy. And with him, from FOX and Friends, Brian Kilmeade.

I don't think we could have had a better broadcast team for this, the final game for tee-ball on the South Lawn. I do want to thank all the Little League staff members who have been working with us since 2001: Lance Van Auken, Mac McGlothlin, and Katie [Kathie] * Rosenberg. Appreciate your steadfast support.

And now, before we begin the game— I know anticipation is rising here—we will have the Little League Pledge. Are the players ready? You are ready? You repeat after me.

[At this point, the pledge was recited.]

Play ball!

NOTE: The President spoke at 4 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Jeannemarie A. Devolites-Davis, wife of Rep. Thomas M. Davis III; Gen. Peter Pace, USMC (Ret.), former Chariman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen P. Hughes; Lance Van Auken, senior communication executive, and Mac McGlothlin, maintenance supervisor, Little League International; and Kathie Rosenberg, who performed as Dugout, mascot of Little League International. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on September 8.

* White House correction.

George W. Bush, Remarks at a White House Tee-Ball Game Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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