George H.W. Bush's Speech to Students Drew Democratic Probe

Much has been made about the criticism surrounding President Obama's Tuesday speech to the nation's schoolchildren. 

But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech in October 1991 to students at a junior high school in Washington, D.C., Democratic critics went much further and investigated the event, Washington Examiner columnist Byron York reported Tuesday.

Democrats, who controlled Congress at the time, ordered the General Accounting Office to probe the production of the speech and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for a hearing, York wrote.

The Bush speech at Alice Deal Junior High School cost $26,750 -- an expenditure paid by the Department of Education -- and drew fire from Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, who ordered the probe.

"As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event."

The GAO found no wrongdoing on the part of the Bush administration

But after Bush spoke, The Washington Post implied in a front-page story that the speech was staged for the president's political benefit, and Democratic allies continued to pounce on Bush for the cost of the event.

Click here to read the entire Examiner story.