(CNN) — President Barack Obama got off to an awkward and unusual start Friday morning as he took the stage to give a speech on health care reform.
Once he took the podium, he realized he didn’t have anything to talk about.
“Good morning everybody. It is wonderful to see all of you and I want to thank everybody who is here,” he said at the San Jose, California, event. “I think there is only one problem. My remarks aren’t sitting here.”
As the audience began to chuckle, Obama looked off stage, searching for his aides and uttering: “People?”
“Things by Friday afternoon-things get a little challenged,” he added, trying to stall.
And what a week it has been for the Obama administration. Faced with criticism from the right and left over reports of the National Security Agency’s surveillance of phone and internet records, the president’s administration has played defense in the last couple of days over what was supposed to be a classified program.
Obama himself defended the program after finishing his health care speech, answering a question from a reporter and describing the records as “modest encroachments on privacy” that “help us prevent terrorist attacks.”
Before the speech got started–and as the president was still looking for his printed remarks–a reporter asked if Obama will answer a question.
“I am going to answer a question at the end of the remarks but I want to make sure that we get in the remarks,” he said. “People?”
“Oh, goodness,” he said as an aide rushed out with the pages and slightly tripped on stage.
“Oh, somebody is tripping,” the president said to laughter. “Folks are sweating back there right now.”