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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the First Lady at Joining Forces Muppet Movie Screening

South Court Auditorium

4:03 P.M. EDT

GENERAL DEMPSEY:  Okay, ladies and gentlemen, how are you this afternoon?  (Applause.)  Please hold your applause for the Muppets.  No, not really.  Hold your applause for the First Lady, who I will introduce here in a moment.

I’m really excited to be here with my wife, Deanie, who is sitting over here.  And we want you to know how much we love the children of our men and women who serve in uniform.  You guys are terrific.  And really, we couldn’t do what we do without you.  So it’s really a great honor for me to be here today.

And I know what you really want to do is see this movie, but I do want to see if you’re awake and ready and alert to watch the movie.  So I have three questions I want to ask you, and I -- if you know the answer, just yell it out.  So the first one is:  Why are teddy bears never hungry?

PARTICIPANT:  Because they're always stuffed.

GENERAL DEMPSEY:  Because they're always stuffed.  You’re right.  (Laughter.)

What do you call a pig that knows karate?

AUDIENCE:  Pork chop.  (Laughter.)

GENERAL DEMPSEY:  Pork chop.  You guys are all over it.  You’re ready for the movie. 

And, finally, what is a frog’s favorite kind of music?

PARTICIPANT:  Hip hop.  (Laughter.)   

GENERAL DEMPSEY:  Hip hop, you got it.  (Laughter.)  Give yourselves a round of applause.  (Applause.)

Well, I know this movie is going to be funnier than the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  And so what I want to do now is introduce someone very special to us as a military family, someone who has spent her time in office with her husband making sure that we can take care of you.  And with that -- hi, Bonnie -- with that as all the introduction she really needs, it’s my great honor to introduce the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.  (Applause.) 

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, hello, everyone.  How are you guys doing? 

MRS. OBAMA:  Welcome to the White House.  Isn’t this cool?  General Dempsey, those were some pretty good jokes. 


MRS. OBAMA:  Not bad.  What did you guys think of the jokes -- pretty funny?  (Applause.)  Yes.

Well, we’re not going to talk long because we know why we’re really here, but I just wanted to take a moment to make sure you understand why we’re doing this, why it was so important for us to make it possible for you guys to see this movie here.  Do you know why?  Because we are incredibly proud of you, first of all.  I know we have military moms and dads.  We have some Gold Star families.   But most importantly, we have our military kids.

And I get to travel all around the country and I meet a lot of kids.  And let me tell you, I am most impressed by our military kids, because I know you guys have a lot on your plates.  When your parents are deployed, you have to be big boys and girls.  You have to get your homework done.  You have to stay out of trouble.  You have to help out with your brothers and sisters, right?  You have to behave.  You have to be strong and brave. 

And the thing I’m always impressed is that you do all this and you do it in a way that makes us proud.  Do you know that, that we are so proud of you?  You guys are heroes.  Do you know that?  I want you to know that.  That's why you’re at the White House, because you are our special guests and our heroes.  So we thought you should be some of the first kids in the entire country that sees one of the best, coolest movies on the planet.  (Applause.)  Yes, yes. 

But guess what?  Also, I’ve got another little surprise.  Because you were so cool, and we wanted you to see the “Muppets Most Wanted,” we thought that it would be fun to invite an extra special guest with us.  And I would like to take a moment to introduce our extra special -- it’s Kermit the Frog, everyone.  (Applause.)

KERMIT THE FROG:  Oh, thank you.  Nice to meet you.  Thank you.  Thank you, ma’am.  Good to see you again.

MRS. OBAMA:  Oh, it’s wonderful to see -- oh, thank you, Kermit.  Thank you so much.

KERMIT THE FROG:  Thank you.  That's what they do in Europe.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, very fancy.  It’s great to have you here.

KERMIT THE FROG:  Well, it’s wonderful to be here.  I would have been here sooner.  I did get to take pictures with everybody earlier, but it took me a while to get through security.  And I still don't understand how a frog with no clothes could set off a metal detector, but -- (laughter).

GENERAL DEMPSEY:  You ought to see -- try to get through with this on.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes.  (Laughter.)

KERMIT THE FROG:  I can imagine.  I can imagine.  That must be tough.

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, we are just happy to have you here, and we’re so delighted.

KERMIT THE FROG:  Yes.  Well, I am thrilled to be here.  And, by the way, I’m just wondering, do you mind -- we sort of know each other.  Could I call you Michelle?

MRS. OBAMA:  Oh, please do.  Please do.

KERMIT THE FROG:  Yes, it’s mostly because I have to call Miss Piggy Her Highness.  (Laughter.)  You guys will know what I mean when you see the movie.

But I just want to say a couple of things.  It’s true that I’m here today because of all you kids.  I always say it’s not easy being green, and that sometimes it’s not easy for you guys -- for your moms and dads who wear a green uniform or a blue one or a white one.  But you guys have to be just as tough as them, you know?  We understand what that means.

And kids like you are moving from town to town every couple of years sometimes, and you might have to keep making new friends.  But I know you wish your mom and dad could be around more than they are.  But because of all of you and your -- because of that you’re all strong and brave and very grown up.  And that's very cool.  And I wish I had been that cool when I was a tadpole.  (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, Kermit, I think you’re very cool and I think you’re very smart too.

KERMIT THE FROG:  Well, thank you, thank you.  And I think you are very nice, much nicer than Miss Piggy.  (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Oh, well, that's kind of a low bar.  (Laughter.)

KERMIT THE FROG:  You’re right.  You’re right.  She doesn't raise it very high.

GENERAL DEMPSEY:  Well, I would like to take this opportunity to make a special presentation to Kermit, because of what Kermit has done for all of you.  I’d like to give Kermit, as the senior Muppet, a coin from the senior military officer.

KERMIT THE FROG:  Oh, my goodness.

MRS. OBAMA:  Oh, wow.

GENERAL DEMPSEY:  So, Kermit, on behalf of the Armed Forces, and especially on behalf of this group of great soldier, sailor, airman, Marine spouses and children, I’d like to give you this coin.

KERMIT THE FROG:  Yes, sir.  Oh, my goodness.  That is wonderful.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  I feel so honored and I can't wait to show this to the gang.

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, that is a very big privilege --

KERMIT THE FROG:  It sure is.

MRS. OBAMA:  -- for a very big frog.

KERMIT THE FROG:  For a very small frog.  (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, I think you’re pretty big.  But this is a good time.  Don't you think it’s time for us to get the movie started?  It’s ready.

KERMIT THE FROG:  Yes, yes, yes.  (Applause.)  And thanks again to all of you military families for everything that you do.  You are all amazing.  So here goes, if I may.

MRS. OBAMA:  Please.

KERMIT THE FROG:  I may not be a Marine, but I am marine life.  (Laughter.)  I salute you.  (Applause.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Oh, thanks, Kermit.

KERMIT THE FROG: See you later.

MRS. OBAMA:  And thank you, everyone.  Enjoy the show.  We are so proud of you and we are blessed to have you on our team.  You guys have fun.  Bye-bye. 

KERMIT THE FROG:  Bye-bye.  Enjoy the movie.  (Applause.)  

4:08 P.M. EDT