Bush Turns Down Obama Invite to Ground Zero

Former President George W. Bush has declined an invitation from President Obama to join him as he visits Ground Zero tomorrow, the White House confirmed:

Bush “President Bush will not be in attendance on Thursday,” said his spokesman, David Sherzer. “He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight. He continues to celebrate with Americans this important victory in the war on terror.”

The White House did not confirm that the invitation had been made or comment on Mr. Bush’s decision.

Mr. Obama has talked this week of his hope that the successful raid on the compound where Bin Laden was hiding could serve as a unifying force in a country divided by battles over fiscal policy and many other issues.

The visit might have served as a bookend to this visit, three days after the attacks on the WTC.



  1. Rowan says

    This makes sense.

    He’s wanted nothing to do with the mess he created since he left and he was really only Cheney and Rumsfeld puppet.

  2. ATLJason says

    The White House confirmed he declined the invite but did not confirm the invite had been made? Methinks there is a misprint here.

    (If you follow the link to the NYTimes story it says that Bush’s spokesman confirmed it…not the White House.)

  3. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    The White House has confirmed that G W Bush was invited and declined. They also confirmed that G W Bush will be at the memorial ceremonies scheduled for 9/11/2011 in NYC with Pres. Obama.

  4. TampaZeke says

    He makes a MUCH better former President than he made a President. Too bad he wasn’t this thoughtful for the eight years he was in the White House. Of course, Dick Cheney isn’t pulling his strings now.

  5. Dback says

    Considering that in the second year of his presidency, Bush said this about Bin Laden: “I truly am not that concerned about him,” it’s understandable that he might not want to be reminded of that. (Kerry nailed Bush to the wall with that quote during one of their debates in 2004, visibly rattling/nettling him.) You have to almost admire the self-delusion of Palin and the nutjobs over at townhall.com who now have the audacity to claim that Bush had everything to do with Bin Laden’s death, and of course Obama did nothing.

  6. Chris says

    I think Bush sincerely feels guilt over the disasters that he presided over. The reclusion after his presidency is something of shame, guilt, and embarrassment. I understand completely where he is coming from. He at least is intelligent enough to understand what people think of him. It shows a degree humility.

  7. Henry Holland says

    “his hope that the successful raid on the compound where Bin Laden was hiding could serve as a unifying force”

    Yeah, it makes *me* feel closer to my fellow Americans to find out that it took 9 years to find a guy who was living in caves and middle-class suburbs of Pakistan and rub him out. Once again, the CIA looks like idiots and we fund them how much?

  8. Christopher says

    Chris–yours is the best possible interpretation of Bush’s declining the invite, and I sincerely hope you are right. My first thought, too, was that he knows he did nothing to make Bin Laden’s death happen, and that it would be humiliating for him to be there under those circumstances. That’s considerably more self-awareness than he ever demonstrated as Pres.

  9. JTlvr says

    So without Cheney, Rumsfield and Rice (the REAL Axis of Evil) not manipulating him, Bush Jr. actually comes off as the sensitive, intelligent man everyone close to him said he was. Too bad it’s years too late.

  10. patrick nyc says

    I agree with both CHRIS & JTLVR, it backs up the theory that Bush was the hand picked puppet of Cheney and his neocons. He always came across as over his head, not interested and now wants nothing to do with it at all.

    Not a surprise the right wing wants to keep him in the spotlight, since none of them will ever reach his success in elections.

  11. anon says

    I’m not sure of the purpose of the visit with the 10th anniversary ceremony only a few months away. Sounds like a photo op for the re-election campaign, which is probably what Bush thought and the reason he declined.

  12. ratbastard says

    It will be used by Democrats and President Obama himself in election and re-election campaigns. Bush not surprisingly doesn’t want to contribute to these campaigns. Very simple, really. Also, it’s generally former presidents and current presidents rarely meet up, even more rarely for photo ops.

  13. says

    I really doubt Bush feels any remorse about his presidency. Do any of you even know any far right conservatives? They rarely fear remorse because they think that they are right and everyone else is wrong (think Ann Coulter). More than likely Bush just doesn’t want to help Obama get a photo-op: this would just add legitimacy to Obama’s claims of ending the “War on Terror”.