President Obama will visit the New York site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks today, but former President George W. Bush won’t be at his side. Originally, a Bush spokesperson said the former president declined Obama’s invite because “has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight,” though he “appreciated the invite.” This morning, however, the New York Daily News quoted sources saying that Bush won’t be at Ground Zero today because he feels Obama hasn’t given the Bush administration enough credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden:
“[Bush] viewed this as an Obama victory lap,” a highly-placed source told the Daily News Wednesday. […]
“He doesn’t feel personally snubbed and appreciates the invitation, but Obama’s claiming all the credit and a lot of other people deserve some of it,” the source added.
“Obama gave no credit whatsoever to the intelligence infrastructure the Bush administration set up that is being hailed from the left and right as setting in motion the operation that got Bin Laden. It rubbed Bush the wrong way.”
Obama and Bush spoke briefly after Bin Laden’s death was confirmed, and Bush issued a statement shortly thereafter congratulating him. As ThinkProgress has reported, Obama campaigned on a promise to capture and kill the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks and revived the search for Bin Laden after it had lapsed during the Bush presidency. That hasn’t kept conservatives from offering the former president praise while virtually ignoring Obama, nor has it prevented former Bush administration officials from taking to the press to claim credit for Bin Laden’s death.
A spokesperson for Bush said the former president has plans to visit Ground Zero in September to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks.