George W. Bush Reportedly Feels Ignored In Obama 'Victory Lap' Following Osama Bin Laden's Death
A source tells the New York Daily News that former president George W. Bush feels that his successor has failed to sufficiently recognize the role he played in the manhunt for Osama bin Laden that ensued following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Earlier this week it was reported that Bush declined an invitation from President Barack Obama to join him at a ceremony being held at Ground Zero in New York City on Thursday. According to the AP, Bush spokesman David Sherzer said the former president appreciated the offer, but has decided against remaining in the public spotlight in his post-White House life.
Suggesting Bush sees the president's actions in the days following bin Laden's death as an "Obama victory lap," the source who spoke with the Daily News said, "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."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said prior to Obama's trip to New York City on Thursday that the president intended to have a measured tone during his visit and that it would serve as a "cathartic moment for the American people."
The AP reports:
Obama will visit a bustling construction site that bears little resemblance to the pit that became ground zero in the months after Sept. 11, 2001. The emerging skyscraper informally known as Freedom Tower is more than 60 stories high now. Mammoth fountains and reflecting pools mark the footprints of the fallen twin towers.
Heightened security put in place in response to the killing of bin Laden will remain for Obama's visit. Police officials said there are no specific threats against the city but also say they assume bin Laden's "disciples" might try to avenge his death with a terror attack.
"The ceremony will provide some closure to a horrific event," said Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Firefighters, who was invited by the White House to attend Obama's ground zero event.
Through his spokesman, Bush has said he embraces the death of bin Laden as an "important victory in the war on terror."