President Bush’s spokesman said the former president has declined President Obama’s invitation to appear together at Ground Zero on Thursday, citing a desire to stay out of the spotlight.
“He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight,” spokesman David Sherzer said. “He continues to celebrate with all Americans this important victory in the war on terror.”
The former president is planning to travel to Ground Zero for the tenth anniversary of the attacks this fall.
Bush has indeed lived a largely private life since he left office. Aside from the release of his memoir, Decision Points, his only other major public appearance was a trip to Haiti after the earthquake in January 2010 with President Clinton.
President Obama spoke to Bush after the U.S. confirmed bin Laden’s death but before he announced it to the world Sunday night. The president announced on Monday that he would travel to Ground Zero.