Bush cancels appearance after Assange invite
February 25th, 2011
04:37 PM ET
7 years ago

Bush cancels appearance after Assange invite

(CNN) - Former President George W. Bush doesn't want to be on the same program with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and cancelled an appearance to make sure that happened.

Bush accepted an invite to deliver the keynote at the Young President's Organization's annual Global Youth Leadership Summit Saturday in Denver, but cancelled the appearance after learning that Julian Assange was also invited to address the summit.

In a statement, Bush's spokesman, David Sherzer, said "Six months ago, President Bush accepted an invitation to speak to the YPO Global Leadership Summit in Denver on February 26, 2011. This week, upon learning that Julian Assange had recently been invited to address the same summit, President Bush decided to cancel his appearance."

Asserting the president's reluctance to be in the same sphere as Assange, Sherzer continued "The former president has no desire to share a forum with a man who has willfully and repeatedly done great harm to the interests of the United States."

YPO would not confirm whether Julian Assange will address the Global Youth Leadership Summit, but did release its own statement Friday.

"We regret that our members will not be able to hear from President Bush," said International Chairman Jill Belconis. "President Bush has spoken to our members several times in the past and we hope to have him participate in another YPO event in the future."

The Global Youth Leadership Summit attracts CEOs from around the world during a two-day dialogue on "leadership in the global community" that includes business leaders who are members of YPO. Membership requires that an individual be under 45 years old and the "chief operator" of a corporation, such as president, CEO, or chairman. The business must also have at least 50 full-time employees, and meet minimum requirements based on revenue, billing, or value of the company.

Filed under: George W. Bush • WikiLeaks
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    Bush is a wimp! So much for defending free speech ...

    February 25, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. EddyL

    HA HA WAR CRIMINAL BUSH will soon be a SHUT IN....

    February 25, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. palermo

    This really is ridiculous, considering that Julian Assange would never purposely set foot in the US and obviously is not attending.

    February 25, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. Mr. Davidson

    Bush thought Denver was in Europe and feared getting arrested and put in prison with Assange due to his history.

    February 25, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. jim


    caused the deaths of 4000+ Americans and 100,000+ Iraqi's.

    Plain and simple.

    His supporters, and those supporters on this post, don't think that is a problem. Because they like Bush.

    How many deaths did Obama cause? How many terrorist attacks on US soil under Obama?

    And Bush and his silly followers say they kept America safe... How?

    Looks like Bush thinks that's pretty funny based on this photo.

    February 25, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. jim

    George W. Bush's stance on housing during the 2004 Republican Convention Acceptance Speech

    This speech was delivered at the 2004 Republican National Convention on September 2, 2004 when George W. Bush officially accepted the Republican nomination to run for President.

    "Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society, because ownership brings security, and dignity, and independence. Thanks to our policies, homeownership in America is at an all-time high. Tonight we set a new goal: seven million more affordable homes in the next 10 years so more American families will be able to open the door and say welcome to my home."

    I wonder what these policies were that put so many people into homes they couldn't afford?

    Thanks George. You yourself take the credit for this disaster.

    February 25, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. NVa Native

    The right wingers have lost their minds. Just read the posts on these CNN stories; "fox is the only legit news", "Gingerich was right", "Dems screwed everything up", "Obama is the worst Pres ever". Such total nonsense blended with cable TV lies and these simpletons believe every dribble.
    No wonder their political idols reflect the very same arrogance & ignorance.
    Yes – 2012 will be a very good year for the US – because it with be a very good year for the Democratic Party.

    February 25, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. peace

    Bush is scare to leave the US to. Coward I hope you Dick and others rot in hell for all the low down dirty things you have done to our country.

    February 25, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. once upon a horse

    although I admit I never once voted for him, I AGREE with him in this matter. Good decision President Bush

    February 25, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    When Bush went to Switzerland, which was reported "for business reasons" but turned back, it makes me wonder if he also had a little business to take care of at a hidden Swiss bank account. Just saying. I don't blame Bush for not appearing on stage with Assange in fact I'd run as far away from him as I could because the Swiss may have released Assange in exchange for Bush. You never know, just saying.

    February 25, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Four and The Door

    I agree with him 100%. George Bush is a patriotic American. Assange is a confused, twisted little man.

    February 25, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Jilli

    No loss, Assange would be more interesting than bush anyway. What a coward bush is. So much for making those big bucks on the speaking tour, huh. So far it's only been those bogus motivational presentations. A joke, just like GW.

    February 25, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Oy Vey Az

    Good for you George! Both of you two at the same podium would be a bit too much feather ruffling. Besides, Assange is soon to be a jailbird and George doesn't want to associate with jailbirds ... or at least as long as he can stave it off that is.

    February 25, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. once upon a horse

    I defend freedom of speech but NOT when it could possibly put our men and women serving our country in danger.

    February 25, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Wobh

    This is the first and only time I ever agreed with Dubya.

    February 25, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Limbaugh is an IDIOT

    this IDIOT is un-inviting himself to all of these events?....good!

    better for him to remain hiding in his bunker....because nobody wanna hear what he has to say!!!!

    February 25, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Tulsa

    Four and the Door,
    patriotic American? REALLY?
    Why did he start the war in Iraq? LIES. Killed 100,000+ Iraqis and over 4000 AMERICAN SOLDIERS.

    If that's what you consider "patriotic" then you ain't much of an American.
    He's a coward and a liar with a phoney degree and a weak mind. JUST LIKE YOU.

    February 25, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Indy

    This coming from a man that shared the stage with Cheney !!!! Cheney and Bush are responsible for more innocent deaths then anyone in recent history and he is scared of Assange ? I wonder if there was an arrest waitng for Bush and that is why he canceled.

    February 25, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Duh! Assange is on bail in the UK -he has to report to a police station EVERY DAY, and will NOT be allowed to leave the country, unless the case (which he is currently appealing, and could take 6 months to do so) is resolved.

    February 25, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. B

    They will catch up with him someday when he steps out of the US and arrest him for War Crimes and breaking International Law!

    February 25, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. I can see mexico from my house

    Afraid of the heat W????

    February 25, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Clwyd

    Bush is a war criminal! Why is he allowed to move freely around this country? Oh, I guess he can just cancel like in Switzerland and now this! Great, stay in Texas!

    February 25, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. GonzoinHouston

    Interesting that W cancelled when he heard Assange was INVITED. Nobody ever said anything about Assange accepting or agreeing to appear. I can't conceive of Assange setting foot in the US under any conditions, so I can't imagine that he would accept. So, what's the real reason W cancelled?

    February 25, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. they call me "tater salad"

    Cowards like Bush always hide from the truth!.......It's the only thing he was ever successful at..........Look at his history.......The guy is the epitome of failure!

    February 25, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. emmy skadittle

    they actually said "The former president has no desire to share a forum with a man who has willfully and repeatedly done great harm to the interests of the United States." which a straight face? More harm then bush did himself?

    February 25, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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