Bush cancels appearance after Assange invite
February 25th, 2011
04:37 PM ET
11 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. someguy

    Damn, I bet he had some great things to say too...

    February 25, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. G.W.Bush

    Sorry folk, I canceled so I could be on Cnn.com to chat on this "Soundoff" Thingy.

    February 25, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Frankie

    As a Democrat, I must say I think he made a good decision. Whether or not you liked his politics, Bush was our president, and although the economy went down, we're surviving. Most of the posts I read here seem to revile Bush, but whatever criminal deed the Left wished to blame him for, he did right by our country for the in the long run. The Right has as many complaints about Obama now as the Left did when Bush was president. It's purely an ideological thing. Assange, on the other hand is an international criminal. I applaud Bush for refusing to share the same stage with the likes of Assange.

    February 25, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  4. Mary225

    I think GW Bush is keeping a low profile and trying to stay off the radar of the DOJ and President Obama. Should Obama be elected to a second term (very likely) he could decide to go after Bush, especially since our troops will be out of Iraq and Afghansitan by then. Obama won't need to please anybody after he wins a second term. The truth will come out...just takes some time and make sure the soldiers who fought Bush's illegal wars are safe and sound on US soil. Keep your head down and your mouth shut, George.

    February 25, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. Kareen

    8 years of hearing Bush speak is enough for most of us

    February 25, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. john in cal

    The great deciever on stage with the great reveler, what a show that would have been. RUN GEORGE RUN.

    February 25, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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