Condi says Obama Ground Zero visit ‘totally appropriate’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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While some criticized President Obama’s trip to Ground Zero Thursday as inappropriate, former George W. Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she found it perfectly acceptable.

Rice appeared on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” on Thursday night and told host Lawrence O’Donnell she had no qualms with the president’s Ground Zero visit.

“Well, I have not seen the visit,” Rice said. “But it’s totally appropriate for the President of the United States to go to Ground Zero and to commemorate the lives of those lost there and to say to the first responders, I understand he went to fire stations, thank you for what you did at that time. When President Bush went to Ground Zero and said that people would hear from us, he did so on behalf of the United States of America, not on behalf of his administration. And I think today President Obama went to Ground Zero on behalf of the American people, not his administration.”

She said Bush was gratified by the death of Osama bin Laden because it was an important battle won in the war against al Qaeda. She also explained why Bush wasn’t present during Obama’s visit today.

“I talked to him before this invitation came up,” Rice said. “But President Bush has stayed largely out of sight and this was a moment for President Obama to be with the American people. President Bush was there on Sept. 14, when he stood at Ground Zero and called the nation to action and put a lot of things in place that would ultimately lead to this day.”