Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Papal Funeral: White House Snubs Carter and Keeps Him out of U.S. Delegation

From MsNBC

WASHINGTON - President Bush and two of his predecessors on Wednesday left for Rome and Pope John Paul II's funeral Friday, but missing from the delegation was Jimmy Carter, the only U.S. president to have welcomed the late pontiff to the White House.

The president was leading a small U.S. delegation that included former President Clinton and Bush’s father, the first President Bush, first lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Carter had hoped to go as well, but backed off when told the Vatican had limited the official delegation to five “and there were also others who were eager to attend,” said Jon Moore, a spokesman for the Carter Center in Atlanta.

Carter, a Democrat, was a strong critic of Bush in last year’s U.S. election campaign.

The White House sought to play down any rift with the former president. “We did reach out to him to participate in the delegation,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. “It was his decision to make. We would have been more than happy for him to be part of the delegation.”

Moore said the Carters “always relish memories” of the pope’s 1979 visit to Washington, the only time a pope has been to the White House.

The only other living former president, Gerald Ford, is 91 and in frail health.


Blogger Begalke said...

No offense to Jimmy, but his request is obviously self-serving.

Beyond that, he had the opportunity to attend Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul I's funerals, but snubbed the Catholic Church both times....

In any event, it is sad that much of media's focus is on Jimmy Carter, and not the Pope John Paul II's life and accomplishments.

12:54 PM  

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