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Bush declines Obama invitation to ground zero

Updated 10:32 a.m. Eastern Time

WASHINGTON - George W. Bush has declined an invitation from President Barack Obama to attend an observance at New York's ground zero.

A White House official confirmed that Mr. Bush was invited to join Mr. Obama at Ground Zero tomorrow "but is not able to come - which we of course understand."

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Bush spokesman David Sherzer says the former president appreciated the offer to attend.

"He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight," Sherzer said. "He continues to celebrate with all Americans this important victory in the war on terror."

The White House official told CBS News the invitation to Mr. Bush was communicated "on the staff level." Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush spoke on the phone Sunday night about the killing of bin Laden.

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