White House Moves G8 Summit From Chicago To Camp David

Updated 03/05/12 – 5:03 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — In a surprise move, the White House has announced the upcoming G8 summit will be moved from Chicago to Camp David. The NATO summit scheduled for the same weekend will stay in Chicago.

As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, the G8 and NATO summits had both originally been planned to be held at McCormick Place over the weekend of May 19-21, with the G8 summit running from May 18-19, followed by the NATO summit on May 20-21.

RELATED: Questions Swirl About Decision To Move G8 Summit

But Monday afternoon, the White House announced the G8 summit would be held at Camp David instead.

“To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G8 partners, the President is inviting his fellow G8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues,” the White House said in a prepared statement.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

The National Security Office explained in its own statement that, “The President thought Camp David would provide an informal and intimate setting to have a free-flowing discussion with his fellow leaders. He very much looks forward to coming to his home town for a critically important NATO summit as planned.”

The decision came as a surprise to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was praising city’s plans to host the G8 summit as recently as Monday morning, when asked about downtown businesses preparing for the possibility of having to board up windows if expected G8 protests were to turn violent.

“I think this is a unique opportunity for Chicago to showcase itself to the world, and the world to see the city of Chicago. I think our police department is highly trained, very professional, with the right leadership,” he said.

The mayor also praised the city’s handling of multiple protests by “Occupy Chicago” activists last year, noting Chicago did not see violent clashes with police that happened in other protests by the Occupy movement.

“And, as you saw over the fall, Chicago – unlike any other city – did not have any issues. It had the ability to protect people’s First Amendment rights, and also to enforce the law, and I think you’ll see that in the weeks ahead,” Emanuel said.

After learning of the decision to move the G8 summit to Camp David, the mayor’s office offered a positive spin.

“We wish President (Barack) Obama and the other leaders well at the G-8 meeting at Camp David and look forward to hosting the NATO Summit in Chicago,” a prepared statement said. “Hosting the NATO Summit is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Chicago to the world and the world to Chicago and we are proud to host the 50 heads of state, foreign and defense ministers from the NATO and ISAF countries in our great city May 19-21.”

As CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports, Emanuel learned of the decision to move the G8 summit when a White House aide informed a mayoral aide Monday morning. The mayor was surprised by the call, but Emanuel’s office did not consider the decision to be a slap in the face.

Others said the White House move Monday is a black eye for the Emanuel administration.

“Rahm Emanuel has mud on his face, and deservedly so,” protest organizer Andy Thayer said at a small “victory” rally held by OccupyChicago Thursday evening on Daley Plaza.

Terrorism authority Tom Mockaitis of DePaul University was surprised by the switch but says it could be related to tensions heating up in the Middle East and concerns about how protesters might respond.

“On the other hand, they may have looked at Chicago and said we’re not confident you can provide the security without it being sufficiently undisruptive of the proceedings,” Mockaitis said.

Security plans for the NATO summit were moving ahead. Six of the eight world leaders who will be attending the G8 summit will still be coming to Chicago afterward for the NATO summit.

A White House spokesperson told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman that Obama began contemplating the move to Camp David a couple weeks ago and consulted Emanuel about it.

The G8 and NATO summits had been expected to draw thousands of protesters to Chicago.

Chicago Police Department spokeswoman Melissa Stratton said moving the G8 summit to Camp David would not change security plans for the NATO summit.

“This doesn’t change the planning or preparation of the Chicago Police Department. Our preparation and priorities remain the same — ensuring the public safety of our communities throughout the city, those participating in the summit as attendees as well as protecting the First Amendment rights of those who wish to exercise them,” Stratton said.

Now organizers of demonstrations plan to focus their protests against NATO, and they expect most protesters will be from the Chicago area.

Protest organizer Joe Iosbaker told CBS 2’s Mike Parker the decision to move the G8 summit to Camp David would not stop protesters from demonstrating in Chicago during the NATO summit to voice their opposition to the war in Afghanistan and other conflicts around the world.

“No one ever talks about the violence that’s really happening in the world today, which is the NATO-sponsored wars. And our government, of course, is the largest contributor to that,” he said. “You know, 50,000 people died in Libya and NATO says that’s a model for regime change in the Middle East. And the Afghan war, 10 years, it’s our longest war. That’s NATO’s war.”

Iosbaker said banners that protesters plan to carry during the NATO summit will still carry a message about the need to focus on jobs, housing, healthcare, the environment, and education — not war.

Evelyn DeHais, with Occupy Chicago, said the group has mixed emotions about the decision, but she said it’s a statement that the movement is making a difference.

“Clearly, Occupy is having a huge impact on the decision-making at the highest levels of federal government,” she said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

DeHais said they were definitely surprised by the move.

“The move signifies that the government and … these people who are the representatives of the 1 percent are afraid of the people’s voices that will be gathered here in Chicago,” DeHais said.

Although the G8 summit has moved to Camp David, Occupy Chicago’s strategy remains the same, according to DeHais. Thousands of protestors are still planning to have a presence at the NATO Summit on May 20 and May 21.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

Thayer, a spokesman for the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda, said the decision to move the G8 summit to Camp David will save Chicago taxpayers millions. He said he thinks the $50 million security cost estimate was a low-ball figure.

  • Me

    Rahm called former boss and told him that the G8 meeting would make 1968 look like a picnic. The Chicago police were going to be totally overwelmed. Now that’s its at Camp David, there won’t be any traffic problems once they land and securtiy will be handled quite easily. The Marines already have the right to shoot on-site anyone prowling the grounds.

    • mine

      Well said. I was looking forward to a burning, politically charged event this summer. sigh….

    • mariner34

      Ron Paul:
      • “I have accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to
      follow him in all I do and in every position I advocate.”
      • Has NEVER voted to fund Planned Parenthood
      • Introduced bills to overturn Roe v. Wade in every Congress since the 1909th
      • Would return marriage to its rightful place in the church and protect its
      definition from liberal federal judges and legislators
      . A good steward of tax payer money. According to a bipartisan group called
      “Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget” Ron Pauls budget plan is the
      only one that cuts the National Dept. (2.2 trillion).
      . Hillary Clinton is positioning herself to become the new leader of the IMF and
      Is on record as wanting a One world currency. A President Ron Paul
      would say NO and work to return us to a gold backed American currency.
      . Ron Paul is Pro-States rights not Pro-drugs.

      • ExposingTheCoverUp

        Unelected officials have taken over Washington and are orchestrating the daily news. Most of the comments and replies you’re reading online are government created too. With many stories the COMMENTS ARE CREATED BEFORE THE STORY IS REPORTED. They are designed to generate a response to engage “dangerous people” in real time.

        After the coup and cover up unelected officials think you can’t handle the truth. Fact of the matter is we have no democracy, president, and freedom of press is only an illusion.

        This next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out. Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in history

    • Chicago860

      Exactly. Anyone who thinks Rham-bo didn’t orchestrate this to save his own hide, well, I got a bridge to sell ’em. Oh – now sit back and watch the police union carp about lost overtime

    • Dee Merk

      HA HA HA. I am surely not concerned about NATO’s ability to defend itself in CHICAGO, although, it certainly must take precautions against Emmanuel and his thugs, who are worse than terrorists.

    • AtlasObjectivist

      They can’t have Obama voters burning his hometown down in an election year. I knew it wouldn’t happen.

      • ruff&ready

        what makes you think this changes anything, the NATO summit is good enuff.

    • Farmgirl

      O’Bummer, the Community Organizer is afraid of protesters? “Say it aon’t so!”

      • Farmgirl

        Ain’t …sorry

  • EnoughThuggery

    This is awesome! Just goes to further prove the ineptitude of Rahm.

    • Fallon

      I think it shows that Rahm knows when he is in over his head and that’s a good thing. I don’t want to see Chicago destroyed by anarchists.

      • Obama-Biden 2012: YES WE CAN... AGAIN!


        As a duly appointed member of TRUTH TEAM 2012, it is my solemn obligation to report you to http://www.AttackWatch.net

      • pnczq420

        Chicago is already destroyed by the Democratic MACHINE!! Ron Paul 2012!!

      • CleanFun

        To insinuate that Chicago hasn’t already been trashed is a stretch.

      • Gypsy

        Too late

      • BREAKING NEWS...

        Sheriff Joe now Investigating the Kenyan Occupier’s CONNECTICUT SSN – http://www.BirtherReport.com

      • Super16

        I do.

      • Terry Brank

        The “mob” is everywhere in government.
        Make them obey our written laws.


        Why not?

        It is run by Anarchists with Saul Aliinsky cohorts in the White Hoiuse.


      • Gerry

        Are you kidding???? Chicago was destroyed by anarchists, communists, and socialists a long time ago. That is why nobody wants to move their any longer!!

  • Toonces

    Darn I wanted to see Sh*cago bite the big one.

  • Silver

    Laura, what will we do, what will we do!????????

  • April Gadison

    I’m not surprised considering all of the crimer here.

  • Jmason

    Will Obama didn’t want the world to reallly see what happen in Chicago or the South Killing each OTHERS

  • mary

    we may be at war with iran in may so they wanted to cut their loses!

  • Chicago's Very Own

    We were not prepared and the Mayor knew that!! We can’t even handle our own crime much less anybody from the outside adding to it!!

    • tom sharp

      Totally agree CVO, the police and politicians here can’t organize a one-car funeral. I wonder what they’ll do with those armored horses!?

  • roll'n with the homies

    i think this was planned this way all along……it’s going to be much tougher for protests to organized now that the location has changed.

    • lensmanct

      There you go…make ANY excuse for he inept clown in he White House. Protesters can’t organize around Camp David…they’d probably get shot…which would not be a bad thing.

  • the rapture

    we have enough criminal elements in town without having to host the G8 summit – now if there were such an easy solution to getting rid of the occupy criminals – can we move them to gitmo…

    occupy this sucker

  • lyndia

    I went and bought me sum new underpants cuz I been spectin on being bizzy and making sum munny, dam.

  • Army Vet,VN

    No question a political move by are communist leader.

  • Mike

    barry didn’t want to look bad in an election year.

  • zzzzz

    Failed. Another in a long long line of personal and professional failures by a bunch of degenerates.

    Hey, anyone see this?

    • Pamala E.

      Yeah, the same idiotic story rehashed as news. Except it isn’t.

      • steelers01

        Well pammie, only a liberal puke can take unimpeachable evidence that the BC obama put up as proof is a PROVEN fraud. This along with his ss card and having a CT SS# is something we NEED TO FIND THE TRUTH ABOUT. Hey pammie, do you realize we have a POTUS that CANNOT pass e-verify?

    • LEL

      I tried to listen but her breasts kept staring into my eyes, didn’t hear a word..

  • Tony

    Liberals always encourage protests unless it looks bad on them. They know what would happen so they are hiding it. Too bad.

  • appraiserman

    Looks like Obummer’s USEFUL IDIOTS are not that USEFUL anymore! Occupy Camp David!

    • NoFear


  • Barry Soetoro

    This is why Chicago had *zero* chance of landing the Olympics.

    • Gus

      That’s why it’s not fair to compare Obama to H i t l e r. H i t l e r was able to get the Olympics to come to Berlin and he didn’t smoke.

  • Dave

    Oh give me a break! Does Obama not do anything without a political angle. He just doesnt want ot have to face up to the OWS jackases he encourages. Hes just hoping to pull them out to protest agianst Mitt and doesnt want ot be seen as the man against the OWSers. He has no spine.

    • Pamala E.

      Perhaps he did it because of the ak of preparedness by the CPD and the city. Which would make it a good decision.

      • steelers01

        He did NOT want the American people to once again see the TRUE face of the liberal puke in America. Remember what happened in Chicago in 68 that directly led to the election of Nixon. Americans are NOT stupid and they are wise to the liberal pukes and the spread it around agenda.

  • rikits

    I’m trying to figure out why they callo this dufus the Godfather he’s really a mf

    • Kay

      Here in Chicago we call him “Tiny Dancer”.

      I think O did this to prevent the violence that was going to happen and that he only did it because of the election.

      I really hate living here.

  • Dave R

    Give me a break. Does Obama not do anything w/o a political angle. He just doesnt wnat to be seen going against his OWS buddies he encourages. He is hoping to pull them out to fight aqgianst Mitt. He is a man w/o a spine.


    “It (Chicago)had the ability to protect people’s First Amendment rights–Rahm ha ha ha

    Yeah, unless you a citizen who wanted to enjoy what they pay for everyday, like a clean city and a park.


  • bryan

    gee, you’d think Obama wasn’t proud of his work in Chicago

  • Dan

    Why do they keep calling this average jerk Godfather. It is like giving him soon twisted revelance. He is just an your average jerk that forced his way in through money and power. He is not smart

  • bob

    You see kids, if you too study ballet you can be put on the federal reserve and later get a mayor’s job… ain’t America great.. (puke)

  • moreco2

    CBS (fake but accurate) disgusts me. This is their takeaway? CBS is not a news outlet, they are Obama surrogates.

    “Thayer said he believes the decision to move the G-8 summit to Camp David will save Chicago taxpayers millions. He said he thinks the $50 million security cost estimate was a lowball figure.” DON’T click on the link if you know the link takes you to CBS!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live