March 6, 2012
WASHINGTON — The White House abruptly announced Monday that it had scuttled plans to hold the upcoming G-8 economic summit in Chicago, and would instead host world leaders at the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland.
It was an unusually late location change for a large and highly scripted international summit and came with little explanation from the White House. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — the former White House chief of staff who personally lobbied President Barack Obama to hold the summit in Chicago — was informed only hours before the official announcement.
White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor simply said that Camp David, the rustic retreat in the mountains of Maryland, was a setting that would allow for more intimate discussions among the G-8 leaders. He said security and the possibility of protests were not factors in the decision, noting that Obama would still host the NATO summit in his hometown of Chicago from May 20-21.
The White House said the G-8 summit would take place May 18-19.