Obama: Security not a factor in G-8 decision

March 6, 2012

President Barack Obama said Tuesday security wasn't a factor in his decision to pull the G-8 summits out of his hometown of Chicago. The White House made a surprising announcement Monday that the G-8 meeting would be held instead at Camp David in Maryland.

At his first press conference this year, the president told reporters he has confidence in Chicago's ability to handle major events, but was looking for a more intimate setting for the discussions.

"Whether it's Taste of Chicago, or Lollapalooza, or Bulls' championships, we know how to deal with a crowd," Obama said. "And I'm sure that your new mayor will be quite attentive to detail in making sure that everything goes off well."

The president said the idea to hold the meetings at Camp David was brought to him after organizing the events, and it was then that he realized many of the G-8 members had yet to visit the president's retreat.

Chicago will still hold the NATO summit on May 20 and 21, right after the G-8 meetings. The two events are usually held in the same location so that leaders don't have to travel twice.

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