The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to quickly bounce Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics reflects "tattered relationships" left behind by former President George W. Bush, one congressman said this weekend.
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who represents a district on the south side of Chicago, commended President Barack Obama's ultimately unsuccessful work to secure the Olympics for the Windy City, but blamed Obama's predecessor for the first-round loss in IOC voting on the host of the 2016 games.
"I believe that [Friday]'s action is just the latest example of the cultural breach that still exists between the United States and several leaders of the global community of nations," Rush said in a statement Friday which was not received by The Hill until Sunday.
"[Friday}'s vote by the IOC members reflects the tattered relationships that remain after eight years of the catastrophic reign of the Bush administration," Rush continued. "It will obviously take some time for the Obama administration to continue its important work to repair that breach."
Like many other Democratic lawmakers, Rush thanked the president, First Lady Michelle Obama, and other prominent figures for their efforts on behalf of the city's Olympic bid.
Rush had encouraged Obama to make the now-controversial trip to Copenhagen on Friday to lobby for the games, a spokeswoman said.
Rush is now working with the city's "Olympic leadership" to address the spate of violence recently in the city, and will appear with Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan when they travel to Chicago to discuss that issue this week.
Update, 5:10 p.m.: National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Tom Erickson emails in response: "Democrats like Bobby Rush need to wake up and realize that they're in the driver's seat now. It's time for them to step up to the plate and stop using the former President as a scapegoat.;"