CRAWFORD, Texas – President Bush, facing criticism from victims' relatives for using images of the destroyed World Trade Center (search) in campaign ads, will visit a Sept. 11 memorial in New York next week.
Bush plans to tour the memorial Thursday in Long Island's Nassau County (search), one of the city's suburbs, prior to attending a re-election fund-raiser that night in East Meadow, N.Y.
The visit comes as Bush's campaign ads with images of the skeletal remains of the Trade Center and fire fighters carrying a flag-draped stretcher angered several relatives, who asked that the ads be pulled from the airwaves.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan rejected those calls.
"It's just something we respectfully disagree with," McClellan told reporters Friday in Crawford, Texas, where Bush is spending a long weekend. "I think most Americans think it's important to talk about how we lead in a post-Sept. 11 world."
Asked whether the criticism was politically motivated, McClellan said, "I can understand why some on the other side of the aisle may not want to talk about these issues."
In New York, Bush will tour a business and deliver remarks on the economy. He starts the day with an address via satellite to evangelical Christians at their convention.
The events are part of a week of travel and appearances in a full-throttle campaign as Bush faces presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry (search). On Monday, Bush has two fund-raisers, one in Dallas and one in Houston. While in Houston, he'll also visit a livestock show and rodeo.
On Tuesday, Bush delivers remarks at the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award (search), established by Congress to recognize outstanding leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus in American business.
Bush goes to Cleveland on Wednesday to address women entrepreneurs.
The president delivers remarks Friday on efforts to promote women's rights worldwide, and on March 14, he attends the annual presidential gala benefit for Ford's Theater (search).