Obama Angers Las Vegas Again

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Feb/02/2010
Obama Las Vegas

It was just a year ago that United States President Barack Obama managed to piss off Las Vegas and its flamboyant Mayor Oscar Goodman.  Obama discouraged bankers and other businesses from scheduling elaborate junkets in the city.  Goodman demanded an apology, claiming that Obama's remarks hurt convention business in Sin City.

And the President appears to be at it once again.

This time Obama's remarks came during a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, while discussing the need to curb spending in difficult economic times.  "When times are tough, you tighten your belts," the president said. "You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college."

His statement Tuesday raised eyebrows among Nevada lawmakers.  In particular, the Republicans dug into the President.

"The President needs to lay off Las Vegas and stop making it the poster child for where people shouldn't be spending their money," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.

"Las Vegas is suffering through one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, and we cannot afford for the President to bring us down any further," added Republican Senator John Ensign.

"Nevada has one of the most distressed economies in the country, and the President has done little to focus on job creation over the past year.  Discouraging people from coming to our state to make a political point adds insult to injury," said Republican Congressman Dean Heller.

"Tourism is the number one economic stimulus for Southern Nevada and for many cities and states across the country.  While we appreciate Las Vegas is top of mind for the President, we would ask that he offer words of encouragement instead of criticism," Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter said.

Goodman referred to Obama as "a slow learner."

Super Bowl weekend is typically considered among the most busiest in Las Vegas. 

Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

 

 

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