Thursday, February 18, 2010

Las Vegas Mayor gives Obama a taste of his own medicine

From KTNV - Feb 3, 2010:
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman had some harsh words for President Obama Tuesday. Here's what he had to say hours after the President remarked that people who are trying to save money shouldn't go to Vegas. [Obama told an audience in Nashua, N.H: "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college."]:

"I guess you've all seen the president's remarks or read about the president's remarks", said Goodman. "Well I've got some remarks of my own. I was back in Washington, D.C. about two weeks ago, going up and down the halls of the capitol telling people about our economy here, trying to get them to be sympathetic to what we're trying to accomplish, then I have to read what President Obama said.

"He has a real psychological hang up about the entertainment capitol of the world... I don't know where his vendetta comes from but we're not going to let him make his bones by lambasting Las Vegas, that's why (the press) is here today.

"He didn't learn his lesson the first time, but when he hurt our economy by his ill conceived rhetoric, we didn't think it would happen again, but now that it has I want to assure you, when he comes I'll do everything I can to give him the boot back to Washington and to visit his failures back there.

"I gotta tell you this, everybody says I shouldn't say it, but I gotta tell you the way it is. This president is a real slow learner."
Mayor Goodman refused an invitation to meet with Mr. Obama during the President's upcoming visit to Las Vegas. Nevada Governor, Jim Gibbons told KTNV Wednesday that he is on Goodman's side:
"It was an intentional comment designed to deter and send people anywhere but Las Vegas. That's a mistake that can't be excused other than with an apology," says Gibbons.

Their concern is that President Obama made similar comments a year ago.

Governor Gibbons says that cost Las Vegas 341 conventions and meetings, millions of dollars.

"The first time he said 'don't come to Las Vegas' we can accept it as a mistake, but the second time was intentional, so it has to be considered more than just an inadvertent slip of the tongue," says Gibbons.
KTNV on Wednesday requested that their viewers' share their thoughts and opinions on the matter [on KTNV's website and Facebook page]: "Do you think the Mayor should accept the President's invitation and meet with him at the airport?", KTNV asked.

But unfortunately, KTNV forgot to mention one very important detail:

President Obama refused an invitation last year to meet with Nevada Governor, Jim Gibbons and with key business leaders from Nevada:
May 18, 2009: The Office of Governor Jim Gibbons was notified today that President Barack Obama has refused to meet with the Governor and key business leaders from Nevada.

Governor Gibbons requested the meeting in a letter to President Obama so the President could address statements he made that were critical to Nevada and have caused economic damage to convention business and tourism business in the Silver State.

Earlier this year, the President told an audience in Elkhart, Indiana, “You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime.” That quote was seen by many as an insult to Las Vegas and as a message to companies across the Nation to stay away from Las Vegas for corporate meetings and conventions.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports over 400 conventions and business meetings scheduled to take place in Las Vegas recently have cancelled. These cancelled events translate into 111,800 guests in Las Vegas and over 250,000 “room-nights”. The cancelled conventions and meetings have cost the Las Vegas economy over $100-million, not including gaming revenue.

“I am disappointed at the hypocrisy shown by this Administration,” Gibbons said, “President Obama is coming to Las Vegas later this month for a political fundraiser, but he will not help the struggling families in Las Vegas and Nevada who are out of work because of his reckless comments.” Governor Gibbons noted.

“President Obama is coming to Las Vegas to raise campaign cash for Senator Harry Reid, apparently our money is good enough for the President, but our tourism, jobs, and economic future are not.” Gibbons added, “This is politics, pure and simple, President Obama stood for change, but all he has done is brought negative economic change to Nevada.”

Governor Gibbons is calling upon Senator Reid to use any influence he might have to ask President Obama to encourage Americans to visit America during their summer vacations this year.

“Sometimes Washington politicians forget that the people of Nevada are Americans,” Governor Gibbons said.
And, thus, my opinion on the matter is quite obvious: The President turned down an invitation last year to meet with Gov. Gibbons and with business leaders from Nevada. The Mayor is simply giving Obama a taste of his own medicine - and justifiably so.

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