Obama comments about Vegas draw protests | NevadaAppeal.com

Obama comments about Vegas draw protests

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

President Obama again has used Las Vegas as a bad example of where to spend money, drawing universal protests from Nevada’s governor and congressional delegation.

The president told a New Hampshire town hall meeting: “When times are tough, you tighten your belts. You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices and it’s time your government did the same.”

“How dare he insult any American city,” said Gov. Jim Gibbons. “It’s absolutely inappropriate that once again he has singled out Nevada. It’s critical to the recovery of our economy that a president, whose words are taken so seriously, tone down his words.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also protested.

“I just spoke to the White House and told them that while the president is correct that people saving for college need to be fiscally responsible, the president needs to lay off Las Vegas and stop making it the poster child for where people shouldn’t be spending their money,” he said in a statement.

Democrat Rep. Shelley Berkley and Republican Rep. Dean Heller issued similar statements saying enough is enough.

“President Obama needs to stop picking on Las Vegas,” Berkley said.

This is the second time Obama has singled out Las Vegas. The first was a comment he made discouraging major corporations from what he described as wasting money by holding conventions in Las Vegas while accepting bailout cash.

Heller said, “At the same time the president tells people not to come to Las Vegas, he has no problems coming to our state to raise money.”

Obama responded to Reid with a letter saying he didn’t intend anything negative about Las Vegas.

“I was making the simple point that families use vacation dollars, not tuition money, to have fun,” he said. “There is no place better to have fun than Vegas, one of our country’s great destinations.”