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02-03-10, 01:32 PM #1
Obama responds to ire over 2nd anti-Vegas remark
LAS VEGAS – President Barack Obama is known for having a way with words, but some lawmakers from Nevada wish he would pipe down about trips to Sin City.
After sparking a firestorm of criticism from Nevada's elected officials for suggesting that people saving money for college shouldn't blow it in Las Vegas, Obama told U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a letter that he wasn't saying anything negative about Las Vegas.
It was the second time since taking office that Obama singled out Las Vegas as a potential example of spending excessively.
"I was making the simple point that families use vacation dollars, not college tuition money, to have fun," Obama said, according to the letter released by Reid's office. "There is no place better to have fun than Vegas, one of our country's great destinations."
"When times are tough, you tighten your belts," Obama said, according to a White House transcript of his appearance Tuesday at a high school in Nashua, N.H.
"You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage," Obama said. "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices."
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said during a hastily called news conference that Obama is no friend to Las Vegas and would not be welcomed here if he visits.
"I'll do everything I can to give him the boot," Goodman said. "This president is a real slow learner."
Goodman and others are worried that Obama's words will discourage visitors from coming to Las Vegas and depress the industry further.
"Enough is enough!" Democratic Congresswoman Shelley Berkley said in a statement. "President Obama needs to stop picking on Las Vegas and he needs to let Americans decide for themselves how and where to spend their hard-earned vacation dollars."
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , one of Obama's closest allies, issued a statement headlined "Reid to Obama: 'Lay off Las Vegas'" and was unusually blunt in his reaction.
"The President needs to lay off Las Vegas and stop making it the poster child for where people shouldn't be spending their money," Reid said. "I would much rather tourists and business travelers spend their money in Las Vegas than spend it overseas."
Obama responds to ire over 2nd anti-Vegas remark - Yahoo! NewsDo not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
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