President Obama is catching heat from Nevada lawmakers and business leaders regarding his comments Tuesday criticizing trips to Las Vegas.
During the president's town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, he discussed the need to curb spending during tough 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."
While his overall point of not spending foolishly is valid, he should probably steer clear of focusing on all his critical remarks at one particular city, especially one that he'll need in November to get Reid re-elected.
These remarks have drawn sharp retorts from many representatives from Nevada, including the Las Vegas Mayor:
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."
It even caused Harry Reid, the man that Obama will go campaign for later this month, to go after the president:
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."
Mayor Goodman really took Obama to school in response to the president's statement. In fact, he went so far to say that the President of the United States was no longer welcome in his city because of his comments, and if he did show up he would "give him the boot back to Washington and to visit his failures back there."
Unemployment is already high there, and discouraging people from going there for vacations will just force the tourism industry to layoff even more workers. Good job, Obama.