Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman Blows Off Meeting With Obama
Oscar Goodman, the mayor of Las Vegas, is turning down an invitation to meet with President Obama.
As KTNV reports, Goodman said he has "other things to do quite frankly for my constituents here in Las Vegas who rely on me to do the right thing as a mayor."
Mr. Obama is heading to Las Vegas Thursday for a private fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. On Friday, he will remain in the city for an economic town hall and speech to the city's chamber of commerce.
Goodman, an independent who used to be a Democrat, has been a harsh critic of Mr. Obama in the wake of the president's two comments urging Americans not to waste money in Las Vegas.
"When times are tough, you tighten your belts," the president said during a February town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire. "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."
A year earlier, Mr. Obama said corporations shouldn't use bailout money for trips to Las Vegas, along with trips to the Super Bowl and corporate jets.
Las Vegas officials, whose economy is based largely on tourism, condemned the president's comments. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, an ally of Mr. Obama, said the president should "lay off Las Vegas and stop making it the poster child for where people shouldn't be spending their money." (Mr. Obama insisted to Reid that he "wasn't saying anything negative about Las Vegas," adding that "there is no place better to have fun than Vegas.")
The harshest criticism came from Goodman, who said Mr. Obama was no longer welcome on Las Vegas. (Watch at left.)
"An apology won't be acceptable this time," Goodman said at a press conference earlier this month. "I don't know where his vendetta comes from, but we're not going to let him make his bones by lambasting Las Vegas."
"When he comes [to Las Vegas], I'll do everything I can to give him the boot back to Washington," he said. Added Goodman: "This president is a real slow learner."
Goodman was asked this week if he was surprised to get an invitation from the president in light of his comments.
"A little bit in the sense I would think they would know that I would say I'm not coming," the mayor said, according to KTNV.
"I haven't heard an apology, I haven't heard a response, all I do is get invitations," he added.
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