May 25th, 2009
09:05 PM ET
9 years ago

Nevada governor turns down Obama airport meeting

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Nevada's Republican governor has turned down an invitation from the White House to briefly greet President Obama when he visits the state tomorrow for a Democratic fundraising event, citing comments the president made earlier this year calling on companies that received taxpayer-funded bailouts to avoid wasting money on luxuries like company planes and Vegas vacations.

“While I appreciate the offer, I am not interested in a handshake and a hello from President Obama, I am interested in an apology and plan to undo the damage the President did,” Gov. Jim Gibbons said in a Monday statement.

He again called on Obama to publicly promote Nevada tourism, and to apologize for his remark that business leaders receiving money from the government "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,” blaming the president for the recent cancellation of hundreds of conventions and other meetings originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, and the loss of more than $100 million in revenue.

"President Obama is coming to Las Vegas to take millions of dollars in campaign cash for Senator Harry Reid, while the President’s own words have hurt working families in Nevada and damaged the economy in Nevada for businesses large and small,” he said. “Both men should be ashamed, because people are suffering through the depths of the recession while they practice the height of hypocrisy."

The White House, which had offered Gibbons the chance to speak with Obama at the airport, has not yet responded to a request for reaction to the governor’s latest statement. Last week, Gibbons said the president had turned down a request for a sit-down meeting.

Filed under: Extra • President Obama
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Robert

    Gibbons is an idiot if he thinks he can blame Obama on the lack of tourism to Nevada, Las Vegas in particular. Hey, Governor, in case you hadn't noticed, the country is in a recession, and things like Vegas trips are usually the first to get cut from struggling families who are trying to figure out how to pay the bills. Luxuries are always the first to be discarded when budgeting. What a knuckle head...

    May 25, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. Psbro

    Thank you govenor, to hell with a handshake. Somebody has got to hold this jerk accountable for what he says. It sure ain't the media or fellow demnuts.

    May 25, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Oregon Calling

    The blame game continues, when will elected officials grow up?

    Peace 🙂

    May 25, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Dave in Atlanta

    What a Twerp!!!

    May 25, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. Simmy

    Another NO from the party of 'NO.'......Your petty gesture, Gov., will cost you more.....Your attitude is part of the problem with your party....The other part being you have nothing to offer.......No ideas, No class, No bipartisanship......You got nothing.......Stay put for a few more decades......

    May 25, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. benton nelson

    i wish the governor of neveda and the mayor of las vegas would stop blaming the president over the whole las vegas remarks. i am sure most of the stuff that was canceled was from the big compines that got the bail out money. i wish these two would wake up and realze that people cant afford to go any place like las vegas right now if there income is cut in half or they have no income comming in. once everything turns around, people will be back putting there hard earn money in those slots.

    May 25, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. Dave C - NJ

    Nice try, but the Govt isn't getting a bailout from the Gov't....apples to oranges, Gibbons.

    Typical GOP stupidity.

    May 25, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. michael

    this guy is a complete moron.. he tells the president no i don't want to meet you because you told companies to stop wasting taxpayer dollars.. i really feel bad for nevada..

    May 25, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Proud American

    This guy must be a total Idiot, he's blaming the Obama for the decline of people visitings Vegas? What a moron, people aren't spending money on trips to vegas because most are unemployed and trying to hang on to their homes.

    May 25, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. Ken in NC

    WOW. Get over it.

    May 25, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. Scott Stodden

    I believe the Governor is being selfish cuz he cant get what he wants, If he doesnt want to greet the President then thats what I call a shameful and selfish governor, Grow up Governor.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, Il)

    May 25, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  12. spudmctater

    How ludicrous. If the governor thinks that the president saying CEOs shouldn't take junkets to Vegas caused Nevada to lose $100 million in tourist revenue, he should have his head examined. Please, give me a break. Obama was talking about CEOs taking trips on tax payer dollars – not people taking vacations to Vegas.

    May 25, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. D Albert

    Typical arogant republican,,,one more reason everything they do is backwards and stupid...

    May 25, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. Duncan

    Gov. Jim Gibbons just grow up

    May 25, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. Amish Gandhi

    Well, if he was diplomatic enough, he would realize this is an opportunity to talk to the president about it! His loss.

    May 25, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. Kiran

    What a bunch of crock!!! It's disrespectful and just plain stupid.
    He is our PRESIDENT not some guy down the street.

    May 25, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. Mike

    The governor of Nevada needs to get a life.............

    May 25, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  18. Andrew C

    Dear Governor:

    What a fantastic politician you are! Alienating the President of the United States is JUST the way to get what you want. You, sir, are a genius.

    May 25, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. Matt

    What a cry baby. For the Governor of the home of Sin City, he sure has a hard time taking a joke....

    May 25, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. usnuzuluze

    This guy has BALL's good going Gov. We need more like you to stand up to the OBAMA'S.

    May 25, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. therealmarie

    So by alienating Obama's supporters the Gov. is making friends and influencing others to come to his barren state. The Republicans are nothing but a symbol of hate. How stupid can one be?

    May 25, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |

    The Presidents words did not hurt Las Vegas, the recession did. The President was right, CEO's should not take taxpayer money then have big expensive partys in Vegas regardless of what it does to thier economy.. This is typical Republican politics. If the President comes to your state and you are the governor, you should greet him out of respect for the office. Instead what we have is pure petty politics. Remember that when you go begging for federal assistance. Every state in the union does it at some point.

    May 25, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. Mary

    This guy is hilarious! As if anyone cares about his brooding. So childish. I'm sure Pres. Obama is just devastated that he won't meet with him.

    May 25, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. bobbie


    May 25, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. cardi

    Gov, grow up, be a man, and get over it!! Your behavior is laughable!

    May 25, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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