February 19th, 2010
10:15 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama heads to Vegas

Obama teams up with Harry Reid Friday in Las Vegas.
Obama teams up with Harry Reid Friday in Las Vegas.

(CNN) – President Obama teams up with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at two events Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada. The visit comes as Reid faces a tough re-election bid this year, and as the president has come under attack for comments he's made about Las Vegas.

The president and the senate majority leader attend a town hall at a local high school, where Obama will take questions from citizens and business leaders. Later the two men travel to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, where Obama will give a speech.

Reid also joined the president Thursday night at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser that was held at a private residence in Las Vegas. The Nevada Democrat is battling this year for a fifth term in the Senate. While he's raised a large amount of campaign cash, polls of Nevada voters suggest that Reid faces a difficult re-election.

Earlier this month Reid told the White House to "lay off Las Vegas" after Obama slighted the city while making comments about government spending.

"You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage," Obama said at a New Hampshire town hall on February 2. "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."

The comments also sparked condemnations from numerous Nevada Republicans, including two candidates running to unseat Reid, and the state's other senator, John Ensign.

The president took a verbal swipe at Las Vegas last year as well. The Democratic mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman, was also furious with the president, going so far as to call Obama a "slow learner" who should go back to Washington to think about his "failures" and to say he's sorry.

CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs if an apology would be coming Friday from the president.

Gibbs' response: "Stay tuned."

– CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry and Political Producer Peter Hamby contributed to this report

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Harry Reid • Las Vegas • President Obama
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. It has begun-

    This one fr the Messiah really made me laugh...
    "You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage," Obama said at a New Hampshire town hall on February 2. "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."

    Yet they are spending & printing so much money that the Chinese unloaded all US treasury bonds to Japan!!!

    February 19, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Caesar the Great

    So we the people cant spend our money in Vegas, but the President can spend our money in Vegas. Well then Mr. President, but my share on black and make sure I get the winnings!!!

    February 19, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Sheena

    Oh Geez, give us a Break, first he diss's Vegas and says people shouldnt spend their money there, Now its back on the Political Campaign Trail trying to get that CROOL Reid back it so he is trying to make nice to Vegas now....
    Wow, he is such a hypocrate......Bigtime, Anything for a Buck Obama

    February 19, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Scott, Tucson

    Well obama's visit in support of Harry Reid ought to cinch it for a Republican win in November.

    By the way, just how much did this little trip of obama cost us taxpayers when this clown was telling Americans and big business to skip vacationing in Las Vegas?

    February 19, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Shane Las vegas

    Tells Americans not to spend their money here in Vegas, but he sure can spend taxpayers money here. Double standard in my opion

    February 19, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Janice

    The odds in Vegas are much better than the odds these 2,Obama and Reid will solve any problems.I will take Vegas.

    February 19, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Who said the Mayans were wrong?

    Lets hope our President can get the job done and give the rightwing nutjobs something to really cry about.

    February 19, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. RCasson

    Obama told the truth and should not have to apologize for it. BROKE people who blow what money they have in Vegas should NOT go there. I speak from experience...when I was younger I would gamble money away and it was a complete waste. I now only go when I can afford it, which is not too often in this economy. Reid and that idiot mayor in Vegas need to get a grip and stop chastising our responsible President.

    February 19, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Want to spend yourself broke-put a dem on it

    Las Vegas is where these 2 need to be-they have already gambled the nations money away on their democratic blunders and entitlements.

    February 19, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Kat

    This is too funny!!! Barry has done such a good job campaigning for his cronies so far..... Viva Las Vegas. Send BO packing along with Reid. I just love Vegas.

    February 19, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Want to spend yourself broke-put a dem on it

    Reid's re-election will be difficult-no kidding,wish Pelosi was up for re-election also-she has been kinda quiet-hey Bush had 5.7% un employment and she had plenty to say-guess now 9.7% is just A OK with her.

    February 19, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. "lay off Las Vegas"

    Sen Reid should have said:"stay out of Las Vegas: to Pres Obama.!

    Obama is no longer an asset to the Democrats...................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. snood

    Ahhh the campainer in cheif doing the only thing he knows how to really do, More like BUSH everyday thats until the reps discovered leaving GW out of it was best for them

    February 19, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. mark

    OBAMA and REID two peas in the same pod. Reid will be ousted in 2010 AND Obama in the 2012 election.

    February 19, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. The Other Michael in Houston

    So what was wrong with what Presidnet Obama said? He is dead on point. Some of you idiots cannot pay your mortgage, but you go n vacations. Some of you idiots don't have a job, conservative and liberals but you waste your money on lottery tickets, alcohol, cigarettes and crap like that. I got patients who claim they cannot afford their $20.00 co-pay for medications but, they can tell me all about how they learned about their medications at home while on their $50.00 pe rmonth high speed interent! Senator Reid, John Ensign and Mayor Goodman, Las Vegas is the text book example of America's excess and wasteful spending. Las Vegas cannot even sustain it's own water supply!!! Las Vegas is nothing but a crappy city in the middle of the desert designed to feed the appetites of gambling degenerates and perversions. Shut up Reid, Ensign and Goodman.

    February 19, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Independant Vet

    Bet even in Vegas , the tables are closed . Why6 ? afraid he will want to tax every roll. For they have Gambled too long on Obama Nomics. Very poor pay off.

    February 19, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. seebofubar

    This guy puts his foot in his mouth almost as much as Biden. Sometimes I wonder how Obama walks without a teleprompter telling him "right foot....left foot...right foot....left foot .....".

    February 19, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. richp the poconos

    Who is paying for jet fuel as if I didn't know, as a tax payer I don't want him spending MY money to fly and back people like Reid. Somebody needs to lock that air force one up and not give him the keys.

    February 19, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. CONNIE

    Since Reid is losing in Nevada so now Obama is pulling out his wallet to help Nevada housing crisis the 1.5 billion. Chicago politics buy votes when will they learn. I guess Obama and Reid thinks everyone is stupid and can't see through this. I am tired of being played for a dumb person when will they learn that we have their number and they are the dumb ones still trying to pull a fast one.
    Americans are finish with this stuff and as soon as Obama see it things should get better.

    February 19, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. Hugo

    Two Bozo's on Americas own reality comic clown show, paid for in full by the American tax payer. Obama still remains clueless that America is sick of these political elitist tactics of spending our tax dollars to buy votes in favor of a MY guy for money process. Romney hit the nail on the head, a miserable failure and 2010 can't get here soon enough!

    February 19, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Conservative Voice

    Well that out to end Reid for good...the kiss of death....

    February 19, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. stormerF

    Why did no body ask Obie about Yucca Mountain and the possibility of re-opening it? After all we only spent 13 Billion dollars and 22 years in getting it ready for the spent fuel rods from our Nuclear power Plants.

    February 19, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. worriedmom

    Obama i wouldn't place a bet On King Harry to win. i would put my money on someone else.
    I find it amusing that the mayor turned down Obama's invite, Still haven't heard that apology yet Mr. President.

    Good for Vegas!!!

    February 19, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Steph

    I flipped back and forth between the CPAC meeting and Pres. Obama's town hall in Las Vegas and the difference was shocking. CPAC – a bunch of guys reading bad jokes from teleprompters and spewing hate. President Obama's town hall – honest responses to audience members questions. He addressed their concerns and explained (sans teleprompter) how he wants the USA to keep improving and conintue to complete to be a great world leader. One was full of anger and hate. The other was honest, uplifting and informative. You pick.

    February 19, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Bob in Pa

    It's probably a good thing that Vegas isn't run by the mob anymore.

    February 19, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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