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

Obama heads to Vegas

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/19/art.obamareid.gi.jpg caption="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. Grampa Grumps

    Now I don't like this because those gamblers in Las Vegas gambled away their mortgage money and now the taxpayers of the US are supposed to pay his mortgage? When will Obama's pay-for-love spend/spend/spend ever stop?

    February 19, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    Only in America does a president, or anyone, trying to make sure children don't gamble away their future get blasted by the repugs in Congress.
    I guess they don't have to worry about money and/or healthcare.

    February 19, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |

    Throw the rest of the stimulus money on 27 RED. Let really double down!

    February 19, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Stephen

    It's going to take a lot more than Obama to save Harry Reid's job!

    February 19, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Jon In Madison

    Don't let him off the hook Vegas. What that jerk forgot to mention is that if you don't viasit Vegas even more will lose there jobs. Just goes to show that he is about control, not the American people. Independents, it's time for us to unite and throw all of these idiots out on their (fill in the blank).

    February 19, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. proud conservative

    Obama has no business here in Vegas. This town is the crown jewel of capitalism, everything that he hates. Even our Democrat mayor refuses to meet with him. So go back to D.C. Obama, and deal with your own mess!

    February 19, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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