In remarks yesterday at a town hall meeting in NH, Obama touted fiscal responsibility, pleding to rein in government spending. "You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don't blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you're trying to save for college," Obama said.
Under pressure from Harry Reid, the president took it back:
"I hope you know that during my Town Hall today, I wasn't saying anything negative about Las Vegas. I was making the simple point that families use vacation dollars, not college tuition money, to have fun," Obama wrote. "There is no place better to have fun than Vegas, one of our country's great destinations. I have always enjoyed my visits, look forward to visiting in a few weeks, and hope folks will visit in record numbers this year."
Obama had made similar comment about Las Vegas a year ago. This time, Mayor Oscar Goodman was not in a forgiving mood:
He has a real psychological hangup about the entertainment capital of the world. An apology won't be acceptable this time, I don't know where his vendetta comes from but we're not going to let him make his bones by lambasting Las Vegas, that's why (the press) is here today.
He didn't learn his lesson the first time, but when he hurt our economy by his ill conceived rhetoric, we didn't think it would happen again, but now that it has I want to assure you, when he comes I'll do everything I can to give him the boot back to Washington and to visit his failures back there.
I gotta tell you this, everybody says I shouldn't say it, but I gotta tell you the way it is. This president is a real slow learner.
The gaffe is not helpful to Obama's hopes of winning the state in 2012. Obama carried Nevada in 2008 -- but only because of Clark County, home of Las Vegas. Outside of Clark County, McCain carried the state by 2,778 votes.