Obama is counting on Nevada’s support for reelection next year. He easily won the Las Vegas Valley in 2008 and will probably win the largely Democratic, urban center again next year.
But Nevada state officials and residents of this economically ravaged state are still fuming over comments they perceived as rants against the tourism industry. Las Vegas city leaders have been feuding with him over the comments since he first made them two years ago, and Republicans are hoping that fury will point voters in their direction.
The friction has resurfaced as Obama is about to visit a Las Vegas neighborhood Monday as part of a nationwide tour to sell his jobs plan. Obama’s visit comes as Republican presidential candidates, business titans and former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman continue to remind people that Obama has twice hated on Las Vegas tourism — this western swing state’s largest employer. The jabs are notable because casino-dependent Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, and Obama can’t afford to have voters blame him as his Republican rivals try to convince the nation that they would do a better job of turning the stalled economy around. Nevada’s unemployment remained steady at 13.4 percent last month.
“He said it more than once,” said former Nevada Gov. Bob List, a national Republican committeeman. “You can’t un-ring the bell. You have to live with what you say. It just shows a lack of understanding of the engine that drives the state.”
Read/learn more of this AP article at Washington Post.