President Obama Rejected in Vegas

May 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
President Obama sang the praises of his Supreme Court nominee at a fundraiser in Las Vegas. President Obama described federal appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a brilliant individual and said no one can say she's not qualified to be on the nation's highest court.

President Obama spoke to about 4,000 people at Caesars Palace. He visited Las Vegas to help raise money for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada democrat who is seeking re-election next year.

The president is set to raise money for the Democratic Party at an event Wednesday in Los Angeles. Nevada didn't exactly welcome the president with open arms. The state's republican governor turned down a White House offer to meet the president when he landed.

Governor Jim Gibbons said he's still upset about comments the president made back in February.

"You can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the super bowl on the taxpayer's dime. There's got to be some accountability and responsibility and that's something I intend to impose as President of the United States," said Obama in a speech on February 9th.

According to Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons (R), "This was a phony set-up by the administration to try and quell the anger that has come because this president spoke ill of Las Vegas."

The governor said the president's comment drove businesses to cancel their Vegas convention plans. In March, the month after the president's remarks, the city saw 18 percent fewer conventions and almost 12 percent fewer visitors than during the same time last year.

A spokesman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said the president's remarks didn't help with tourism but said they were part of a much bigger picture.

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