Obama responds to Reid about Las Vegas remarks

President Barack Obama on Tuesday responded to criticism from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) regarding comments he made that Reid deemed derisive of Las Vegas. 

In a letter to addressed "Dear Harry," Obama said he "wasn't saying negative about Las Vegas" but was instead trying to make "the simple point that families use vacation dollars, not tuition money, to have fun.

ADVERTISEMENT
"There is no better place to have fun than Vegas, one of our country's great destinations," wrote the president.

Reid told Obama to "lay off Las Vegas" after the president appeared to make light of the city's many gambling outlets while speaking at a New Hampshire town hall event Tuesday. 

"When times are tough, you tighten your belts," Obama said at the forum." 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's remarks could have come at a better time; he is due to visit Nevada this month to campaign for Reid; who faces a tough reelection bid. 

Nevada's other senator, John Ensign (R), demanded that Obama apologize earlier on Tuesday. Onama did not appear to apologize in the letter.

The outcry from Nevada lawmakers comes almost exactly a year after Obama first took a shot at Las Vegas while discussing corporate behavior at a town hall event in Indiana.

Then, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman insisted that Obama apologize, but later withdrew his request.

Goodman criticized Obama again today, calling him a "slow learner."