Those remarks -- utterly misconstrued to mean Obama doesn't think anyone should go to Vegas for any reason ever again for the rest of human history and tough shit to starving bellhops, waiters and cabbies -- sent Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman into orbit and birthed international attention to whether serious business could be done here. He demanded an apology and then said he was satisfied that Sen. Harry Reid wasted Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel's time discussing it. Emmanuel assured Reid that Obama meant what he clearly said, that using tax money for non-work fun is inadvisable.
How this came up today, I have no clue. I could probably find out, but I also don't care. Here's the exchange that took place today at the White House between a journalist and Gibbs:
Question: An op-ed in the Washington Post -- a part of it is about business travel and seems to be referring to what the president said, don't go to Las Vegas or The Super Bowl.
Gibbs: Let's be clear about what the president said. I don't think the president said don't go to Las Vegas. Or don't go to Hawaii or don't go to the Super Bowl, I forget where the super bowl was. Don't go to Tampa. If you have -- it's getting warm. If you have the desire and the where with all to travel to those places, to quote a famous southerner, Delta is ready when you are. What the president expressed some concern about was companies that are getting large amounts of public funding, taxpayer funding through a financial stabilization plan, that the president does have great concern with public money being used for that. But, the president believes in its important to have a strong tourism industry and it's important that as the president said earlier, that or late last week, we shouldn't pull back from. He would encourage people to travel. His concern, the concern he specifically expressed had to do with the use of taxpayer or use of money by institutions that received a lot of assistance from the taxpayers. Obviously, that's not something he would incorporate.
Question: He's concerned comments may have been misconstrued. Any regrets about what he said?
Gibbs: I think the president, despite what some people heard, was very clear about the delineations between families and businesses traveling versus to need to ensure that appropriate protections are in place for taxpayer assistance used to help financial institutions stabilize themselves. They were -- that money was -- is being spent and we assume it will be spent will great care.Case closed, right? Can the Gods of Vegas finally go invent something else to feel slighted about now?