Monday, May 25, 2009 | 1:50 p.m.
President Barack Obama has changed his mind about meeting with Gov. Jim Gibbons after initially rejecting the governor's offer. But Gibbons says he's not interested in the brief meeting that was offered and turned down the president.
Gibbons said Monday he rejected Obama's offer to greet him at the airport when the president arrives Tuesday for a fundraiser for Sen. Harry Reid at Caesars Palace.
“While I appreciate the offer, I am not interested in a handshake and a hello from President Obama, I am interested in an apology and plan to undo the damage the president did,” Gibbons said in a statement. “Working families are suffering because of the president’s remarks, the president should retract his reckless statement about Las Vegas and make a public statement supporting business and tourist travel to Las Vegas and other destinations in the state of Nevada.”
Gibbons is referring to comments Obama made earlier this year regarding business trips to Las Vegas by companies receiving federal bailout money.
The governor said he wanted Obama to meet with him, as well as local business leaders, to discuss improving tourism and business travel to the state. Obama declined that request a week ago.
“President Obama is coming to Las Vegas to take millions of dollars in campaign cash for Senator Harry Reid, while the President’s own words have hurt working families in Nevada and damaged the economy in Nevada for businesses large and small,” Gibbons said. “Both men should be ashamed because people are suffering through the depths of the recession while they practice the height of hypocrisy.”