- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian is mocking President Obama’s Thursday visit to Las Vegas, calling the president’s campaign stop for embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a socialism summit.

Mr. Reid, who spearheaded Mr. Obama’s unpopular health care reform proposal through the Senate, is banking on the once-popular president to boost his flagging re-election prospects. But unemployment has skyrocketed in Las Vegas, severely hurt in the economic downturn, and polls show many Nevadans blame the Democrat-controlled Congress and the president for their plight.

In Las Vegas, President Obama and Sen. Reid are convening a ‘socialism summit’ to argue for more government control of our economy. But after a full year of broken stimulus promises, Nevadans aren’t buying what the president and Senator Reid are selling, said Mr. Tarkanian, who is leading Mr. Reid in the latest polls.

Nevadans are now rejecting the Obama-Reid attempt to base our nation’s economy around government, said Mr. Tarkanian, the son of former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. In their worldview, Washington dictates your wages, your health care and your benefits. Their agenda is so invasive, that under their energy-tax proposal, you get taxed for turning on the wrong light.

Jim Manley, spokesman for Mr. Reid, said Mr. Tarkanian’s criticism rings hollow.

Tarkanian’s name-calling doesn’t do a thing to help people find a job or stay in their homes. Sen. Reid is glad that this town hall will give Nevadans an opportunity to talk to the president face-to-face about some of the challenges they are facing, Mr. Manley said.

But another Republican candidate, former state Sen. Sue Lowden, said the Nevadans will see right through any type of political dog-and-pony shows taking place this week in Las Vegas.

No amount of campaign cash will buy back the trust of voters and convince them that [Mr. Reid] deserves another six years, said Mrs. Lowden, who also leads Mr. Reid in the latest polls.

Both Republicans also criticized Mr. Obama for twice hurting Las Vegas, most recently this month, when he said, You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.

Harry’s friends have not acted friendly towards Nevada. If this wasn’t the case, Las Vegas would never have been bashed, and our state’s economy crippled to the point that we are now posting record losses, Mrs. Lowden said.

Said Mr. Tarkanian: I think the president would have been more on point if he had said: ‘When times are tough for Americans, the government should tighten its belt. You don’t go bailing out banks when Americans can barely pay their mortgages. You don’t go blowing a bunch of cash on socialist experiments when you’re trying to save the free market.’