During a recent appearance on conservative host Alan Stock’s radio show, a caller asked Republican Sharron Angle, who’s running for Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat against Harry Reid (D), “if she would have intervened on behalf of MGM Resorts’ CityCenter complex the way Senator Reid did. In 2009, CityCenter experienced financial struggles during its construction. The project’s bankruptcy appeared imminent. Reid called several banks on MGM Resorts’ behalf, and the project averted bankruptcy.” Angle told the caller that she would not have done so. A local news reporter tried to follow-up with her after the interview:
Angle also expanded on her comments regarding CityCenter. “It’s kind of like shifting the chairs on the Titanic,” she said. “You only shift jobs from one place to another, when we know that when we put those jobs at City Center, it was jobs that were taken away or business that was taken away from other areas. So, really it actually injured the economy of other businesses.”
Her response has generated significant controversy in Nevada. A spokesperson for MGM Resorts responded, “Ms. Angle’s statement is ridiculous on its face. Senator Reid’s support of our significant private investment in Las Vegas came during our company’s darkest hour. He saved, not only 10,000 construction jobs and 12,000 permanent private sector jobs at CityCenter, but the jobs of 50,000 employees at our other resorts that would have been jeopardized had our company followed CityCenter into bankruptcy.”
This weekend, Fox 5 in Las Vegas caught up with Angle at the state GOP convention. As the Plum Line’s Greg Sargent points out, Angle attempted to backtrack on her remarks by saying that she opposed the MGM project because it received stimulus funds:
What I said on the radio is that I would not have voted for the stimulus for the City Center. And the reason is because what happened there was Harry Reid rewarded some friends at the expense of other businesses in town. Stimulus does not work and we’ve seen that with the unemployment rate going up.
But as Fox 5 notes in its report, Angle’s explanation is bogus, because the City Center never received any stimulus funds:
FOX 5 ANCHOR: But I listened to that interview, and the caller asked Sharron Angle, would you have called the banks as Harry Reid did to get them to open up some lines of credit to the City Center so they could continue construction after their partners pulled out. That’s what she was asked, and she said, no I would not. And tonight she told you, no that’s not what I said, I said I would not vote for the stimulus — but the stimulus had nothing to do with the construction of City Center. Was anyone able to follow-up with her on that?
FOX 5 REPORTER: No. We were not allowed to ask any sort of follow-up questions. I tried, and another reporter tried, and we were told just one question each. Again, only four questions for the assembled media that was there. [...]
FOX 5 ANCHOR: Well, sometimes following these candidates is sort of like being Alice in Wonderland. Up is down and black is white. So maybe the next time we can try to get some clarification.
In the past, the far-right Angle has also said, “I am not in the business of creating jobs.”