The man who played a major role in revitalizing Las Vegas is bashing President Barack Obama as “the greatest wet blanket to business, progress and job creation in my lifetime.”
Speaking to investors on a Monday conference call, casino developer Steve Wynn - calling himself a “Democratic businessman” - went on an extended rant against Obama and his policies.
His customers and the companies he works with “are frightened of this administration,” he said, “and it makes you slow down and not invest your money. Everybody complains about how much money is on the side in America.”
“Until we change the tempo and the conversation from Washington, it’s not going to change,” added Wynn, according to a transcript of the call’s question-and-answer session. “And those of us who have business opportunities and the capital to do it are going to sit in fear of the President. And a lot of people don’t want to say that. They’ll say, God, don’t be attacking Obama. Well, this is Obama’s deal and it’s Obama that’s responsible for this fear in America.”
Wynn, who has donated to Vice President Joe Biden and a mix of Democratic and Republican candidates in recent years, described himself as “a Democratic businessman” during the call. In 2008, he gave $2,300 to Sen. John McCain, Obama’s Republican opponent. Earlier in the cycle, he maxed out at $4,600 in donations to Biden’s campaign.
“I support Harry Reid,” he said. “I support Democrats and Republicans. And I’m telling you that the business community in this company is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he’s gone, everybody’s going to be sitting on their thumbs.”
“I believe in Las Vegas. I think its best days are ahead of it. But I’m afraid to do anything in the current political environment in the United States,” he said. “You watch television and see what’s going on on this debt ceiling issue. And what I consider to be a total lack of leadership from the President and nothing’s going to get fixed until the President himself steps up and wrangles both parties in Congress.”
Obama, Wynn added, “keeps making speeches about redistribution and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don’t invest, their holding too much money. We haven’t heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists. Everybody’s afraid of the government and there’s no need soft peddling it, it’s the truth. It is the truth.”
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