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Obama plans to visit Las Vegas in February

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will visit Las Vegas in February, and likely will discuss jobs and the economy, the White House confirmed Monday.

Obama will venture to the city that has been called ground zero of the mortgage foreclosure crisis. A spokesman said the date and details of the visit will be forthcoming, and that jobs will be a focus.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and other city boosters tried to get Obama to stop in Las Vegas in the days surrounding the opening of CityCenter in mid-December, or on his way to or from Hawaii for holiday vacation.

But that visit did not come to pass as the Senate worked until Christmas Eve on a health care reform bill. And the plot to blow up an airliner flying into Detroit dominated Obama’s attention during and after the holidays.

News of the president’s visit comes as Reid is fighting criticism over race-related remarks he made two years ago about Obama. The president accepted a Reid apology over the weekend.

White House officials noted the president’s trip to Nevada was in the works before the weekend, when the Reid controversy erupted. It was not known if Obama will take part in any political events to benefit the senator and state Democrats.

Reid spokesman Jon Summers said Obama will visit Southern Nevada sometime after his State of the Union address, which usually takes place in late January or early February.

This year’s address to a joint session of Congress and a nationwide audience has not yet been scheduled.

"He’ll come to talk about jobs," Summers said.

Review-Journal writer Laura Myers contributed to this report. Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760.

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