This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 28, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: I love that song, but how about viva Las Vegas? Home prices surging nearly 21 percent in March.
And that spike no surprise to my next guest. He has been betting on Sin City for years, its former mayor, three terms, author of "Being Oscar," Oscar Goodman.
Very good to have you. Very, very nice to see you.
OSCAR GOODMAN, FORMER MAYOR OF LAS VEGAS: Thank you, Neil.
CAVUTO: It was a fun read. The book was a great read.
GOODMAN: I appreciate that. I had a good time writing it.
CAVUTO: Well, it reads like you speak. And you're very, very frank, and I -- one of the standout moments intelligent book for me, because I remembered it so well, had you on shortly after this, the big dis at the airport, when the president -- shortly thereafter the president had dissed any company going and spending a lot of money on Vegas.
I think this was shortly after the meltdown, and you said that Vegas suffered a lot of canceled trips and expos and events.
GOODMAN: It certainly did.
CAVUTO: Spell that out. What was going on then?
GOODMAN: Well, what happened was he made this very unfortunate statement.
He is great when he is on the monitor. When he gets off the monitor, for some reason, Las Vegas always sort of crawls into his mind. And he told people don't go to the Super Bowl, don't fly their private jets and don't go to Las Vegas.
Well, I can't tell you, Neil, that empirically that I can prove that we lost 312 meetings the next day because of what he said. But I can tell you anecdotally that is what happened. And it had a devastating effect on Las Vegas, and he was coming to Las Vegas. And I said to myself, I'm not going to meet him. Well, my life is my wife is a little nicer than I am. And she says, look, when somebody comes to your home, even if you don't care for them, you have to treat them right.
So I said to myself, OK, I will go and meet him. But the White House didn't know that. And they called me, Rahm Emanuel, on Memorial Day. And he said, how can we make this right? I said all I want the president to do is to tell everybody that Las Vegas is a great place for meetings and conventions. And then it could be networking at night in a very pleasant environment. That's not too tough.
CAVUTO: But he didn't -- the president didn't do that. The president didn't do that.
GOODMAN: No, he didn't. No, he didn't. No, he didn't.
And then it was even worse than that the following year. And that's when I made my slow learner comment. He did the same thing again.
GOODMAN: He said don't spend your kids' college tuition in Las Vegas. That's like going town to Florida and telling people not to drink orange juice.
CAVUTO: Well, your wife has since gone on to become mayor of the fine city herself.
So, she -- you realize when you are mayor of a city, you obviously support everything about the city and you want to make sure a lot of people get to the city, stay in the city, spend money in the city. And he was chasing that away.
You went on to say, though, that -- of the president -- that every -- every politician has to come to a point where you admit you made a mistake, and when it came to this, the president did not. Did he ever get that, win that back among Las Vegas residents who...
GOODMAN: No. No.
CAVUTO: ... of the -- because you hear from the union crowds he did.
GOODMAN: Well, I don't believe that. That doesn't mean to say they wouldn't vote for him if given a choice of somebody that they didn't care for, but the bottom line really is still it reverberates through the community. It permeated the community. And I don't believe the community forgave him for those comments, because what would be so tough for him to come forward and say, you know, I really misspoke myself, Vegas is a great place to have meetings, Vegas is a great place to come to? Just a little sound bite, he would have cured all of the ills.
CAVUTO: You know, I was just thinking about you in reading some of your more famous incidents in your book.
And you were not cut out, it would seem, for traditional politics, yet you endured three terms. Many wanted you to run for many other offices, including governor. You nixed that. But one of my favorite incidents is I guess when you went to a school back in 2005, and one of the kids there asked you, what was your favorite thing? And you said, drinking Bombay Sapphire gin.
GOODMAN: Well, no. No, that's not exactly what happened.
CAVUTO: Now, no, no, wait a minute. I admire that. I admire that.
CAVUTO: But then when they went on to criticize you, you said, well, I can't tell a lie. If the kid didn't want the answer, the kid shouldn't have asked the question.
GOODMAN: Well, that's absolutely correct.
GOODMAN: I love to -- I love youngsters and I love to read to them at their schools.
GOODMAN: I was reading one of my favorite books. It was the three little pigs and the real story of the big bad wolf.