LAS VEGAS – Sin City's mayor made no apologies Thursday after being criticized for extolling gin (search) to a class of fourth-graders.
Mayor Oscar Goodman (search) said he was just being himself when he told elementary school students that drinking was one of his hobbies and that the one thing he would want if stranded on an island is a bottle of gin.
"I answered the question honestly and truthfully," Goodman told reporters. "I'm not going to lie to children. I'm not going to say I would take a teddy bear or a Bible or something like that."
Asked by a reporter if he had a drinking problem, Goodman answered, "Oh, absolutely not. I love to drink."
Moments later, he cut off questions and walked out of the news conference.
Goodman, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor, has never been shy about his love of gin.
He hosts regular "Martinis with the Mayor" events and induced a bidding war between two gin companies in 2002 before becoming a spokesman for one. He donated half the $100,000 he made to an agency that provides shelter and substance abuse programs and half to a private school founded by his wife.
Goodman was at Mackey Elementary on Wednesday as part of Nevada Reading Week (search) when he made the drinking comments during a question-and-answer session.
Principal Kemala Washington later called the comments inappropriate but said the students did not appear to understand.
"It just went over their heads," Washington said.