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Thursday, June 12, 2008

McCain Makes Up Controversy, Says Obama Wants Higher Gas Prices

Still stung by the Obama camp's quick response yesterday to McCain's statement that "it doesn't matter" when the troops come home, the McCain camp tries to stir up some controversy of their own.

Today the McCain camp said Obama told Americans to just get used to high gas prices, implying he said "Get over it already! They're here to stay." From MSNBC's First Read:

“Clearly the country is in shock when they see escalating gas prices,” Republican Virginia congressman Eric Cantor said. “It’s time for us to act. What we heard yesterday was Barack Obama indicate he is out of touch.” He added that “Somehow the American people should sort of somehow get used to higher gas prices … reflects that he just doesn’t get it.

But is the assertion taken out of context, and in fact, a mischaracterization?

When asked by Harwood if higher gas prices were an incentive to shift to alternative means of energy, Obama said the U.S. has "been slow to move in a better direction when it comes to energy usage." When Harwood followed up and asked if the higher prices then could actually help, Obama responded this way:

"I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. But if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment, first of all by putting more money into their pockets, but also by encouraging the market to adapt to these new circumstances more quickly, particularly U.S. automakers, then I think ultimately, we can come out of this stronger and have a more efficient energy policy than we do right now."

The McCain campaign also criticized Obama on being against the gas tax holiday, a fight Obama fought against Clinton in the run up to the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.

“Sen. McCain is not out of touch,” said campaign adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin. He said a gas tax suspension would help truckers reliant on diesel fuel and “families to get through the summer.
Obama also proposed a second tax stimulus to get families through the summer and a tax cut that would result in a $1,000 rebate for the middle class dealing with high costs of food and gas. He says you can't artificially lower the cost of gas so he wants a Manhattan Project for renewable energy. He says becoming less dependent on oil is the only solution.

The McCain camp didn't see the polls that said most voters thought the gas-tax holiday was a gimmick? It worked so well for Hillary...

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