Obama says failed GOP policies drive up gas prices

Obama speaks in Miami

President Barack Obama on Thursday assailed Republicans for what he described as a flawed and dishonest strategy for reducing gas prices, predicting his rivals would offer nothing but more drilling and political promises of $2-a-gallon gas. Said the president: “The American people aren’t stupid.”

“That’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling. That’s a bumper sticker,” Obama said in a stop at the University of Miami. “It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election. You know there are no quick fixes to this problem.”

Obama spoke as gas has reached the highest price at the pump ever for this time of year: an average of $3.58 per gallon. White House advisers see it as a cyclical occurrence but knew Obama had to address the topic, one of deep concern to consumers and growing fodder for Republicans seeking to unseat Obama.

Obama said gas prices were “like a tax straight out of their paychecks.” He promoted an energy agenda of oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear and biofuel energy.

And he took aim at Republicans.

“You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas. I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is to drill, step two is to drill, and step three is to keep drilling. . . . We’ve heard the same thing for thirty years. Well, the American people aren’t stupid.”

Obama insisted there are no short-term solutions to high gas prices, and that anyone suggesting otherwise was not being honest. Still, he sought to offer something to anxious voters by saying he had ordered his administration to search for every possible area to help consumers in the coming months.

He sought to take credit for rising oil and gas production, a greater mix of energy sources and decreased consumption. Ahead of a fundraising blitz in the evening, he promoted an energy strategy that the administration says will reduce dependence on foreign oil in the long term.

Republicans have seized on the issue, citing Obama’s decision to reject a permit for a cross-country oil pipeline as evidence of a misguided policy. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has warned of $5-a-gallon gas, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has said he could lower prices to $2.50 a gallon.

Obama aides worry that the rise in prices could reverse the country’s economic gains and the president’s improved political standing. A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows that though Obama’s approval rating on the economy has climbed, 58 percent disapprove of what he’s doing on gas prices.

White House officials point to increased oil production and decreased consumption as evidence that Obama’s policies are working and will lead to greater energy independence in the long run. But they assert there is little Obama — or any president — can do to change the trajectory of prices now.

Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press

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14 Responses to "Obama says failed GOP policies drive up gas prices"

  1. griff  February 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

    So He blames the GOP for high prices while at the same time admitting that government has little control over prices. Which is it?

    He says Republican plans won’t solve the problem, admits that his own solutions can’t solve the problem, but at the same time his policies are working. Huh?

    I promise that if you re-elect Me, I will work dilligently to solve the unsolvable because My opposition can’t solve it either.

    And I’ll make lots of speeches too. When I’m not golfing, that is.

  2. woody188  February 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Simply removing the non-buyers (those that do not take delivery of the oil) from the market would lower and stabilize pricing. Why should Wall Street make obscene commodity profits at the expense of the rest of us?

    All I’m saying is to restore a true market set price. You know…capitalism?

    • Almandine  February 24, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      That would be way to easy… and fair.

      • Almandine  February 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm

        too

    • griff  February 25, 2012 at 7:10 am

      Because our dear leaders can’t bite the hand that feeds.

      We saw the results of a true free market in 2008 when Wall Street was in turmoil and the banksters were strapped for cash.

      Dollar-fifty a gallon gas any one? Then stop believing the BS you’re being fed out of Washington and Wall Street. Um…they’re lying. It’s what they do.

      They are robbing you. It’s what they do.

  3. Rick  February 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Global factors when for years key Dems placed the blame on oil man Bush and – of course – Cheney for getting profits for their friends in “Big Oil.” Now they are admitting it was supply and demand all along.

    • woody188  February 25, 2012 at 1:05 am

      Yeah…they demand huge profits and Congress helps supply them.

  4. Almandine  February 24, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    That ain’t all he says, and who’d thought he’d get taken to task by this one?

  5. dvl666  February 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Then again where’s Newt’s plan? face it OPEC, and the unregulated oil speculatorshave more control over oil prices than any politician. We been fighting over this since the ’70’s. Had we done a ‘Manhattan Project’ or Land a Person on the Moon project back the we’d have solved our energy dependance by now…but then the oligrachs, and vested interests wouldn’t have all tha $$$$$$ to buy or bribe elections and the politicians.

  6. kafantaris  February 25, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Iran faces a delicate issue. On the one hand it wants to show the world all it’s got and put it at ease, while on the other hand it fears that such show ‘n tell will give its enemies a roadmap to bomb it.
    Saddam Hussein faced a similar dilemma ten years ago. Though he wanted the world to know he had nothing to hide, he also wanted to bluff his archenemy Iran into believing Iraq still had WMD.
    Bluffing did not go well for Saddam, and it might not go well for Ahmadinejad.
    But since the price tag for ridding Saddam proved high, maybe we ought to reflect what we are asking of Iran now. On the eve of a threatened attack, we are asking it to take us to the depths of its arsenal and show us all it’s got.
    Such great expectations are a sign we have been talking to our friends too long and are in need of a broader perspective. Exactly when was the last time we asked Pakistan, India, China or Russia to show us their arsenal?
    “But those countries are not advocating the destruction of Israel.”
    True, but Israel is not a thorn on their side either.
    Surely, however, we can see beyond the hyperboles and figure out their underlying purpose. Or have we forgotten that not all Iranians are thrilled with Ahmadinejad?
    He sure hasn’t.
    Nor has he forgotten that that his countrymen hate Israel even more. So he tells them that Israel will be wiped from the face of the earth. Expectantly, this nonsense unites them against a common enemy. It is even a diversion from the misery and isolation brought on by his theocratic regime.
    Quite clever work by Ahmadinejad — and not a rial spent or a bullet fired.
    So why are we letting the crazy talk about destroying Israel get us all worked-up — to the point of turning the world topsy-turvy again.
    Can we not see the desperate attempts of an unpopular regime simply trying to hold on?

  7. Davld Clark  February 25, 2012 at 6:14 am

    When did corruption, bribes, and conflicts of interest become legal? When did justice cease to exist?

    • griff  February 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

      1913…

      • Almandine  February 26, 2012 at 11:13 am

        Yep.

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