April 30th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama ad criticizes gas tax plan

 Obama is up with a new ad in Indiana and North Carolina.
Obama is up with a new ad in Indiana and North Carolina.

(CNN) - Less than a day after Hillary Clinton’s campaign debuted an ad that attacked Barack Obama for opposing a gas tax holiday, the Illinois senator’s campaign unveiled a new 60-second spot that dubs the idea an ineffective quick fix.

The ad, titled “Truth” will run in both Indiana and North Carolina, where voters head to the polls May 6. Both Democratic presidential hopefuls have spent the week sparring over the proposal – Obama calls the idea a gimmick; Clinton says it is necessary to give consumers immediate relief from soaring fuel costs.

In the spot, Obama calls for an investigation of the nation’s oil companies for price gouging – a position shared by Clinton - and says Congress should adopt a long-term energy strategy that includes higher fuel efficiency standards and a greater investment in alternative fuels.

“We could suspend the gas tax for 6 months, but that’s not going to bring down gas prices long-term. You’re gonna save about 25, 30 dollars…or half a tank of gas,” he says. “That’s typical of how Washington works. There’s a problem, everybody’s upset about gas prices – let’s find some short-term, quick-fix, that we can say we did something even though, even though we’re not really doing anything.”

(Full script after the jump)

“Truth,” 60 seconds

Script:

Barack Obama: “I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message.

“I’m here to tell you the truth.

“We could suspend the gas tax for 6 months, but that’s not going to bring down gas prices long-term. You’re gonna save about 25, 30 dollars…or half a tank of gas.

“That’s typical of how Washington works. There’s a problem, everybody’s upset about gas prices – let’s find some short-term, quick-fix, that we can say we did something even though, even though we’re not really doing anything.

“We cannot deliver on a better energy policy unless we change how business is done in Washington.

“We’ve got to go out to the oil companies and look at their price-gouging.”

“We’ve got to start using less oil and that means raising fuel efficiency standards on cars and developing alternative fuels.

“That’s the real honest answer to how we’re going to solve this problem. That’s what you need from a President someone who’s going to tell you the truth.”

soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. GloriafromPA

    We will see if people will like the truth from Obama or pandaring from Hillary. Maybe, if she uses the word "heart" and "deeply" more often with a crackle in her voice the price of gas will go down. Her policy proposals sure won't do anything but garner afew votes. More shameful politics as usual.

    April 30, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. Charles

    Yes! Finally someone speaking sense! This may be enough for me to jump ship and support Obama–he's actually interested in the SOLUTION to the problem of high gas prices, not some publicity stunt. Hillary's gas tax holiday sounds like something Bush would do: make it seem like the government cares, but not actually achieve anything. I'm getting more disillusioned with her every day.

    April 30, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. KIRBY

    OBAMA IS RIGHT

    April 30, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Finnegan

    We could do both, but any reputable economist will tell you that cutting the gas tax is going to end up raising gas prices as the oil companies respond to the increased demand for gasoline.

    April 30, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Donovan

    Hold on There....

    Obama Voted to repeal the gas tax as a legislater in Illinois
    in 2000! Whats with this guy anyway. Obama is trying so hard to out think the other candidates, that he is compromising his own integrity
    in the process.

    Moreover; Clinton is developing a National Consensus to prepare
    for a tough fight w/ Big Oil, its not just about a gas tax holiday. Its a
    little step in the right direction, namely, DOWN. Shes a Fighter!

    April 30, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Erin

    Obama is 1000% Correct. Please give him credit for common sense, instead of jumping on board with McCain & Clinton to do the "Politically Advantageous" temporary solution.

    If we cut the gas tax, but then turn around at add that tax on to the Oil Companies profits – the Oil Companies will raise the cost of oil to off-set the tax. That is how all business work. Airlines increase the price of tickets when costs rise., etc.

    So, we would essentially be taking tax dollars AWAY from public needs (bridges, roads, etc) to give it back to the already rediculously profitble Oil companies.

    I'm glad that Obama had the sense to think this one out – as opposed to McCain & Clinton who just said what would look good in headlines & 30 second commercials.

    We need a president who thinks, and doesn't just spin.

    OBAMA 2008

    April 30, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    Hillary drove to the pump today to get gas for her car – she worries about us mere mortals you know- yet following her were a parade of cars (some were really big cars which consume gallons and gallons of gas)- yep she has convinced me, she really cares about the environment!

    April 30, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. ary wife

    gas tax holiday==insult to the intelligence of voters.

    people Please, do your homework.

    hillary every day you prove it more and more to me why i should Not vote for you.

    April 30, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. E. loz Miami

    You know $25-$30may not mean much for millionare Senator Obama but it means a whole lot more to low income families & truck drivers.
    Besides, Clinton also shares the same long term solution but Obama seems not to care for a short term solution?
    Politics as usual-Obama is misleading the facts & THAT"S the truth.

    April 30, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. Ardnuas

    SMART voters know you are telling the truth!!!
    Obama/Edwards08

    April 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. army wife

    gas tax holiday==insult to the intelligence of voters.

    people Please, do your homework.

    hillary every day you prove it more and more to me why i should Not vote for you.

    April 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. Shirley-Ohio

    Very good, keep you the great work.

    April 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. naners

    Newsflash posters: there is no immediate fix. Unfortunately, your government got you here– as a result of policies and practices that were years in the making. What Obama is saying is true: there is no immediate solution– to artificially affect the basic economic principles of supply and demand by arbitrarily changing the price of a good will do more harm in the long run.

    What can be done now? The creation of new jobs, and the retention of those that already exist– IE. a leader with strong opposition to NAFTA and free trade.

    You won't get that with Hillary or McCain

    April 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  14. Sean

    If you tax the oil companies, they're just going to raise prices to pay for those taxes. Then what? Nothing has changed, except that you've give the big oil companies a reason to raise their prices. And when the tax is dropped in 3 months, do you think prices will drop? The prices will stay the same, but the oil companies will be making that much more money. Why is this so hard for Hillary and McCain to understand?

    April 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. Mike

    To Jay,

    Jay, I hear you, though your question is falling on deaf ears (big ones, though deaf), NObama has no clue.

    Go Hillary!!!!

    April 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. Ken in Western NY

    Jay – the federal tax holiday that Clinton or McCain are talking about will save you about $1 or $2 dollars on fill-up. If you can't afford that, then you should maybe try public transportation or ride a bicycle. Obama is trying to be honest with the American people, unlike the other two who are just trying to win the votes of people because they are trying to convince you that they save you all this money at the gas pumps. It's BS. And if they somehow put that plan into place, it would take away funds used for the safety of highways and bridges (remember the Minneapolis bridge collapse???).

    Clinton and McCain's plans are only out there to woo people who think that they will save you lots of money, but it won't. Don't be fooled into thinking they're looking out for you. They're not. Obama is.

    April 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. Sean

    It is amazing the number of people that want an immediate plan. We didn't get into this situation overnight, and we can't get out of it overnight! Generate a plan to fix the problem, not a plan to get elected that doesn't fix the problem!

    April 30, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Chris in Va.

    Is there anyone out there who doesn't think that if the gas tax is suspended for the summer that the oil companies won't immediately take advantage and hike up the price to fill the void? Then when the tax relief is suspended we will be paying that much more! It's really a moot point anyway (read campaign BS). Memorial Day is less than a month away, have you ever seen our government do ANYTHING in a timely fashion, especially anything that will help the citizens.

    April 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. Stupid people think of now....now...

    I think it is stupid to think of a quick-fix..now..now...now.....

    Obama is proposing a long term solid solution but Americans what now...now..now....what a bunch of losers?

    April 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. TF, CO

    Hey does anyone remember the bridges falling down and people getting killed. Take away states taxes that are used for roads and bridges and the US will fall apart for real. Take away taxes for roads and see how many new tires you get to buy in a years. Take away state taxes and see how many people are out of jobs. People lose thier jobs and there will be nobody to buy your over priced house you bought at the top of the market that will continue to lose value as the market dries up.

    Clinton and McCain are trying to solve the same problems with the same old fixes. Clinton's economics were fueled by the computer boom and internet. Remember the interent the thing that Gore invented. Guess what they're old ways don't work and they never have.

    April 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. Liz -atl

    did you listen to the CEO of shell? He said we're in this predicament because of the same thing they did years ago. He said this will not help us but to hurt us the more. Obama is the only one telling us the truth.

    April 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. The Tax Man Cometh

    Typical government mindset:
    If it moves, tax it.
    If it keeps moving, regulate it.
    If it stops moving, subsidize it.

    April 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  23. Sudhir Malik

    Any Tax reduction is good even a Penney. This is the Tax burden which is dragging our economy. Why can't Fed subsidies diesel. I think USA is only a country where Diesel is more costly then Gas. Make the Diesel $2.00 per gallon (Fixed rate for next five years). No tax on end consumer, no tax on oil producers, on diesel. This will bring prices down and will benefit everyone. Why can’t they think this way?

    April 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. R.I.F.

    K April 30th, 2008 5:59 pm ET

    Obama, your solutions are only long-term and are the same as Clinton's long term ones. We need both. A short term and long term solution. So, tell me what is your short term solution? Silence. That's what I thought.
    ______________________________________________________

    I don't know if you call this fall long or short term but that short term summer fix that will save you $28 will cost you $100s this fall when prices skrocket do to demand caused by you needing that $28 this summer. This is not a I hate HRC love Obama thing. It's common sense. Please try reading any of the dozens of articles that well-respected economic analysts have written over the past few days.

    April 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  25. Blueray98

    “Hillary Clinton Goes Negative in New Ad” announced the link from your home page yesterday to the ticker on Hillary’s new spot. I don’t see anything here about Obama going negative, but his ad is no different from the one she came out with yesterday. Why must you continue to reinforce the myth that only Hillary “attacks” or goes “negative” or is throwing the “kitchen sink” at him. Well, for your information, the Obama campaign isn’t just throwing kitchen sinks, they have been throwing the toilet at her as well. Instead, you keep giving your precious Obama more pillows to make him feel comfortable.

    April 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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