INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) - In the face of criticism from a slate of economists who say her gas tax holiday plan would be ineffective or even harmful, Hillary Clinton said she wasn’t taking stock of their opinions and emphasized that this was a short-term fix that would primarily benefit long-distance drivers.
“I’m not going to put my lot in with economists,” Clinton told George Stephanopolous on ABC’s ‘This Week’ after he asked her to name a single economist supporting her plan. “If we actually did it right, if we had a president who used all the tools of the presidency, we would design it in such a way that it would be implemented effectively.”
Clinton said she didn’t understand the resistance her plan is getting since its intention is to provide relief.
“On so many of these issues where costs have gone up, where people are really feeling squeezed, there just doesn’t seem to be an understanding about what people go through,” Clinton told Stephanopolous.
The debate over Clinton and McCain’s different pieces of legislation to remove the gas tax this summer reached a fever pitch this week with Barack Obama leading the charge to reject it, saying Saturday, “This is what passes for leadership in Washington – phony ideas, calculated to win elections instead of actually solving problems.”
“It’s a misnomer to say this is all that I’m doing,” Clinton defended herself, “I have a comprehensive long-term energy plan that would go right at dependence on foreign oil.”
Clinton has been arguing that it’s not only about the money saved but the message it sends. “I really believe we’ve got to start right now, demonstrating a willingness to take on these oil companies,” she argued to Stephanopolous.
– CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt