June 9th, 2008
01:50 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain resurrects call for gas tax holiday

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 McCain regularly called for a gas tax holiday in April and May.
McCain regularly called for a gas tax holiday in April and May.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – With gas prices reaching a national average of four dollars a gallon - a record high - John McCain is planning to resurrect his call for a national gas tax holiday, which became a staple of his stump speech in late April and early May.

A McCain aide told CNN's Dana Bash on Monday that the Arizona senator planned to plug the gas tax holiday in public statements throughout the day as a message to voters that he understands the plight of working families in a tough economy.

Before a fundraiser in Richmond, Virginia on Monday, McCain mentioned the gas tax holiday in remarks to a smaller event for about 40 high-dollar donors. "That was derided by Sen. Obama and others as a gimmick," McCain said, but added that working people and truckers would appreciate it.

"I don't pretend that it's an answer to our energy problems," he said.

Gas prices have risen more than 10 percent from $3.671 a month ago and are nearly 29 percent higher than the $3.105 average a year ago, according to AAA figures.

McCain's original gas tax holiday proposal called for suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Hillary Clinton supported a similar proposal during her Democratic primary bid.

Along with Barack Obama, many economists largely dismissed the notion of a gas tax holiday as a political ruse that would do little to lower prices, but McCain has repeatedly said he does not believe the proposal would be a panacea for America’s energy woes.

Instead, McCain argued, low-income families could save some extra cash to pay for their children’s school supplies this fall, or perhaps treat themselves to a nice dinner.

UPDATE: Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan blasted McCain for continuing to push the plan.

"By touting a gas tax holiday as part of his proposal for economic recovery in Virginia today, Senator McCain proved he was right when he said he doesn't understand the economy as well as he needs to," he said in a statement emailed to reporters.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. JJ

    You people are idiots voting for this old fool...go ahead and flush this country further down the toilet, then don't cry when you're paying $6 a gallon for gas you morons!

    June 9, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. TV

    Some of Hillary's supporters have brains. They other ones will vote for McCain .

    June 9, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Keith

    Typical Washington gimmick.

    June 9, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Michelle

    We need to just ignore these cry babies who say their voting for McCain....let them! Obama can still win! Please save your fingers in typing to these idiots because they are a lost cause. Please just ignore them and let them finish whining...BOO HOO.

    Also if you think Obama supporters will support Hillary if she runs in 2012, you better think again. Pay back is a bi***

    June 9, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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