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

McCain resurrects call for gas tax holiday

,
 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. BE FAIR HILLARY SUPPORTERS

    Yes john Mccain you have more experience, and so what is that suppose to mean. You have been in the political main stream for awhile now, and i just want to thank you for...... no tax break, foreclosed homes, high gas prices, and most of all for helping us get where we are nOW! Thanks you so much Mr. EXPERIENCE!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    New flash to McCain saving 18.4 cents won’t buy anybody’s school supplies. Maybe back in his day but that savings of I think maybe $30 throughout the summer might get you half a book bag. Maybe he should try to “plug” a useful idea.

    June 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    John McCain wants to buy your vote by "buying" you a "nice dinner" and/or "school supplies".

    Whoop de doo.

    How about NOT WASTING any more money in Iraq and spending it at home??

    June 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Tony

    If you decrease the price, it will increase demand, which will decrease the supply faster, causing a greater scarcity and higher prices, to the point where it might actually raise prices more had there not been the gas tax cut.

    Any (and every) economist knows this is a bad idea. Hell, anyone who was only half-awake in an econ course knows that.

    June 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Greg

    No. It doesn't help. At my current gas consumption this would save me all of 15 bucks for the ENTIRE summer – certainly no more than 30 – that's if I drove my car to empty every week and completely filled up.

    There are better ways to cut. I could go without internet service for one month and save 40 bucks. I could cut my cable bill. Heck, I could give up coffee for 60 days and save TWICE this. So-called Clinton-McCain supporter, if you think this will help you need to learn how to budget.

    June 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. think before you bite

    Think Write in HRC- only truly possible in a few states, but research it.

    Think voting for the GREEN party nominee. She is very cool.

    Think McCain.

    Think and it will be.... NEVER Obama.

    June 9, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. ObamaSupporter

    This old man is losing it.

    June 9, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. -K&H-

    Wow is he serious, this is garbage we all know that the gas/oil companies will not loose money they will make us pay for it at the pump. Oh, they already are so lets make it worse by trying to make oil companines pay for the taxes. Ok. That is a failed policy and plan. So what gas is 4.35 per gallon – .35 cents this is still to high a price for gas $4 is just to much that little bit of help will cause us more problems for sure.

    June 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. FactCheck

    > I cant wait for Obama to lose and ALL of us Hillary supporters can yell… NO YOU DIDN'T!!!!

    I hope that'll be enough to pay your foreclosures, your healthcare, your social security and your unemployment benefits. We Obama supporters (who are well off and can weather 4 more years) won't be yelling but we'll happily give you an "aww... too bad".

    June 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Love4America&Obama

    I cant believe that this man will bring this topic again, this aint gonna solve no issue, the oil companies will make more money with this plan

    McBush U´re toast !

    Obama 08

    June 9, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    TALK ABOUT A FEEBLE MIND.

    WE ARE SPENDING TRILLIONS ON IRAQ WAR

    & CORPORATE SUBSIDIES OF OUR MONEY

    ***NOT HIS***

    HE WANTS TO GIVE US $30 TAX BREAK. MORON.

    June 9, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Rick

    Forget working toward getting a long-term solution in place, let's go with this asinine idea. Forget that experts across the board and anyone with a brain can see that this is a terrible idea, McCain supports it and, given he's an economical genius, that's good enough for me.

    June 9, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Patty Don't

    So are we going to get a refund for the gas tax we paid since Memorial Day, since it was 2 weeks ago?

    These are just words.

    June 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Notice McCain isn't calling for investigations into the meteoric rise in oil company profits?!

    Five bucks says he's been greased already not to.

    June 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. Bill Jay

    I'm for a relief......I'm democrat voting for Mr. McCain.....................
    Obama does not offer any change, he is just talking trash.

    June 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    SAY NO TO JOHN McCAIN, aka BUSH-LIGHT!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. tj

    Good idea McCain, the best candidate for president. McCain has real good ideas to improve this country's economy.

    June 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. YES WE CAN + YES WE WILL= DEMS IN WHITE HOUSE

    McCain has NOTHING to offer as far as the economy is concerned to help middle and less income Americans. More needs to be focused on his economic plan period, this man first said that we just need to get a second job! Then he came up with this " it's only in our minds, things really are not that bad" well neither of these went over too well so now he has flipped flopped to say he recognize people are suffering! THis man as is most in his income bracket does not have a clue much less a plan to help.

    McCain's economic plan came soley from Graham, a lobbyist who just a month or so stopped working for a forgein bank that had him push for policies like UNREGULATED MORTGAGES, in other words mortgage companies will be able to do as they please. Graham is also recognized as a LARGE REASON FOR THE MORTGAGE CRISIS OUR NATION NOW EXPERIENCES! Graham is McCain's brain on the economy, Graham is the worst thing that has happened to non rich. So other than Graham's plan McCain has no economic plan.

    CNN NEEDS TO REPORT ON MCCAIN'S PLAN AND GRAHAM!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. no good choice now

    I'd give Obama a chance… but so MUCH rancor and vitriol from his camp. And so much arrogance and boastfulness from the great Obama himself.

    MY moment of defection:
    Early On the polls showed that the majority of supporters for HRC would gladly vote for Obama.

    Then Obama used that as a weapon to divide the party. HE went National and very arrogantly and presumptuously declared that HE could WIN back the HRC supporters… but not the other way around.

    SEE? words DO matter. And How was that so? After all don't the issues and the values and ideals of the party matter to the Obama supporters?

    Besides, as I then blogged- Obama supporters have MORE to lose with a McCain win, then us older, more conservative HRC demographic.

    I was seldom posted and abusively attacked if I managed to sneak in a comment.

    NOW we are stuck in the muck.

    June 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Jon in Tx

    To Jon: Buddy you need to learn to read:

    "but McCain has repeatedly said he does not believe the proposal would be a panacea for America’s energy woes."

    This makes it clear that he doesn't think it will solve the problems. He things it would help "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."

    If you have a problem, lets at least be honest about it, instead of trying to twist anyones words (And I have said similar things with relation to Obama and Clinton, so don't go attacking me for being a right winger or anything of the sort.)

    June 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. JIM

    WE NEED MORE TAXES ON EVERYTHING........IF WE RAISE TAXES ON EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE, THAT WILL HELP THE ECONOMY TURN AROUND. ANYBODY THAT MAKES OVER $20,800 /$10.00 AN HOUR NEEDS TO BE TAXED MORE. THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT ONLY MAKE $15,000 A YEAR AND THEY NEED ARE HELP.

    I AM VOTING FOR OBAMA BECAUSE HE IS ABOUT "CHANGE" NOT ONLY WILL I BE TRYING TO PAY MY OWN MORTGAGE BUT I WANT TO PAY MY NEIGHBORS AS WELL. COLLEGE EDUCATION WHO NEEDS IT......THE SMART AND WEALTHY WILL HELP US OUT.

    OBAMA 08

    June 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Jose'

    What is Obama's solution for lowering gas prices??

    Oh, yeah, he doesn't have one.

    Plus he is thinking about adding a $1 per gallon gas tax.

    I bet that will help.

    June 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Its OK to be right

    uhhh...Deborah , McCain is against everything you stand for. SO are you saying that the gas tax crap is enough for your to vote for him? Gee wizzz....

    June 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    LORD SAVE US FROM SICKOS LIKE HIM.

    HE INSULTS OUR INTELLIGENCE EVERY

    TIME HE OPENS HIS MOUTH.

    HE FIGURES IF WE VOTED FOR BUSH,

    WHY NOT HIM. HE MIGHT HAVE A POINT

    IN THINKING THAT.

    June 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Dismayed

    For all of you who THINK that McCain is capable of leading this country, you'd better start thinking of where he will lead this country to.

    Barack Obama has more than demonstrated his ability to lead and unite. For all those racist who wont vote for him, there are fewer of you than you think. He doesn't need your racist vote.

    June 9, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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