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. Denial

    And the Gimmick returns ................

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

    Treat yourself to a nice dinner...This is absurd. How is everybody in America treating themselves to 1 nice dinner going to solve the energy crisis. He has to come up with better reasons that that.

    June 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Clear Picture

    ***Attention Democrats – watch out for Republicans posing as Hillary supporters trying to divide us****

    Mike "Here is the strategy. As a democrat I will vote for McCain like many others I know. McCain will win in November and wont do too much damage because is more liberal than his fellow republicans, actually he is practically a democrat.

    Then we can all vote for the real democrat again in 2012, Hillary!

    Hillary 012"

    June 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Kate, Atlanta

    Sniff, sniff, sniff – yep, that's old man pander desperation I smell there, LOL

    No thanks McLame, I'd rather have a policy that would save me more than a one-time $20 spread over 3 months.

    June 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Its OK to be right

    lets see.... $20. bucks saved in a month because of this gas tax gimmick or 4 million dollars a day saved from discontinuing an immoral war..... So tough to choose!!!

    obama

    June 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. A View

    Voting for obama is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.

    Please tell Michelle to quit "fist bumping" It isn't something polite people do.

    I could never be proud of America if I have to watch fist bumping 24/7

    June 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Sark

    He keeps pandering this idea but has yet to simply introduce a bill in the Senate that would actually do it. Get a grip.. this is simple pandering.

    June 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Dennis

    Well I can see this is going to be an election about the Educated vs. the Uneducated and/or Bitter vote. It absolutely makes no sense to me for Hillary voters to vote for McCain and vote against their interests. It is obvious that Hillary supporters want her elected JUST BECAUSE she is a woman. This is an obvious point since her and Barack agree on 95% of the issues. If this country elects a Republican President again, it deserves everything it gets and that includes: higher cost of living, higher fuel costs, the repeal of Roe vs. Wade (don't forget 2 justices will probably be selected by the next President), a war with Iraq and anybody else that pisses McCain off etc. and so on. You guys are confirming every reason why it's not a good idea to have woman President. Sheesh!!

    June 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. T. Brown in Texas

    It is so patronizing for McCain to think that lower income Americans will be pacified with a few extra dollars to buy a "nice dinner". After that nice dinner then what? This is not a solution. I would rather be able to afford to go to work everyday so that I can pay my bills rather than go out for "a nice dinner". McCain really needs to get a clue. But then again how can he...It is just not something that he will ever really have to think about because at the end of the day his pockets remain unaffected.

    June 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. John in NY

    Hasn't anyone ever bought gas from an Indian gas station???

    In NY the total tax on gas is about $0.40 per a gallon (one of the highest) and the gas at the Indian gas station which is tax free is about the same price. Sometimes it might be 1 cent out of 40 cents cheaper. This is why any thinking person knows that this so called holiday is a joke.

    Only someone who was stupid enough to vote for Bush would fall for this, so that means 1/2 the country will eat this garbage up.

    Not to mention almost all economist said it wont work. You would think economist would know more about the economy than someone who is on record saying he doesn't know how the economy works.

    I am in favor of getting more money back from the gov, but lifting the tax to get about 1/40th of the money back is a horrible investment. This is pandering to the unthinking majority and it probably will work. This issue alone proves Mccain knows nothing about the economy.

    Also he wants to save a few billion by cutting some earmarks, which is fine, but it makes no sense to then waste trillions in wars we don't need. Makes no sense.

    June 9, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. bernj

    This dude is just plain dumb. No other way to put it. McCain would set this country back 100 years.

    June 9, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Duckula

    What McCant doesn't seem to understand is that a majority of the gas taxation is on the State level moreso than the Federal level. Does this guy even know what's going on at all?

    June 9, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Steve

    This is the best he can come up with? A program that has been shown to be flawed beyond all common sense? Why do you think Hillary quietly dropped the idea? She realized it was a dumb idea, too, once she thought about it.

    It's obvious that McCain has NO idea the challenges people are facing in paying bills. Instead of a gas tax holiday, John, how about growing a couple and going after the commodities marketers that are driving the prices of fuel up to the sky for no good reason other than to make money? Instead of taking money away from programs to repair our roads and bridges, why not regulate the oil companies? I know, I know, that would take some guts and some careful planning. That's too much to ask of you.

    We're not allowed to cuss on this blog, but if we were allowed to do so, I'd have some choice words for you, you idiot. Don't pack your bags for the White House, my friend. You're not going to be living there.

    June 9, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. Will in Richmond, VA

    Dude,
    Hasn't anyone who knows anything about anything pointed out this is not an idea that can work? Limp in the short term and potentially damaging in the long term?

    Get a clue McCain. Read an economics book on your next flight, whydoncha.

    June 9, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. mollygonz

    What makes all you Clinton supporters threatening to vote McCain think that all of the Obama supporters would vote for Clinton in the next election? If you screw this up, believe me, we will probably screw it up for you in return. Did you ever think about that? Besides, Obama will be in the Whitehouse for the next 8 years, not 4. End the hostility now. We need to come together.

    June 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Question to Obamarers

    Hey Viva Obama....

    Maybe you weren't one of the haters for Obama.... were you?

    But why are the similarities important for unity NOW?

    Why did young people threaten to stay home if Hill won?

    Why did African Americans threaten a blackout of the vote if Hill won?

    Why did Michelle Obama herself, say on National TV, that she would NOT vote for HRC?

    If the similarities should matter to HRC supporters, why NOT to the Obama supporters.

    If party loyalty matters, why didn't it matter to the Obama camp?

    Or are there OTHER things at play here? For me it is not that HILL lost, but how she was treated, and bashed, and trashed and disrespected. It is HOW she lost. I won't vote for the candidate that inspired SO many to SUCH hatred and vitriol.

    June 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. minnesota grandmother

    mccain says, gas tax holiday and we can have a nice dinner in September. ...yup that will fix the problem.

    Obama 08

    June 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. please an answer?

    I would like a serious answer to these valid points:

    so... to "Viva Obama"....

    Maybe you weren't one of the haters for Obama.... were you?

    But why are the similarities important for unity NOW?

    Why did young people threaten to stay home if Hill won?

    Why did African Americans threaten a blackout of the vote if Hill won?

    Why did Michelle Obama herself, say on National TV, that she would NOT vote for HRC?

    If the similarities should matter to HRC supporters, why NOT to the Obama supporters.

    If party loyalty matters, why didn't it matter to the Obama camp?

    Or are there OTHER things at play here? For me it is not that HILL lost, but how she was treated, and bashed, and trashed and disrespected. It is HOW she lost. I won't vote for the candidate that inspired SO many to SUCH hatred and vitriol.

    June 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Jeff D, South Bend, IN

    A truely Republican plan in spirit and nature – give people back less than $.30 a day, and make them thankful for getting anything at all; while borrowing money from China to run the war and the government, expecting it to be paid off by my kids and grandkids, all while giving tac breaks to the rich and record profits to the oil companies and Haliburton.

    I think McCain is just too old to remember than what was a bad idea in April and May is still a bad idea.

    June 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Cynthia

    Buy your children's school supplies or take the family out for a nice dinner? Where can you go to a nice dinner for $28.00? Not only did Senator Obama speak against this but many economists. It was also discussed that it would probably be taken off on the front end but placed back in higher prices. All you Hilliary supporters that say you will vote for McCain – is this what you want?

    June 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. mollygonz

    Obama doesn't offer change??? What are you people listening to? He is the only one with an economic plan that makes sense. He will be working with Elizabeth Edwards on healthcare which John McCain does not even have a stance on. He is also ahead of McSame in the latest Gallup poll.

    June 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Sean

    It was clearly established a month or two ago that this plan would do far more damage than good. It would pull money from funds needed for public works projects, which would in turn cost the country thousands of public works jobs. And beyond that, oil companies would very likely raise prices so that the difference goes into their pockets instead of the pockets of consumers.

    The only candidate who has been honest about this since the idea first came up was Obama, and virtually every economist is in complete agreement with him.

    To "Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter", you should really consider looking at the facts about what will be best for this country instead of basing your stance on selfishly motivated vindictiveness. Switching your support from Clinton to McCain means that not only would you be supporting policy ideas like this which would solve nothing and cost thousands of people their jobs, you would also be supporting the inevitable deaths of thousands more of our young troops in Iraq – all to satisfy your personal frustrations that Clinton didn't win the nomination. That's a disgusting way to behave.

    If McCain wins thanks to you and others who share your selfish philosophy, you should be required to visit the families of soldiers killed in Iraq to explain to them why satisfying your petty frustrations was more important than the life of their loved one.

    June 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Really

    Who is to blame for the high gas prices?

    Congress, the enviromentalists, and Bill Clinton. Why are we not exploring, opening up new areas for drilling, building refineries. Because they have all been blocked. At least when Barrack is President he will sit down with Iran and convince them that America is not too bad. Then they will not want to wipe us and Israel off the planet and gas will go down to $2 a gallon. I am so happy our savior has come. The world will be in perfect harmony. Barrack will draw on his years of foreign experience and guide us. I can just hear his dealings with Iran. He will throw the word change in there about hundred times and then be confused that they do not fall for it like the American voters.

    June 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. let her supporters have him

    Yeah let her supporters continue with those crazy remarks about voting for mcsame guess what democrat those where the ones that rush sent out anyway they cast their vote but they did not send money to help her. there is no way with all the supporters she had for her to be in debt. think people rush told them to vote for her because mcsame had the nod already so when they tell that they are former hill supporters they are lying they were part of this mess and this is why she is in so much debt because her campaing did no factor in what the republicans did they thought these votes were true dempcrats when the were true repubs so lets not take seriously what her former repub voters post out here they are fake

    June 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Alex- New Jersey

    This is where Obama has some experience, he voted for a gas tax holiday when he was a state senator. Nothing happened, the price did not move in any real way and it was just giving more profits to companies with record profits.

    He learned from his experience and knows it will not help. McCain should come out with a real solution and stop wasting breath on this.

    June 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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