June 9th, 2008
01:50 PM ET
6 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. Mickey/Texas

    Which gas tax- holiday is he talking about? How in the heck can he make that promise for this summer if he is not yet presidnt? Oh, I get it he must be talking about the summer of Nevuary!

    June 9, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. Uncle Sam

    In listening to Sen. Obama and his surrogates, one invariably hears that John McCain is indistinguishable from Pres. Bush and that he supports a 100 years' war in Iraq. One would think that Team Obama could make their case without resorting to such underhanded tactics. But, then again, perhaps they can't.

    Citizens for McCain '08

    June 9, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. OBAMA 08

    OBAMA WE NEED YOU MORE THEN EVER I HAVE A FRIEND WHO MAKES $100,000 A YEAR AND DOESNT DESERVE IT. I THINK IF WE TAX HIM AT AROUND %40 WE CAN REDISTRIBUTE THAT MONEY TO THOSE WHO ONLY MAKE $50,000 AND THINK THEY CAN AFFORD 5 KIDS.

    OBAMA PLEASE WE NEED YOU NOW MORE THEN EVER......CAN YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE SOME PEOPLE GO TO COLLEGE AND WORK THERE BUTT OFF TO MAKE $250,000 A YEAR. THAT NEEDS TO END WE CANT HAVE PEOPLE MAKING THAT KIND OF MONEY WHILE THE REST OF US ARE SUFFERING.

    June 9, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. James, SC

    Let's see:

    Gas last month was 3.61. Gas today is 4.15. Total change 54 cents. Change minus 18.5 equals 35.5 gain overall so far; and climbing. Idiot, idiot, idiot!.

    June 9, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Bill Jay

    Obama is riding a gravy train................and this will run off the train tracks. McCain for President.

    June 9, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Robert in Toronto,ON

    This plan has already been label a "no win" plan by all the economists across the US. It will not work, and yet this man in his stubborn right is telling people we should go with it.

    Sounds like the same man who would gladly ignore the facts that America needs to get troops out of Iraq, but would stubbornly keep them there.

    No way should McCain be making judgement calls as President. How he even has his seat on the Senate I'd question with decisions like this.

    June 9, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. charles

    stop wasting money in lraqi grandpa. imagine how much you wl av wasted after 100 years. God help us.

    June 9, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. MB

    Since CNN closed down the Al Franken blog after only 30 comments, I'll throw my 2 cents in here. Is there anything comical in nature in ANY way, shape or form about RAPE. The parody causing all the fuss is a Rape skit from 2000. I love Franken's response: "There may have been some hurt feelings over my comments from that skit". Wow Al you're kidding. Why would our feelings be hurt over a satirical skit based on raping women. MORON!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. Ian Bell

    CNN, if you have to quote something Michelle Obama said, please quote accurately. Why did you omit the word "REALLY" before PROUD? That completely changes the meaning. This is absolutely disgraceful.

    June 9, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Zelda of Pittsburgh

    What is the connection between oil prices and speculation? Why aren't the candidates talking about this. Apparently, if speculation were regulated, this would bring down the price of oil by at least 25%.

    June 9, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Clinton Supporter

    Clinton Supporters, no need to suffer because you want to but cannot support Obama. There are millions of us – this particular Clinton supporter doesn't even want to support BO and never did.

    McCain knows and says that this will not solve the overwhelming energy crisis, anything more than Obama's first official giveaway of $50 billion will solve our deep economic problems. But at least McCain isn't going to have borrow $50 billion from the Chinese to give a family a little lift or help keep a self employed long distance trucker from going under.

    You people talk like you're all millionaires and you only know other millionaires – your Obama-Let-Them-Eat-Cake attitude is what defeated Obama in PA. Kentucky, etc. Keep it up, it's the best argument for McCain I've seen all day!

    June 9, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Peter

    These people in the comments section who are saying they were for Hillary but are now for Mccain can't seriously have been Hillary supporters. They have to be paid by the RNC or Mccain campaign cause no one can be this stupid.

    June 9, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. OBAMA 08

    OBAMA WE NEED YOU MORE THEN EVER I HAVE A FRIEND WHO MAKES $100,000 A YEAR AND DOESNT DESERVE IT. I THINK IF WE TAX HIM AT AROUND %40 WE CAN REDISTRIBUTE THAT MONEY TO THOSE WHO ONLY MAKE $50,000 AND THINK THEY CAN AFFORD 5 KIDS.

    OBAMA PLEASE WE NEED YOU NOW MORE THEN EVER......CAN YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE SOME PEOPLE GO TO COLLEGE AND WORK THERE BUTT OFF TO MAKE $250,000 A YEAR. THAT NEEDS TO END WE CANT HAVE PEOPLE MAKING THAT KIND OF MONEY WHILE THE REST OF US ARE SUFFERING. THE NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE WANTING TO GET AHEAD

    OBAMA 08

    June 9, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. captain

    Treat themselves to a nice dinner?!! Are you kidding? That's experience? And he says Obama lacks "judgement?"

    In November, I'm voting for the candidate that doesn't treat the American people like children.

    Obama '08

    June 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. traci

    Any women that has the nerve to call herself a Hillary supporter, now supporting McSame should be ashamed. You call yourself Demoncrats, and then take it one step further by disgracing Hillary Clinton. Think about the next TWO Supreme Court Justice selections. Look at McSame's history on women's rights, education, taxes (he cant decide). How could you have supported Hillary, and then pick someone who espouses the exact opposite. Does this mean that you were voting for a president based SOLEY on gender-not issues? If so, I guess your vote really doesnt matter, because it will always change like the wind. Do some thinking about argueing on blogs and getting "even" with Obama...they are almost the same candidate. If your excitment was based on the historical nature of the first women, you have to understand that the same people prohibiting women are prohibiting minorities. That means that Obama will be able to relate with that. A minority or a women-each one takes us one step closer. Go ahead-get "even" with yourself.

    June 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. R.O.B.

    Lol, John McCain looks funny with his short arms and tight suit on.

    June 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Debbie

    In 1999, a huge oil reserve was discovered in North Dakota.
    There is enough oil to supply the US for 20 years.

    McCain has never pushed the oil companies to drill there. Instead, McCain voted to give oil companies billions in tax breaks, which was used to buy back their stock.

    McCain talks about the environment, but has never once pushed the concept of drilling in North Dakota. Instead McCain has backed oil lobbyists who want the Florida coast and Alaska opened up for the oil companies.

    June 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. charles

    grandpa you supposed to be with yr mates at the old peoples home talking history. this is not for you. everyday l see you are even more older. you wl be lucky to survive till november let alone january.

    June 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Slected not Elected

    Hillary or Mccain

    June 9, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. CB

    Again with the gas tax holiday!!!!

    "buy a nice dinner" – where mr. Cindy McCain? $30 will pay for me and my four kids at McDonalds. Nice dinner eh?

    This is your solution? Like your solultion for health care – "get out and walk more"

    June 9, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. ALLBAMALLTHETIME

    McCain is a tired piece....BUT on a different note. I look forward to embracing victory in the fall. I LOVE all of you HRC supporters; I understand your anguish and pain! Hillary was is a great woman who has brought about a swell of emotion this season!! But, Senator Obama is going to be our next president and he will represent a "changing of the guard" in Washington. He will deliver on his promises to bring change to the oval office and a NEW DAY to America. I know that you HRC supporters are not all crazy, angry and sketchy as most have painted you. I trust that you are intelligent and will make smart choices regarding the electorate come the fall. We will all rejoice in the streets together!

    June 9, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Slected not Elected

    Obama, his supporters, the DNC, the party elite, and the mainstream media have conspired to marginalize the millions of Democrats who have voted for Hillary, and they will now be using every trick in the book to "bring the party together" to further their ruthless ambitions. They will want you to forget all about the months of biased press, the biased party elite, the insults, the sexist remarks, and the race-cards. They will want you to forget that the Democratic Party now is the party that stands for disenfranchisement of the voters and the rationalization of racism. They will use any method to persuade you to vote for the man who they have preordained as the Democratic nominee. DON'T FALL FOR IT!

    June 9, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. CB

    Oh yeah – and thanks for supporting a 1 BILLION DOLLAR TAX BREAK TO EXXON!!!!!!!!!!

    You want to give us $30 – but give them 1 BILLION!!!!!!!!!! Yeah right!

    June 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Kevin

    "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."

    Cleary no thinking going on here, just some sort of emotional outlashing... Ugh. This is the kind of thinking that got us 8 years of Bush and a destroyed country for my kids. What is wrong with you people?

    All I can say is that I'm keeping count of all you fake Democrats who claim they'll vote for McCain. I have three weeks vacation this year. I'm going to spend it registering voters – those who will most likely vote for Obama – the young, the smart, the old, whites, blacks, hispanic, women, men, Rebulicans, Indys and Dems.

    So, keep hating, because it's making me stronger!

    What are you going to do? Sit around and complain? Well, your one wasted vote, will be countered by five new votes that I register. That's my plan.

    You make me more positive and more hopeful each time.

    Go Obama!

    June 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. donna

    Where does he think people can buy school supplies with $20? This is a joke right? Talk about out of touch...every little bit DOES NOT HELP when you are still paying more for other things (such as groceries)...

    Stay on topic people..what does a fist bump have to do with anything? Michelle can fist bump, shoulder slap or whatever else she wants to do..she isn't the FIRST LADY...yet...and even when she is, I could care less about them giving "dap"...as long as he straightens out the economy and try to fix all of BUSH'S other MESS UPS, they can get on stage and do the hokey pokey...maybe if other politicians seems a little more "real" they'd better understand what the rest of the country goes through....

    June 9, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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