June 23rd, 2008
12:23 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama camp hits McCain on offshore drilling

 Barack Obama's campaign is taking aim at McCain's position on offshore drilling.
Barack Obama's campaign is taking aim at McCain's position on offshore drilling.

(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign launched a broad swipe at rival John McCain's record on energy policy Monday, taking aim at the Arizona senator for appearing to reverse his position on offshore oil drilling.

A memo released by the Obama campaign sharply criticizes McCain for recently expressing support for lifting a decades-old moratorium on offshore drilling, noting he was against lifting the ban while campaigning for president in 1999.

Related: A battle of accused political 'flip-flops'

"The question is whether we are going to offer the American people real answers and genuine relief or the same, tired Washington gimmicks and special interest favors that have failed our families and country for too long," the Obama memo states. "With his proposal to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling that, as even the McCain campaign admits, wouldn’t produce any increase in resources for years and his gas tax gimmick that economists agree wouldn’t significantly reduce the price of gas if at all, John McCain has chosen to offer more of the same instead of change."

Defending McCain's shift on the position Sunday, his economic adviser Carly Fiorina argued that "a good leader is influenced by the facts on the ground."

"We've never before faced a situation where the price of a barrel of oil has doubled in the last 12 months," Fiorina said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "So what John McCain has said is that we now need to take control of our own energy future."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Gadissa

    filp flop......... This not going to hurt anyone. Obamas flip flop is for the better of the countery. Imagine what it cost all Americans for McCaine's flip flop. Who cares if Obama opt out of public financing campaigning money. Is this going to kill anyone. I'm glad he is still against the war that is killing our women and men.

    June 23, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Uncle Sam

    At least John McCain is offering solutions. As far as the long-term nature of some of the recommendations he has made, my question to Sen. Obama is: And how long will take for us to become energy independent if we do nothing?

    Americans for McCain '08

    June 23, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Chuck

    What's the matter with some of you accusing the Obama camp for attacking McCain's proposals. What is wrong with that? If both candidates agreed on everything and didn't have any policy disagreements why would we have two candidates for President? I'll concur that the flip-flopping arguements on both sides are somewhat lame. I see changes of mind and heart as growth. Times and circumstsances change requiring different approaches. However, McCains suggestion that the country drill along the coast lines while trying to sound like a confirmed environmentalist is a bit much to swallow. Especially when McCain implies that such drilling will bring immediatel relief from high gas prices when his own staff admit that any benefit from new drilling would take years. It is time we seriously considered alternative fuels and sources of energy. And the American people need to adjuct their life styles. Dependennce on oil (and more drilling) will not solve the energy issues. And until new sources of energy are discovered the Amercian people need to adjust what they drive and where they drive (grab a scooter, walk, ride a bike or hitch up the horse a buggy). The life that oil has allowed Amercians to live is changing and will change. So you might as well get used to it. McCain's proposal to drill will do nothing to solve the problem of limited oil use in the future.

    June 23, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Jakob

    I am a big supporter of Obama but I find it unfortunate that this tactic of '20 years ago you said ...' is being used so often. On all sides.

    Somehow if one cannot change an oppinion as the world evolves, new facts are being presented and whoever changes their mind does it for good reason ... adjusting to the facts at hand or chanigng of circumstances should never be a punishable political crime.

    I am surprised someone hasn't found an ancestor of someone that believed the world was flat and accused them of having flip-flop DNA.

    June 23, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Bostyon Johnson

    Great Job Barack

    June 23, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Shame

    I HOPE CNN POST THIS-

    BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER BEEN A SHAME TO BE A DEMOCRAT- LIKE I AM NOW–

    I LIKE HILLARY AS WELL- BUT JUST BECAUSE SHE DID NOT WIN THE SPOT- NOW HER SUPPORTERS WILL NOT VOTE UNDER THIER PARTY....

    THAT IS SO SAD AND STUPID- yeah I said it-

    THEY RATHER VOTE IN 4 MORE YEARS OF BUSH- WITH THE WAY THINGS ARE NOW- BECAUSE OF HATE!! VERY SAD!!!

    IF MCSAME WIN- THOSE SAME PEOPLE WILL BLOGGING AND COMPLAINING ABOUT THE WAR, GAS, THEIR HOMES AND THEIR JOBS... WHEN THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE A CHANGE...

    SMH!!!

    THIS WORLD IS SO FULL OF HATE AND IT SADDEN ME...USA THE NEW 3rd WORLD– IF MCBUSH GET IN THERE- SO BE PREPARED BECAUSE YOU DID IT!

    June 23, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Gil Starkey

    So what Fiorina is saying that McCain means is that at $65 per barrel, the US energy security is acceptable to leave in the hands of Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and other countries... Incredible...

    June 23, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. James, Redlands, CA

    McBush is the king of flip floppers.

    First he is against drilling and then he is for it.

    First he is for comprehensive immigration reform and then he votes against his own bill.

    First he is against torture and then he is for it.

    First he is against the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and then he is for them.

    His main economic advisor, Senator Graham, is the architect of the rule that allows speculators to run up the price of oil, and two of his senior advisors lobby for maintaining that legislation.

    If ever there were examples of party over truth it would be the McCain supporters.

    June 23, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. LET IT GO

    RYAN, CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW HILLARY WAS ROBBED. I'M GETTING SICK AND TIRED OF HILLARY SUPPORTERS. OBAMA WON FAIR AND SQUARE. WHY CAN'T YOU AND OTHER SUPPORTERS GET OVER IT.HILLARY LOST BEACAUSE SHE UNDERESTIMATE OBAMA AND FOR RUNNING A HORRIBLE CAMPAIGN,.

    June 23, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. mcSame old stuff

    You're right Fernandez, Barack does not have an enegy policy that will HURT the people. He wants to utilize the resources that have already been officially sanctioned by Congress. Not new ones, that Congress knows full well Congress has said no to.

    June 23, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. Jim

    YES! SUBSTANCE! Thank you Mr. Obama, highlighting key issues and difference's, finally all the poparatzi media bs aside, and we are talking substance! To be fair Mccan has also been doing a good job focusing on the issues, I am for Obama because of where he stands, but this is the talk I like to read about! Keep it up! I want to know the contrasts between each candidate these are the issues that count! Not who his cousins wife's daughter's sister may have known in the past who said a swear word or what ever...lets talk about the issues!

    June 23, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Obama is more electable

    Fernandez, if you would go to Barack's website you will clearly see he has an energy policy. So to say that he is not, is based on what facts really? McShame's policy is not going to change the outcome of gas prices.

    June 23, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Watching from sidelines

    So, if Obama decided to flip flop on public campaign financing. he must have discovered it to be the better buisness decision. If Mccain changed on off shore drilling, He must have learned it to be a better decision THINGS CHANGE. They're making the best decision based on how circumstances change.

    June 23, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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