June 23rd, 2008
12:23 PM ET
10 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. Upon Further Review

    The self serving Republicans are going to hit the canvas hard.We know who they serve and it isnt the American people.The neocons are in total disrepair and even Limbaugh has turned on his own party like a rabid dog.

    June 23, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Lisa

    Obama I have a gas tax plan you would love. If you and your supporters will donate $30.00 to a gas tax relief fund. Since $30.00 is not a lot of money to you and your supporters, get together donate the $30.00 for the less fortunate Americans we can definitely use the $30.00 to pay for food and gas.

    June 23, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. ron canada

    sen. obama is real smart he will renegotiate the NAFTA agreement that forces the canadian tar sand project to send 60%of our oil and natural gas to the us. regardless of our needs. that is a deal that our politicians would love to renegotiate.he is so concerned about looking good that he fails to realize that it will take a combination of both republican and democratic strategies to accomplish that goal but that would take bipartisan agreement and regardless of how much he preaches unless it's to his advantage to do so you can forget it. this is not about the people this is all about obama

    June 23, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Paris

    Obama we want debate. Why is Obama so afraid of a fair debate?
    He is insulting our intelligence.
    It is easy to hid behind your camping and just attack.

    June 23, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. NYC


    June 23, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Phil, FL

    Fiorina drove HP into the ground and was rewarded with a nice "golden parachute".

    We certainly don't need her advice on how to drive the US economy into the ground.

    The current administration has already done that.

    June 23, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. joe in VA

    I think there's a big difference between a politician changing their mind after 12 years to reflect new facts and conditions, and one changing his mind regarding a campaign promise made only 4 months ago.

    Obama will bring change all right. If his "judgement" is so good why did he make a promise in teh first place? Answer: because he thought it might help him get elected, NOT to change campaign finance.

    I like Obama but all I see is a lot of talk. I'm still waiting to see him "walk the walk".

    June 23, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Anon

    Most of America wants this. No its not a solution to all the problems but its certainly a start.

    Well done McCain for acting on this now when its time to start.

    June 23, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Phantom of the Oprah

    I hope Obama enjoys campaigning....

    No true democrat will vote for him.

    He tricked, cheated, strong-armed, race baited, hated, lied and stole the nomination from HRC.

    Hillary is our President. McCain will get our vote. But never Obama the fraud, the media darling, the celebrity icon. Myths created by his avid supporters.

    June 23, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. Pot calling the Kettle

    So I am an Obama supporter but I don't think now is the time to be calling McCain out on his change of heart. Last week Obama had his own flip flop with declining public financing.

    June 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. ProundToBeRepublican

    Tofflan John Flip flaping again. This guy thinks the American People are idiots I can see that with Some Repubicans, but Democrats and Independents are way smart ot fall for this crap. All he is doing is saying things that people want to hear weather it makes sense or not.

    June 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Bob K

    So what if Obama changed his mind on public financing? You'd be the first ones to scream that he would rob people of their hard earned money if he financed his campaign with tax dollars. But hey, it is about bashing Obama independent of facts, so be my guest. Nobody is counting on your vote anyway.

    June 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Realistic

    Let's all work together to get Obama back to Chicago before it's too late. He's doesn't have the credentials to be the next President of our great country period! I am totally disgusted with him and his constant use of the racial card.

    June 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Jason, Texas

    Gobama! Take down the same ol'Washington garbage.

    June 23, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. anon

    HRC people are still hanging on, huh (or McCain operatives?). Anyway, I think Obama's FISA flip-flop is far more important than the trivial stuff CNN likes to report on.

    June 23, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Eric Wayne

    Is it just me or dose McCain look like Hank Hills father on King of the Hill? I think his name was Cotton Hill, he was an old warmonger too. Hey...if the show fits.

    June 23, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Obama for President

    McCain cannot win a debate against Obama. It will be pitiful to see McCain struggle against Obama.

    Obama / Biden 08/12

    June 23, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. christian

    Ryan, how about you get over yourself. you are not that important.

    June 23, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Rob

    Will someone please tell me what qualifies Obama to hold the most powerful title in the world? Was it his 156 days he spent as an IL senator before announcing his presidential bid, the two books he wrote or was it his work as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago?

    June 23, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Diane

    Not only do we need to expand our own oil exploration but continue to fast track alternative energy automobiles, solar power and whatever it takes to be independent of the oil producing nations. Also would like to see more media coverage of McCain, you would think only Obama is running for president . We need to hear from both candidates!

    June 23, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. Stephen

    McCain wants to debate with Obama so badly because thats the only way he can get in front of more than 20 people. Its like a 2nd rate golfer challenging Tiger Woods. What better way to get to the big dance? Enough with the old white haired boys club, lets mix it up America. Dare to make a change.

    June 23, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Marie in California

    Give me a break! We all change our minds and reverse decisions when circumstances warrant such changes. Now is such a time regarding drilling for oil. So McCain is right...and he's not a flip-flopper. He's just prudent and practical. Drilling is something that needs to be done, in conjunction with developing other energy alternatives.

    As for debating.....I see Obama trying to wiggle out of it every which way he can, even to suggesting he and McCain meet on July 4th when no one is home to see them! Obama knows he's "speechless" without his teleprompter. He has nothing to say unless it's scripted, and he does it best in "American Idol" fashion in a stadium filled with naive young people. Hillary trounced all over him in the primary debates and he knows it....and he's running scared on this one.

    If not Hillary.....then McCain – 2008.

    June 23, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Honest & Honorable Democrats


    US Oil Companies already have drilling rights off shore that are not being used.

    So don't believe it when the GOP says that the solution lies in drilling offshore. We could do that now. It's not a solution to the $5 gasoline of this fall.

    John McCain .... so much experience ... so little intellect.

    June 23, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. fixed for Obama

    It is funny how Obama thinks any true democrat will vote for him having watched how he trashed Hillary out of the game.

    He played the race card then as now, to secure a win. He lies on the issues and on the positions of his opponents. He runs a slick and sleazy clever propaganda campaign. He owns the press and media – just like every dictator before him. He brainwashes and manipulates the young and the naive.

    MOST Americans will not vote for a selected and installed nominee.

    They will remember the treachery and betrayal and how their votes were disenfranchised. They will be true to self and country before being loyal to a corrupt party that fixed the primary for Obama.

    June 23, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Big Hypocrit

    Worse flip-flopper of all? OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 23, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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