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. JJ

    Agree Carlos. Offshore drilling is not the answer. We may not see benefits from this until 2017. What good is that going to do for us right now? NOTHING!!!!!!!! This is just another poltical gimmick. Don't get sucked in!

    June 23, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. voter

    I find it interesting that people continue to say that Obama is a flip flopper but ignore McCain's flip flop. Projection anyone. the truth is that McCain is no maverick. This is not 2000, but 2008. It is two different people. He has flip flopped on immigration, off shore drilling, tax cut, etc. what does it stand for? Second, pointing out the differences with your opponent is not attacking. It is called stating fact. What do people expect Obama to do, not say anything and allow McCain to continue his lies. Attack is when he says something about his opponents character which he has not. UnlikeMcCain he constantly attacks Obama's character.Third, McCain has not responded to Obama's request to have two debates prior to the convention. Yet McCain says Obama is refusing the debate. sure try responding to him first McCain.

    June 23, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. demwit

    Not drilling is the answer to increased oil supplies!

    If that's what Obama says, then that's that!!

    June 23, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. benvictor

    Biden announded he was willing to be VP in order to bring national security experience to the ticket and basically plug the existing gap on that issue. How many other plugs are needed to fill the gaps or voids on all the other issues? What if these plugs fail, who is in charge and accountable to the people? There is no substitue for experience and a record of accomplishment from long and dedicated service to this country.

    June 23, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Jerry D

    Let's think about this for a second. When Hilary wanted to have a tax holiday, Obama siad that was only a short term solution, and what we need is a long term solution. When McCain wants to permit more drilling, Obama criticizes becuase its effect won't be felt for a couple years.

    Does anyone else see the hypocrisy here?

    June 23, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    We have been trying to get alternative fuels for over 40 years and nothing has been found to be as efficient and cheap as oil. They need to scrap the alternatives as being able to replace oil and just use them to reduce oil consumption until something new can be developed. The enviromentalist extremist killed nuclear power while the rest of Europe and Japan embraced it. I worked with it for 20 years in the Navy and got less exposure in a month than someone spending a week at the beach in Florida. Regulation has reduced every increase in gas milage that automakers have made. Look at the Honda CRX from 20 years ago that got 57 mpg. Due to emmissions and safety regulations the same car would get 47 mpg. Drilling would help prevent gas prices in the future from getting rediculously high since we will control our own fate not the democrates friends in the Middle East and Venezuala/Mexico.

    June 23, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. kyle

    lisa-
    there is a diference between criticizing someone's policies and running a negative campaign. obama pointing out that he does not agree with mccains stance is not negative campaigning. it's simple and legit. if he were to bring up how mccain treats women that would be negative campaigning.

    rachel-
    obama WILL debate mccain. both candidates had already booked campaign events when mccain challenged obama. mccain knew obama would have to turn them down but did it anyways as an attempt to make obama look like he's afraid to debate. when they do finally debate you'll see that obama was certainly not afriad and show mccain as the weak candidate that he is.

    June 23, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Ian

    Obama asked to debate McCain, but McCain said "wah wah no no no I want it MY way!" and Obama said "nope too bad." They'll still debate three times in Sept and Oct.

    June 23, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Jaime

    Leslie Sanchez has no clue and continues to speak from self hatred. How does a retarded woman like that gets on the air and speaks out of ther butt?

    No entiendo.

    June 23, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Democraps

    To Political Teen

    Here is a thought ,untill you actually have to support yourself lets keep our childish views to ourself. I understand you are immature and very impressionable but please lets leave the decision to the adults

    June 23, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. KIKI

    So suprise why some calling Obama a Filp – Floper. I feel so sorry for you all. If you can't see or realise by now that electing McSame mean more trouble for your pocket, your children future, your security here at home or abroad then you need to go back to school and learn about the world.
    I'm realising why Bush won twice.
    Is lack of travelling is synonym to lack of knowledge?
    The real problem we having now is our isalation and not willing to colaborate with other countries in a global economy.
    We always think we are the best and not willing to know what others are doing and how it can affect us and when we start to get in trouble the media fail to tell the real truth.
    We letting China cutting economical deals with other countries for their own groth and what are we doing here: we criticizing candidates for their faith, religion, race and some other bulls***t.
    I see more trouble ahead if we don't act now

    June 23, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. Hill is the nominee

    Obama has lied so many times that no one even listens to this so-full-of-himself imposter who stole the nomination for HRC.

    June 23, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Donna Canadian Observer

    MAKING SENSE OF NO SENSE

    The stats show that america, in the 70's imported 30 percent of their oil now its over 60 percent.
    Apparently America does not want to use its own resourses.
    The experts say America has more oil under it than Saudi Arabia, under the rockies and in Alaska.
    It seems to me that people don't understand that Opec has you by the short and curly's.
    It is not a long term fix, but It makes sense to me to use what you have and use a large part of the money from it to explore alternate energy. There is no reason why both can't be done.
    Drill for the short term and invest that drilling into alternate energy for the long term.
    And even though you won't have oil from the new drilling for a few years just the fact that you are talking about it in a serious manner gets the Arabs scared enough to lower their prices in hopes that you'll still be their best customer. As has been in the news now Opec is talking abpout increasing the supply.

    June 23, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Cathy

    The had the meeting this weekend because the Saudi's realized people are driving less because of high gas prices all over the world. Therefore, they are worried that people will permanently drive less and find other sources of energy, which will cut into the Saudi's money. We need to stop depending on oil and invest in renewable and alternative sources for energy.

    The off-shore drilling will not help at all on a short term level and will only have a minimal minimal effect, if any, in 8-10 years. Then after that oil runs out...then what??? We will be in the same place we are now.

    The damage to the environment is not worth the disadvantage of off-shore drilling.

    Stop making promises just to get elected....we need long term solutions!!!!

    June 23, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. therealist

    "the same, tired Washington gimmicks and special interest favors that have failed our families and country for too long,"

    Errrr..., isn't this exactly what Obama is proposing!?

    June 23, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. Luciann

    How typical of a bomber pilot~ "Hit and Run"...... Not a very good sign for a leader, John McShame!!

    June 23, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. jeff

    Obama talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk! Obama critizes McCain but Obama never says what he will do. What is this change he's talking about? Talks cheap Obama! The sorry state our nation is in demands a leader with experience, NOT someone who is going to get on the job training. And who do you think will be training him??????exactly......Washington politicians!

    June 23, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    McCain is a liar and a cheat! Every energy expert has stated that it will take about 10 years for any new drilling to affect prices. McCain is doing just fine debating himself on every issue.

    Aside from the GOP trolls who continue to claim they are Hillary supporters the party has come together, every new poll indicates that Obama is getting about 80% support from Democrats which is about normal in every cycle.

    June 23, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. getaclue

    McCain is a liar and a cheat! Every energy expert has stated that it will take about 10 years for any new drilling to affect prices. McCain is doing just fine debating himself on every issue.

    Aside from the GOP trolls who continue to claim they are Hillary supporters the party has come together, every new poll indicates that Obama is getting about 80% support from Democrats which is about normal in every cycle.

    June 23, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Fernandez

    What is Barack's energy policy?. He has none.

    June 23, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Carly Florina knows nothing about "a barrel of oil" and is way out of her arena. Ms. Florina was fired from a company that had nothing to do with oil, boy John McCain must be desperate and Ms. Florina is still angry about her firing.

    June 23, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. D Laney

    From the comments here it's clear that we are focusing on the wrong issue , people. This is not a black and white flip flop issue, we are talking about real energy policy change vs. gimmicks that actually further empower the oil companies and leave us high and dry.

    Fact 1 : If we remove the ban on drilling and started opening leases and drilling again, no new oil would be available for approx. a decade.

    Fact 2 : The oil companies already have lease to 70 MILLION OPEN ACRES in the ocean that they don't currently drill on now.... Why? Why should they when they have 40 billion annual earnings?

    Think about it people! This is NOT the solution, Obama is right!

    June 23, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. Enlightened Voter -

    It is obvious the repubs hired bloggers to work day and night and flood the blogs. But it won't work cause only evil, demented, ignorant people could ever support the repug party or john mcwar.

    June 23, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. PANDERERER

    Obama has no room to talk... for someone with no record of doing anything at all... and never risking to take a stand... He has already changed on all of his campaign promises.

    He is now for NAFTA, for preconditions when talking to terrorists, against public financing and against his good friend Rev Wright.

    But still NOT for UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

    BRING BACK HILLARY OR LOSE IN NOV

    June 23, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. EDW

    McCain has flip-flopped on the drilling issue, immigration, etc. There is documented proof that he has.

    June 23, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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