Carney backpedals on Gingrich slam
March 13th, 2012
04:55 PM ET
6 years ago

Carney backpedals on Gingrich slam

Washington (CNN) – On Monday White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said any politician who claimed they could guarantee $2.50 a gallon gasoline would be "lying." There is only one Republican presidential candidate – Newt Gingrich – who has made headlines calling for exactly that.

On Tuesday, the president's spokesman walked back the impolitic language.

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"It is a fallacy, as I said yesterday, to suggest that there's some three-point plan or five-point plan out there that could magically, if you wave a wand, reduce the price that Americans are paying per gallon of gas," Carney told reporters. "I said yesterday that anybody who said that would be a liar. And I shouldn't have gone on motivations. I should have said that anybody who says that doesn't know what he's talking about."

On Monday, Carney said:

"What he [Obama] is not willing to do is to look the American people in the eye and claim that there is a strategy by which he can guarantee the price of gas will be $2.50 at the pump. Any politician who does that is lying, because it just - that strategy does not exist. It is a simple fact that there is no such plan that can guarantee the price of oil or the price at the pump."

In a statement released after Tuesday's White House briefing, Gingrich Communications Director Joe DeSantis called the Obama administration incompetent in dealing with economic issues.

"The idea of this administration, which has brought us a failed stimulus, boondoggles like Solyndra, $5 gasoline and record budget deficits, lecturing anyone on economics, would be funny if their utter incompetence weren't so painful for the American people."

The Gingrich camp says that $2.50 a gallon for gasoline is possible if domestic oil production increases.

"Newt's bold plan to maximize American energy production has the White House rattled because it exposes just how dramatically out of sync the president's hard-left energy policies are with the vast majority of the American people. $2.50 gasoline is achievable and drilling here, drilling now so we can pay less and be independent of Middle East oil is just common sense," DeSantis added.

The president has touted success in increasing domestic oil production and decreasing dependency on foreign oil.

"Oil production here in the United States is higher than it's been in about the past 8 years so we're making progress on both the production front and becoming more efficient as an economy but obviously that's not providing the kind of relief people are looking for at the gas pump," Obama told CNN affiliate KCNC in an interview Monday.

Filed under: 2012 • Jay Carney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Why backpedal? The newterman, and before him the MN flake, were promising the same lies. The president, doesn't matter who he is or what party, DOES NOT SET OIL PRICES!!!
    These clowns lie about everything. Call them out on it and stick to your, I was going to say guns, but that is so rethug!

    March 13, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. Name

    I can guarantee control of speculators with one stroke of the prez's pen. NO Speculation on Margin , 100% of the CASH up front ONLY.

    March 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. bill

    I am a dumb democrat. However, when President Bush left office gasoline was $1.89 for 87% octane in MD.

    March 13, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |

    If Newty REALLY had a plan to get $2.50 gas why isn't he sharing it with the American people NOW. It just shows that either there is no such real plan, or that he doesn't really care about the American enough to help them out Now, or he's holding the American people hostage by claiming that he will share this plan ONLY if he's elected, otherwise we have to suffer through this cycle of high gas prices. The price will come down again and the price will go up again as long we depend on oil. Newt's other flaw in his thinking is that he claims the price will go down when we get our own gas flowing. To start with every gallon that we pump out of our ground does NOT stay here, period. It all goes onto the world market, that's where all oil goes and any company or country can buy it. The small amount of our reserves compared to the rest of the world would hardly make a dent in the oil market. Now the ONLY way Newty can keep our oil in our country is to nationalize the oil companies, in other words take over the oil companies in order to keep our oil here instead of in the free market, is that Newty wants??? So you can be polite and say he mis-spoke or you couls say he's a liar. It's really all the same isn't it.

    March 13, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    No need to apologize, because anyone with a working brain KNOWS that Gingrich is lying.

    Sorry you righties can't handle the truth ...

    March 13, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    why don't they go GOOGLE "what Republicans said about gas prices in 2008" especially that bunch on FoxNews falling all over themselves to defend then President Bush on it. Of course that falls into the GOP mantra of "that was THEN, this is NOW"

    March 13, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    @Truth and yada yada: President Obama has no control over gas prices – which means Gingrich wouldn't either if (God forbid!) he were ever POTUS.

    Don't believe me? Just check out Fox May 23, 2008 (and other broadcasts March-August 2008) and see the number of talking heads (Cavuto, O'Reilly, etc.) say how the president (then GW Bush) has no control or influence over the price of gas.

    BTW, in July 2008, two oilmen, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, ran the government and gasoline prices surged to $4.27 a gallon, the highest price since 1972.

    March 13, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  8. roro

    Why is it the people in government and the press cannot call a lie a lie? Instead they call it spin. People know a lie when they hear it no matter what you want to call it, and I've heard plenty of lies from the people running for office.

    March 13, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. lensmith

    I am not sure what the issue is here. Gingrich made a statement that was not true, since he has no control over gas prices. So be it. And, frankly, I find it wrong that the things they i.e. Gingrich camp, say about the President to be out and out lies. The economy could be a lot better, but I believe this President has done a lot to make it better each day. He is a man for all Americans, not just a few. I very good President.

    March 13, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    I was wrong for everything I have said. Domestic oil production is up (on private lands), but the lands that the Obama administration is in charge of (federal lands) has actually decreased in oil production.

    I was wrong to be so harsh Bush, for the atrocities of Abu Ghraib, but gave Obama a pass on the atrocities being committed in Afghanistan.

    Obama is not the danger to this country. The danger lies in the fact that an entire nation of people was dumb enough to elect him.

    March 13, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  11. Bessy

    Let's stop with the " politically correct " nonsense. A liar is a liar and lets call it like it is.

    March 13, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. TB/WA

    Newt's all talk. $2.50 gasoline just isn't possible. Americans are smart enough to know that. Gasoline is a world commodity not something that the GOP can control at their beck and call. Besides, if it was possible why isn't Newt sharing his plan with the naysayers in DC now? I'm sure Boehner and Cantor would love to know the secret!

    March 13, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. w l jones

    It would be as easy to get " GAS" price back down to .15 cent a gallon all we old time remember as would be $2.50 cent on world market today. Bless.

    March 13, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  14. TomNPitt

    Gas was at the highest price under "W". In the pre-election run up, he said he'd call Saudi Arabia and just Tell Them to pump more oil to solve all of our shortages. After that gas went in to the mid four dallar plus per gallon range.
    Funny when Republicans just say stuff.Like nobody remembers anything!

    March 13, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  15. Doh

    Newt is a prolific liar. Period. No need to back off.

    March 13, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    As the housing market collapsed, the right said that bankruptcies should "run their course" because was the market solution. They said GM should have been allowed to go under because it was the market solution. Every economic misfortune that applies to someone else is just tough luck and a market correction. Folks, the price of gas is currently driven by the price of oil, which is driven by significant increases in demand by China, India, and a few others, including the US, as it recovers from the recession. This is also a market correction, but this time it affects them personally. Therefore, it is all Obama's fault and should be immediately corrected by massive government intervention into the markets. Funny how that works.

    March 13, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  17. NotaCommiebut....

    There is exactly one way that the US government can make gasoline $2.50 per gallon.

    Nationalize the oil companies, and since they are owned by the government, they can set the price to whatever they want. Heck, they can make it $1.00

    But when an oil company can sell its oil on the world market at $100 per barrel or more, why would they choose to lose money selling it for less, to get your price at the pump low? Thats not in the interest of the shareholders, so it would not happen. Increasing domestic production will make those oil companies lots of money, but it wont save you a dime.

    March 13, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
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