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.