April 30th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama ad criticizes gas tax plan

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/30/art.obamaad.cnn.jpg caption=" Obama is up with a new ad in Indiana and North Carolina."]
(CNN) - Less than a day after Hillary Clinton’s campaign debuted an ad that attacked Barack Obama for opposing a gas tax holiday, the Illinois senator’s campaign unveiled a new 60-second spot that dubs the idea an ineffective quick fix.

The ad, titled “Truth” will run in both Indiana and North Carolina, where voters head to the polls May 6. Both Democratic presidential hopefuls have spent the week sparring over the proposal – Obama calls the idea a gimmick; Clinton says it is necessary to give consumers immediate relief from soaring fuel costs.

In the spot, Obama calls for an investigation of the nation’s oil companies for price gouging – a position shared by Clinton - and says Congress should adopt a long-term energy strategy that includes higher fuel efficiency standards and a greater investment in alternative fuels.

“We could suspend the gas tax for 6 months, but that’s not going to bring down gas prices long-term. You’re gonna save about 25, 30 dollars…or half a tank of gas,” he says. “That’s typical of how Washington works. There’s a problem, everybody’s upset about gas prices – let’s find some short-term, quick-fix, that we can say we did something even though, even though we’re not really doing anything.”

(Full script after the jump)

“Truth,” 60 seconds


Barack Obama: “I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message.

“I’m here to tell you the truth.

“We could suspend the gas tax for 6 months, but that’s not going to bring down gas prices long-term. You’re gonna save about 25, 30 dollars…or half a tank of gas.

“That’s typical of how Washington works. There’s a problem, everybody’s upset about gas prices – let’s find some short-term, quick-fix, that we can say we did something even though, even though we’re not really doing anything.

“We cannot deliver on a better energy policy unless we change how business is done in Washington.

“We’ve got to go out to the oil companies and look at their price-gouging.”

“We’ve got to start using less oil and that means raising fuel efficiency standards on cars and developing alternative fuels.

“That’s the real honest answer to how we’re going to solve this problem. That’s what you need from a President someone who’s going to tell you the truth.”

soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Glen,Ind

    The only real Democrat in this election is Barck Obama. I see Hillary jump train along with John McCain to bash Obama. Now the experts say that Holiday tax plan is whack! Hillary Clinton is a vote monger. Will say anything to get a vote.

    Obama 08!!!!!!

    April 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Leo in Nevada

    Hillary's gas tax plan is only "one" short term solution to help people now. It is a small part in her over all plan to reduce dependence on oil. I do not think Obama's ad is being truthful about things. Unlike Hillary, Obama likes to talk about abstracts and not the specifics. He does not have a short term solution to deal with the problems of now. Do we want this in a president? The man does not understand how to solve problems with both short term and long term solutions. But I applaud him for going negative, it may help with with the "bitter" Rev Write issue we should be talking about.

    April 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. Mk

    How can Hillary implement a "policy" this summer.
    She isn't even the chosen candidate.
    Yet she proposes this like she will somehow have the ability to make it happen. PANDER PANDER PANDER.

    Why not ask her about the factory her husband allowed to be sold to China? Thats NEWS

    April 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  4. Paris

    All I hear from this man is nag, nag , nag and nag.
    Do you have a better idea, bring it on.
    Stop complaining and be part of the solution.

    April 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  5. Susan

    I agree that it won't be a long term solution and we need to attack the problem on many fronts. However, I do think it would be a good short term psychological boost and economic incentive. Personally I work in the tourism industry heavily slanted toward the summer months. We are very worried about our business this upcoming season, and this oil tax relief would be very welcomed.

    April 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. Jose

    Gas prices are governed by supply and demand, if gas tax is removed demand is going to go up. In the long run this will cause gas prices to increase even more. You will save $30 now so that you can pay it back double later.

    Not to mention both McCain and Hillary neglect to inform the public that the gas tax pays for roads.

    For those looking for instant help me now strategies here are a few:

    1) Car pool
    2) Invest in a bicycle
    3) Use public transportation
    4) Go easy on air conditioning this summer
    5) Switch to energy saver light bulbs.

    If you truly believe that removing the gas tax is beneficial then you need to reevaluate what you know about it. Taxes aren't placed on things just to annoy people, they are there to pay for goods.

    April 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  7. @americans

    How can Hillarious be proposing a gas tax plan she rejected a while back?!
    To save americans $10 dollars then slam us with higher gas prices – Bill Clinton just said higher gas prices are here to stay FOREVER

    same way she rejected Michigan and Florida votes, but now wants it to be seated!

    Hillarious wants it both ways!

    sorry lady, you can't eat your cake and have it too!

    VOTE OBAMA!!!!

    April 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. Tea Party

    Folks, the Minneapolis I-35 bridge collapse had nothing to do with the amount of money dedicated to infrastructure. The collapse was due to a design flaw that was drawn into the blueprints way before the first batch of concrete was ever poured.

    The fact remains that government, federal, state and local, ALL benefit entirely too much off the sale of gasoline. Government(s) earn nearly as much, if not more, than the oil industry themselves... and for government, it's ALLLLLLLL profit, since they had zero expense involved in making that "profit." They just stuck out their greedy Big GubMint hands (read "taxes") and said, "Fill er up." (Remember that war we had about 250 years ago... I believe there was a tax issue regarding that as well...)

    April 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  9. rhonimus

    Senator Obama stated he voted for the gas tax in the past. When the measure came back around he decided to vote it down because it did not make a difference. Do your research people.

    April 30, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. DA



    McCain and Clinton are pandering to what you want to hear. Neither one of them are not going to be able to help you with gas prices right now. How stupid can people be jeez!!!

    They are not able to help you because they are not in the office to do anything about it. Who you need to turn anger to is Bush!!!

    Bush and Chaney have influence with OPEC and do let them fool you!!! We protect and give to much to many of the folks that are a part of OPEC!!!

    So, please don't fall for the pandering for your vote that McCain and Clinton are giving you right now. Because they can't do a darn thing about it!!!
    Folks stop being so DARN STUPID!! JEEZ!!!

    April 30, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. aware

    Why did you do it in your home state? At least Hillary is paying for it! 🙂

    April 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. Dick in Sioux Falls

    Anyone who doesn't see the Clinton-McCain proposal to have a short vacation from the Federal Gas Tax is simply not paying attention. We don't need $10 a month for the average auto owner. We need a cut in Income Taxes for anyone making less than $50,000 a year, and a recovery of the Progressive Income Tax on wealthier AMericans! That's not short term, it's a return to being a Democracy again, a Democracy we lost when Reagan dropped the income tax rate from 70% on income over $400,000 to 28% on income over $29,750.; the drop financed by heading headlong into spiraling Federal Debt!

    April 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. Jean

    Obama is right, Holiday tax cut...How dumb can them two get. Cut the tax no road work no job...More of Hilly Silly's thinking. And McBrain

    April 30, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. walt ohio

    Sharon of Minnesota, boy are you brainwashed. I hope by supporting Hillary to save your $30.00, you hit every pot hole on the lousy roads in your State. Hillary and McSame only PANDER to people like you that have no common sense. Your 30 bucks will be tripled in the price of gasoline. Do you really think Hillary or Mctraitor want to lose their money on their investment in the oil market? $30 bucks don't buy many groceries with the high prices that stem from the lousy job that Clinton and McCain, with all their senate experience, have done so far.

    April 30, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. Albert Jones

    They made a mistake in the ad. They should have made clear that it will save you up to $30, over SIX MONTHS.

    April 30, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. Deb, IN

    Indiana suspended the state gas tax one year and I thought it was a good decision. The money I save could pay 3 months worth of water bills in my household.

    April 30, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. SLO Bear

    We've already had "the decider"; Clinton talks about action, and a general says that she'll "pull the trigger; what we really need is judgment and honesty–Obama '08.

    April 30, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  18. Dave W.

    Clintons plan would only see the oil companies raise the price again to make up for the amount Clinton is going to take awat from them. Everyone else can see it except the Clinton supporters.

    April 30, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. Tell the truth

    People do not like to hear the truth. Obama is willing to tell American people the truth. I do not know if that wil be his down fall. Thanks Obama for telling the truth. I understand but do not know if other people understand.

    April 30, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Ken in Western NY,

    Yes you are perfectly correct! That stupid saving, of about $30 over the summer, will take away more than $1billion in the maintenance of roads, highways, bridges, you name it. It will also take away over 300,000 jobs (the people who are responsible for taking care of these projects) and it WILL drive up the price of gas, because people will tend to drive more, this will create higher demand relative to supply.
    This is just a stupid short term band aid, it just sounds good to people who just see a couple $ in savings. Clinton and McCain are just taking advantage of those people who really cannot grasp these concepts. Sen. Obama is right, you have to look to long term changes. I hope the American people will open their eyes and realize that McCain and Clinton are both dead wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 30, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Lynn in Iowa

    Obama is right, Clinton is wrong. Period. Tell Minneapolis citizens that we need to suspend the gas tax while they try to replace (not merely repair) a major bridge. As pointed out in earlier posts, it is truly nice to have a candidate treat us like adults, tell the truth, and be upfront to us. Clinton is just another politician saying what she needs to get a vote, hoping that we are all truly uneducated like she thinks we are.

    April 30, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  22. America for Obama


    April 30, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  23. NickNas

    Finally a leader who tells the TRUTH and just not what people want to hear so they can REALLY get what they want.....POWER!!!!

    April 30, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  24. Joseph

    Gas tax suspensions DO NOT WORK!

    Oil companies cannot raise their supply fast enough to meet the increased demand so the price of gas increases to right about what it is without the tax cut. So who benefits from the tax cut?


    Illinois experimented with this a couple of years ago. Our roads are a disaster due to the tax dollars lost that would have gone to maintain them.

    If you want relief to your gasoline bill, carpool, ride a bike, take a train/bus, walk, in other words, DRIVE LESS. Sure a lot of driving can't be avoided, but I bet a significant portion of the driving that a lot of do would be considered voluntary or not necessary.

    This is just pandering on Clinton's and McCain's part to get them through an election not get you through the summer.

    April 30, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. Dusacre

    Very good Obama, this is an excellent ad. Stick to the truth no matter what. American people are smart and good. All will be well at the end.

    April 30, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
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