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. D

    Obama is right on this one. And this coming from a non supporter of Obama's. We need to lift the moratorium on drilling on our lands and seabed. We can also make oil from coal as this was done many years ago.......and would cost us today about $55/barrel of oil. I think Congress should PUT THIS COUNTRY FIRST for once. We can use this oil to increase our supply while at the same time giving this country TIME for an alternative fuel supply that will actually work, unlike the corn based ethanol that the Politicians so drastically PUSHED before looking and thinking of the consequences. Typical Poliiticians if you ask me. LET'S VOTE THEM ALL OUT, and VOTE IN THOSE THAT WILL ACTUALLY WORK FOR WE THE PEOPLE.

    April 30, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. Incoming Sniper Fire

    Today marked the 7-month that violence has escalated in Iraq! I guess the media isn't interested in that story. Today almost 500,000 plus U.S. Citizens have had to face home foreclosures. I guess the media isn't interested in that story as well. Today Iran put a halt to the sale of oil to the U.S. because they said the dollar is too weak. And Iran is also pressuring the OPEC nations to join them. I would've thought the media would think this story is important to U.S. citizens considering all the talk about oil tax and the economy in the upcoming summer months. This is what Sen. Obama is talking about when he points to the fact that in every election cycle the MSM and politicians engage in the body politic like some sporting event, instead of the life altering impact the wrong decisions have on this country and the rest of the world. It is very sad that the world is watching this nation become a shell of its promise of a true Democracy. They are looking at how MSM is hijacking the electoral process, along with bought and paid for politicians. It has to be quite perplexing to see CNN cover elections in Pakistan and critique the process, when they are part of the very problem why things don't change right here in this country.

    April 30, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. scott

    Ill take the break they will get my money for roads and bridges through my recent rise in tabs. and if they want more cash for roads stop making them look like they are made out of granet or limestone hills. stop paying all this money having people acess the roads and coming up with ideas like leave the road we will just put up a overpriced wall to block the sound. or make 2 lane roads into 1 just because. I lve 2 blocks from the Mpls. bridge that went down they happen to of been working on it when it went down. 9I FRANKLEY THINK IT HAD TO DO WITH THE REPARES. want money for roads quit spending it stupidly and give me alittle back now while they sit and figure out the long term fix.

    April 30, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  4. HillarySkank on myspace

    And now President Bush is thinking about following along in the ill advised McCain/Clinton "tax" holiday scheme. So what happens when the prices still go up and our highways don't get the repairs they need? We will pay higher taxes for the summer break.

    And what would Hillary say when this happens? Whoops, I mispoke again.

    April 30, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. John McHenry

    I'm a repulican and I favor Tax cut but this one is a gimmick, OBAMA is the best of the 3 Candidates on this tax holiday on gas.It will lead to nothing but increasing the pockets of the oil companies and leaving the country with a deficit in fixing the highways.
    Clinton should be 'Ashmed of herself 'borrowing themes from the GOP and she does not even believe in what she is promising. She will do anything; say anything to get elected and that is a shame. I will VOTE for the better Candidate with the right solutions but not a candiadte who wants to promise and say anything to be elected. Shame on You hillary. Learn to tell the TRUTH. I'm one republican who will tell the truth.

    April 30, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. phelgm

    to rescind the federal fuel tax. would increase demand with the remaining short supply. thereby increasing prices.

    the benefit of this gas holiday will be negligible to the consumer and detrimental to the government's future economic plan. but hey. you bleaters like it when the fat cats throw you a chew toy. why else would this country be so dangerously myopic.

    April 30, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. Dave, PA

    Funny that back in 2000, Obama was happy to vote for a gas tax holiday in Illinois.

    It obviously is not a solution to the gas problem but it wouldn't hurt. I think he needs to explain the difference in his thinking now versus then. The argument that it would cripple the highway construction budget is ridiculous.

    Without serious conservation, alternate fuels, and increased domestic oil production, the price of oil and gas will continue to rise.

    April 30, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. Tom

    Mr. Obama? Ask a trucker if he'll save just $30 in 3 months of work. Or anyone who delivers products or does a great deal of driving for a living. $30 my ***! At 18 cents/gallon, many truckers would save more than that at 2-3 fill ups!! You really don't have a clue do you?

    April 30, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. Michael Templer

    The fact is the fundamental demand for oil is up and the supply is about the same and most likely within a couple weeks of the tax holiday the prices will go up since we don't itemize the amount of taxes we pay on our gas receipts.

    if you don't cut the fundamental cost for oil or refining it or lower demand

    the gas prices will go right back up

    Why can't we buy that Iraqi Oil at cost

    why don't we buy the Iraqi oil at costs until the difference between the cost number and the market price

    equal the 2 trillion were going to spend on the war

    April 30, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. Chris in Va.

    Okay Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain, make it happen. You have 26 days until Memorial Day. Either you yourselves can make this happen or you are simply lying to the American people to get votes. It's up to you.

    April 30, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Ken in Western NY

    All you foolish people that think that this tax break on gasoline is a great idea – THINK AGAIN !!! Obama is the only candidate who is honest enough to tell us that it is a big mistake to do this. And it's not only Barack Obama who says it's a bad idea – a slew of economic professionals have come out to say how ridiculous this gas tax holiday is.

    Clinton and McCain are only trying to schmooze those voters who don't have the time, energy of smarts to think it through, and who think that this is going to bring them big-time savings. Guess what – it might save you $30 overall – not each time you fill up your tank.

    April 30, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. Liberty

    Repeal all taxes.. Income, Estate, property, sales, gas tax, luxury tax,
    Shut the government down and let us keep our money to use as we please. That will end the recession overnight. The politicians would have to get real jobs.

    April 30, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. RonM

    Obama should have also pointed out that 300,000 road construction jobs would be lost if the tax was waived for the summer (that was the estimate on CNN).

    As Bill Maher said when McCain proposed this "Grandpa is going to give you $5". Now he can add "Old Aunt Hill" to that.

    April 30, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. Lieutenant Colonel Fred


    Senator Obama will tell the American people what they NEED to KNOW.

    Unlike our other candidates who will tell you what you would LIKE to HEAR.

    Think about it.

    April 30, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  15. Jay


    How much are you going to save?

    3$ per fillup. THREE... DOLLARS...

    and then what happens? Ever head of supply and demand? we have a high demand and low supply = high prices. High prices are supposed to lower demand and reduce prices. If you lower the price while keeping demand and supply constant, demand will INCREASE and PRICES WILL INCREASE.


    You're being lied to. Think about it and vote Obama.

    He's genuine. This is proof; ask any economist.

    April 30, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  16. Chuck, Oregonians for Obama

    To save $50 a month on this gas tax plan, I would have to purchase 275 gallons of gas each month that would cost me $1043 per month. This is just an example of how silly that is. Reality: to have a savings of $15 each month you would have to purchase 82 gallons of gas which is just shy of the average monthly consumption of most Americans. Over a period of 4 months you would save enough to by one more take of gas providing gas remains at 3.67 a gallon. Rolling back the gas tax will take tons of money away from fixing our already completely messed up national highway system. I ask you if saving $15 per month for a 4 or 6 months is worth that? Maybe it is a savings for the truckers, but then again that savings will not effect the price at the grocery stores.

    April 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. CL

    Better the gas tax plan than nothing. Sort of like his speeches.

    April 30, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. atn

    Why is Obama against a plan very similiar to the one he just voted for-the stimulus plan. It too is a short term plan that was added to the deficit. If the tax plan is pandering, what was he doing when he voted for the stimulus plan?

    April 30, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. Jed in Texas

    Threaten to nationalize the oil companies and see how fast the prices drop.

    April 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. Cynthia

    Senator Obama tells it like it is. I wish voters would really listen to each of the candidates on the issues and research and ask someone if you don't know for sure. Politicians will tell you anything to get your vote.

    April 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  21. Sante

    (Please Post)

    I personally believe that the NObama/Wright controversy was staged.

    I believe that NObama used this farce as an opportunity to get on a platform and look emotional and apologetic to the American people.

    I believe that NObama knew that he was losing momentum and needed to appeal (emotional) to the country.

    NObama knew that he NEVER denounced himself from Wright, so he needed to try and do the right thing, to appeal to the Catholics, blue collar workers and white male voters that he was losing.

    NObama and Wright are like two peas in a pod, this was staged I say!!!

    Go Hillary!!!

    Don't buy into NObamas false beliefs, he's a wolf in sheeps clothing!

    Did anyone else believe that this could be?

    April 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. Penn State

    If the price of diesel fuel increases, the transportation cost for trucking companies increases. If the transportation cost of the trucking companies increase, the trucking company charges the manufactures more money to transport their goods. If the manufactures cost increase, they charge more money to the customer for their products such as milk, eggs, bread, cereal, etc. So, not only are we saving the cost for fuel, we are also saving ourselves the cost for other goods as well.

    Obama does not know what he is talking about. CNN, please post this because people need to know this. It is a very large cause and effect scenario.

    April 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  23. Jay

    "E. loz Miami April 30th, 2008 6:11 pm ET

    You know $25-$30may not mean much for millionare Senator Obama but it means a whole lot more to low income families & truck drivers.
    Besides, Clinton also shares the same long term solution but Obama seems not to care for a short term solution?
    Politics as usual-Obama is misleading the facts & THAT"S the truth."

    Clinton's are about 100 times richer than the Obama's

    ...So you think youre going to save 30$ a month? Wait a month later, you'll be spending the same amount as demand increases and prices go up without the tax. Meanwhile the bridge you've been driving over is crumbling.

    You want to save money? Get a bike. Walk. Take Public transport. Stop buying plasma televisions and read a book. There's a lot of things left to cut as far as costs go. If gas is your chief concern, you have a problem.

    April 30, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  24. Lieutenant Colonel Fred

    REPLY to K

    There is no short term solution, because if they implement the "short term fix", we will be paying the price in the LONG term.

    GOT IT!

    April 30, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  25. Aaron

    Obama's plan makes the most sense. We won't actually save at the pumps becuase the oil companies will just raise their prices.

    I also want to add that the two candidates that are for it are also deep in Oil Company PACs and lobbyists (conspiracy anyone?).

    We need a fix not a band-aid.

    As for Jay...first of all, as far as what can we do now, try carpooling, or public transportation.

    Secondly, when you ask a question you end it with either a question mark "?" or if you want a loud question you can mix you puncuation makrs "!?!". For example: "Why can't people see past Clinton's obvious pandering!?!"

    April 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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