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. sacto joe

    Clinton is pandering to the public. The truth is, there are no simple answers to this problem. 18 cents on the gallon (the total fed tax) is peanuts!
    I'm tired of watching people drive Hummers at 70 mph!
    We need a national gas card that prices gas on the basis of your income and rations it on the basis of your need!

    April 30, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. Venus

    Thank you Obama!

    Obama for President!

    April 30, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. steve

    People fail to listen. Clinton said she would pay for the gas-holiday with a windfall tax on the oil companies. The hatred towards this lady knows no bounds on the Internet. She is the most qualitifed candidate (and yes she has her big share of skeletons). Let's have the country run by a rookie.

    April 30, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. GoHillary

    We aren't interested in your SOCIALIST policies OB.

    Hillary, please put this joker away – he's just a drop in the ocean.

    April 30, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. Johnny

    You're kidding yourself if you think $20 or $30 dollars over 3 months is going to make much of a difference in ANYONE'S pocketbook. And guess what, you're not even going to get that. As noted above when demand increases from the tax cut the price will jump even more, ending all benefits of the cut. The only ones who will really benefit is the oil companies.

    Taxing their profits won't solve anything either, they'll just jack up the prices even further to recover their loses.

    Get a clue, Clinton and McCain supporters.

    April 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. melikeyhill

    Obama treats Americans like real people and grown ups, no more lies, its time to change Washington, obama 08!

    April 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |

    People.....you will save a total of $30 for a WHOLE 4 months total.

    GOSH...will people belive anything a Clinton says. That 9-10cents will only save you $25-30 total. Clinton fans we know you are special and you might need some help. The information below will help you understand why college grads are voting for Obama.

    $25 divided by 3months = (estimated)$7.30 a month (SAVED)
    $7.30 diveded by 4 weeks = (estimated)$1.82 a week (SAVED)


    April 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  8. Lieutenant Colonel Fred

    REPLY for Sharon Minnesota and others who think like she does:



    Senator Obama is being Honest with you people...you really need to pay attention.

    April 30, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. Dusacre

    Is Clinton doing us a favor? Let see:

    Yes you may save $25.00 or $30.00 on gas, but as a result and at the same time for the entire country will be short by $12 Billions dollars, this is the money needed to repair high ways, roads, and bridges and in addition about 351,000 lost jobs, these are the people whose works depend of fixing our roads, high-ways, and bridges or the people who work. Now the government will take money from somewhere (loan from China maybe) to pay for jobless compensation to the new 351,000 families.

    God forbid your car breaks on the road because of bad roads or bad high way or a collapsed bridge. How much will you pay to fix your car. I bet more than $25.00 or $30.00. At the end how much have you as individual saved? How much have the 351,000 people who will lost their jobs save? How much will society as a whole save when we eventually pay back the loan to china or to whomever the government end up borrowing money from?

    Money will come from the tax of the oil companies? No, the oil companies will raise the gas price and we will end up paying the oil companies the money they need to pay tax. So at the end we are the very people who will pay for that so call $25.00 or $30.00.

    At the end we are worse off than we started; not only you don’t save, but we have bad roads, bad high ways, bad bridges, 351,000 jobs lost, and some will have additional cost to repair their cars.

    This is the reason I don’t like the Clintons: they are smart and highly educated, but they use their intelligence to trick people and appear good to the very people they are taking advantage.

    April 30, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. The Dude

    We have the technology to have cars getting as much as 100 MPG, but BIG OIL buys up the pattents and they never see the light of day! Sen. Obama is absolutely 100% correct. It's time the American people stand up and say NO MORE!

    Research the Tesla Rod – Free energy!

    Go rent "How They Killed The Electric Car"

    Seriously, you guys, no matter who you support in this race, we need to come together and not stand for this treatment. These guys need to be held accountable for their actions.

    Common Sense '08!

    April 30, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. Neutral

    A lot of you do NOT read. Gas tax will be taken from the windfall of oil companies, every profit they make for 6 months will be taxed much higher than they usually get so the American people can have a break from paying almost $4.00/gallon. You all listen to Obama, the man don't have any plan at all!

    I thought you koolaid drinkers are "educated".........NOT!

    April 30, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  12. Jo

    Ken - we have people in our country that have to drive to work. When they have kids, a mortage, medical bills, and insurance to pay - a few dollars a fill up will help. We have people choosing between gas and medicine and gas and food. Hillary plans to work for alternate fuel sources and help minimize some of the pain Americans feel when they go to the pump. Obama jumps on one small part of her plan and stages an attack so that uninformed voters will be misdirected. He is the "spin doctor." Hillary is for real. My votes is for her.

    April 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. ...


    You can't just have a magic solution thats going to fix things immediately, plans like that do not work would you rather have an extra 10 dollars a month for three months or get a permanent fix

    April 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Neutral


    Darn! Koolaid drinkers, you all suck in MATH! No wonder its easy for Obambi to hoodwinked and bamboozled you! BWAHAHAHAHAH!

    April 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. Cathy

    If Senators Clinton and McCain want to disagree with Senator Obama and virtually every reputable economist on the issue of a gas tax holiday, that is certainly their right. But if they are making this argument out of conviction rather than as a political gimmick, why don't they get back to Washington and do what senators are supposed to do: introduce legislation to implement what they propose on the stump?

    April 30, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. Richenel ( The Netherlands, EU)

    It is very curious to see a big difference between the knowledge and intelligence of Obama supporters and Clinton/ McCain supporters.

    For months i am watching the comments on articles here on CNN. For example this one..... every well educated person knows that the focus on low prices for just three months will end up in a high demand, more costs for oil companies and even higher prices after that season.

    And what about the environment?? Obama seems to be the only one who cares about it.

    It is very obvious to me that both Clinton and Mc Cain are trying to get votes by choosing not very realistic solutions.

    I hope that both Clinton and McCain supporters will think more about their solutions in a critical way. Perhaps they will awake and choose for the more longterm and better solutions.

    April 30, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  17. GL

    Amazing how little homework the people of this country actually do. Thanks to our 30 second clip media, they've managed to train an entire generation of Americans to have the attention span of a gnat. And with that were left with Hillary still running and the possibilty of McCain winning.. How sad for all of us. We deserve to be paying $8.00 a gallon.

    There are no quick fixes. Repealing the gas tax for a short term is not a solution. Will cause reprehesible damage to the long term that will result in $8.00 a gallon. Bio fuels aren't the answer either. At least from corn or sugar cane. Why do you think your food bills went up so much this past year? You don't think diverting tons of corn to a worthless process of creating biofuel didn't have anything to do with that? Currently the only viable crop worth converting into biofuel is sugar cane. How much of the Amazon needs to be cut down to supply the US with enough sugar cane to even make a dent in the fuel prices? What do we about global warming once the rain forrest is gone? Won't matter, we'll all be dead at that point.

    You see all of these issues (jobs, taxes, biofuels, global warming, gas prices, food prices, etc. etc.) are all interrelated. You cannot fix any of them simply focusing in on one of them. Certainly not by repealing a gas tax for 3 months. Each of them looked at separately right now, only causes greater problems downstream.

    There is no way that McCain can navagate these interconnections, he can't even decipher who's fighting who in his parties war in Iraq. No way Clinton can find solutions and be "ready on day one" to face these issues, she's too busy with 3am phone calls and taking roll call at Trinity Baptist.

    Our only hope is for CHANGE. Drastictic change to the entire system. That change starts with Obama. It only takes affect when each of us realize that we too have to change, rather than expecting everyone around us too. Time to take some ownership and some responsibility for the mess we are in rather than tring to find someone to blame. The oil companies are not to blame for this 100%... currently they are the beneficiaries of the climate we've allowed Bush & Washington DC to create for them.

    Wake up people.
    Do your homework.
    Stop commuting in SUV's.

    Obama '08

    April 30, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. Sinbad

    This 'tax holliday' is reminscent of the 'bank holliday' by Pres. Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression. If you pacify the publics worst fears than you've accomplished something...you have fooled them into thinking that you have solved a problem.
    Wasn't it last year a bill was proposed to raise the taxes on oil companies? Wasn't it our own government that pleaded with Americans not to vote for it? So why is Hillary expecting her proposal to be successful this time? I'm trying to stay open to each candidates ideas, but there IS NO quick fix. ANY SOLUTION MUST be a longterm solution, just as it took time for us to get into this situation.

    April 30, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Tony, Miami


    Do you know why this silence? Can't ask you if u r one of the high school drop out

    April 30, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. reality check

    well hes a flip flop

    "Obama voted three times for a tax holiday when he was in the Illinois legislature. Legislators were responding in 2000 to gas reaching $2 a gallon in the Chicago area."

    April 30, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  21. jd

    OBAMA IS HONEST TO SAY WE WILL SAVE VERY LITTLE. BELIEVE ME I DID THE MATH! Thank you Sen. Obama for being truthful. After all who can trust Billary, remember the Bosnia Lie. OBAMA /08

    April 30, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. Steve

    Why can't we have it both ways and Re-instate regulation on the OIL CO.s other Country's do it .
    But then 30 other country's have 100% of there peolpe covered with health Care
    17 other countries Rank higher in education
    5 other countries pay for state run College Edu.
    I can Go ON & ON
    I Love this Country but we seem to going Backwards for most Americans will I Travel up & down the East Coast

    April 30, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. Brian

    Yes, better efficiency!

    April 30, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. Read the Facts

    Hillary wants to tax the oil companies so the funds do not come out of transportation. Please... read the info in its entirety before you yet again write vicious words about her. Go Hillary!

    April 30, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  25. Dal

    tax is 18 cents a gallon.
    10 gallon tank = $1.80 saved per tank full
    4 fills of gas per month = $7.20 a month.
    6 month short term = $43.20 for six months
    12 month saving will be a whopping $86.40.
    At this saving you will be able to eat a $1.00 burger from McD a week plus 80 cent fries.

    Hillary have save you what? Think and do the math don't depend upon HRC's New Fuzzy Math.

    April 30, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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