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. Nick Mann

    Obama has never seen a tax that he does not love. His pro-tax record speaks for itself. For those of you that think he will only tax the "rich"........your drinking the KOOLAID.

    April 30, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. Tim Rivers

    "Obama Voted to repeal the gas tax as a legislater in Illinois
    in 2000! Whats with this guy anyway. Obama is trying so hard to out think the other candidates, that he is compromising his own integrity
    in the process."

    Actually, Google this information a little better. Yes, Obama voted for a gas tax holiday in IL. Once it was in effect, the price of gas did NOT drop because the oil companies and station owners decided to keep the increased profits for themselves. When the idea came up again in another year, he voted against it for the same reasons he opposes it now – it will not drop the price of gasoline appreciably and will have little effect on long-term or short-term pricing.

    April 30, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. Jerry Judy Canton, OH

    Obama voted for a gas tax holiday THREE times in Illinois.

    April 30, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  4. Different Mike

    Ken, you need a new calculator. .82 cents per gallon tax (nationally) with the average tank being somewhere between 16 and 22 gallons comes out to between 13 and 18 dollars per fillup savings. I would say that's a little more than a couple of bucks Einstein.

    April 30, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  5. Jayson

    Every time the oil companies release their earnings it is big news. However nobody ever points at the fact that the federal government does nothing and takes in more money then all the "big bad" oil companies. Now just imagine if those companies were drilling in the US instead of outside of the US. The government would be taking in even more money since they would be entitled to royalties on the oil.

    Time and time again politicians have raised a fuss about supposed price gouging. But just like the claims that Bush should be impeached their is nothing to back up any of the claims made. Not to mention the fact that for all the calls to do something about the rising price of oil the environmentalist hold enough clout to make sure that a comprehensive approach to the problem will never emerge. As long as we import oil and gasoline instead of taking advantage of our own supplies the price will be heavily influenced by every conflict or possibility of conflict in oil producing nations.

    April 30, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. Dee, MO

    It's great how Hillary always seems to be agreeing with the Republicans. Makes you wonder is she a true Democrat?

    April 30, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. Lisa

    How can anyone with any sense think saving $9 or $10 a month for the summer is gonna help. McCain actually said we could use the extra money to go on vacation. Where does he expect people to vacation?? Their backyards?? It is not a solution and anyone who thinks that it is going to help is naive. McCain and Clinton...aka McClinton... think the America people are too stupid to do math and are just gonna fall all over themselves with gratitude. Well I for one am not impressed.

    April 30, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. susie

    Why isn't Sen. Obama helping out the crime problem in Chicago, his home state? Has he done any good in Illinois during the time he has been a Senator?

    April 30, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. Debbie

    You GO OBAMA. DON"T STOP MOVEON.ORG – Let them do their job. The media does you no justice, so let moveon do their job.

    April 30, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. Sharon

    Hello.....it's supposed to be a quick fix....temporary immediate help for those struggling to buy food right now! I guess Bo would rather do nothing and his rich supporters don't understand how much $10 means to some people in this country....BTW....go ask the truckers how much it would help THEM!

    April 30, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. Maestroh

    So Senator Obama for all his professing that he is for 'the little guy' doesn't want to give 'the little guy' some relief at the pump?

    April 30, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. Maxine

    Before we get off oil, we have to do exactly what Obama is saying. I tell you these quick fixes are useless and are only what the American people want to hear, so people can get elected. How is Hillary going to deliver all of this.........She can't it is the same reason her Health care plan didn't work before.

    Get real people and think about it.

    April 30, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. Dave

    A three month gas tax holiday would spike demand, especially over the summer months. Increasing demand while doing nothing on the supply side will INCREASE gas prices not decrease them. Then, when the tax is added back in, we'll really get hammered. Obama is right – stop the pandering and the quick fixes, let's get to the root of the problem.

    April 30, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. Geri

    Doesn't Obama remember when he tried 3 times to get this thru in Illinois and it got voted down every time.

    April 30, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  15. Obama 08

    I have become convinced that American voters would rather be pandered to and lied to than to hear the truth.

    God help us with four years of either Clinton or McCain.

    April 30, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  16. JP

    Obama is the only one willing to tell the American people the truth for a change!

    Obama is the only one who:
    * has told the truth on the gas tax
    * has not said "obliterate" or "bomb bomb" IRAN
    * has repeatedly said we need a new approach to foreign diplomacy (in case anyone thinks our current one is working!)
    * was rignt on the money in 2002 – before we invaded Iraq – he said "it will fan the flames of anti-American sentitment around the world and cost Americans billions of dollars and thousands of lives"
    * the only candidate left who was right about Iraq – showing good judgement from the start
    * the only one who has outright refused to take lobbyists money and who has very publicly said he wants to change lobbyists influence in Washington (crickets from McCain & Clinton on that issue).
    * the only one who has said that nuclear proliferation is the #1 threat to America, not terrorism. Nuclear arms in the hands of terrorists or rogue states is the #1 threat to the world.

    See this if you want proof of his sound judgement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1LhCch-JEo

    April 30, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. Susan MO

    He could be very well wrong!

    April 30, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  18. jeff

    25-30 dollars savings over a long term fix? This just shows how Clinton goes for the headlines, but mis-represents the results.

    50 year old college educated white male for Obama

    April 30, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  19. Nicolas Smith

    Pandering and more pandering. Guess what America it will not stop. Young people like my wife were ready to vote but now they are all turned off. Both of us feel insulted. I think I wasted my time in college when politicians play with my destiny. they set the guidelines for success by policies and to see people like the Clintons and Bushes play with my future.

    April 30, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  20. Carol Myers

    to @americans,

    Hillary never rejected Michigan and Florida vote but has always wanted them seated. Obama must not have wanted Michigan's votes because he took his name off the ballot. There wasn't any rule against this because he decided to leave his name on Florida's ballot. Just another example of his "judgement".
    I wouldn"t mind saving $30 at the gas pump this year, but I'm not an elistist Liberal like Obama, just a woman who has voted Democratic for over 40 years.
    Nobama Go Hillary

    April 30, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  21. honkey white guy from cali

    Hey Sharron in Minnesota! The public education system seems to have failed you! Every expert in the industry both economics and petroleum have stated that the Mc Cain and Clinton tax break will do nothing! in fact it will make the problem much worse! most will not even see the federal tax decrease because the stations being good business man will not lower the prices but instead take the extra money to line there pocket and in the long run hurt as alot more and make us even more dependent on foreign fuel. He has long term solution written out very very plainly so as that even someone like you with a limited education can understand it is not his fault that you and many other Clinton supporters never read! You listen to your queen and do her bidding like a bunch of brain washed lemmings it is so sad that so many in the US can be mislead that easy!

    Go Obama 08 Yes we Can

    April 30, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. Lino "Hussein"

    Beaautiful ad, congrats Obama team.

    Don't miss this one too:

    April 30, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  23. Matthew Chicago

    Who is guaranteeing that prices will come down if the tax is suspended? They did this in IL and the companies/station owners pocketed the money. THe prices did NOT fall

    April 30, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  24. John Smith

    How realistic can we get!!

    Why has Hillary not been dragged to the press to explain

    1. The actual Bosnia event. We still need the truth from her

    2. The NAFTA deal by Bill, and the gains they are now making from those past deals ($109 million)?

    3. Why she is still married to an ex-president who was impeached in this nation (lots of sexual scandals).

    and the list goes on

    April 30, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. Ian

    Sharon from Minnesota,

    You of all people should understand why the gas tax is important. Look out your window at I-35 North out of Minneapolis if you need a reminder.

    April 30, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
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