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. Katie

    On Good Morning America this morning, an economist said Barack was RIGHT about the gas tax relief, and McCain and Hillary are WRONG! They're summer gas relief will not bring much relief, if any!

    April 30, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. Mace

    To all the people complaining about what to do NOW!!! Here is my two cents. 1) Drive less 2) Purchase fuel efficient automobiles 3) Continue to save money and spend less on immediate/knee jerk purchases in order to pay for gas. Seriously, Obama is the only candidate who I have heard say he wants Americans to remember what it means to sacrifice in order to lift up our country! McCain and Clinton seem to pander to the quick fixes which are widely popular but do nothing except to delay future problems. I've had enough of people in government telling me what I want to hear, how about we switch it up and tell the American people what we all need to hear. Go Obama!

    April 30, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  3. Disgusted in Hayes

    Why in the world are you in the media extolling and embellishing to the public a gas tax holiday when, if you were responsible journalists, you would be encouraging less use...I am disgusted with you in the media who seem to find a way to embellish any proposal that will appeal to the consumer's pocketbook and not to their long-term well-being. FYI, I am neither Democrat or Republican, and quite frankly, am disinclined to vote this fall because none of the candidates have said one thing that appeals to me.

    April 30, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. EBC

    That's GOOD go after Sen. Clinton on her phony "PANDERING" ADS. That's all they are.

    Do Americans really think the Oil companies making BILLIONS of dollars are NOT going to raise the price of oil MORE if they are taxed? Are you kidding me Sen. Clinton? I mean the savings don't even add up to a full tank of gas.


    In her recent commercial Sen. Clinton is shown standing next to a WHITE driver pumping gas. Another political PANDERING at it's best. The commercial also mentioned is the FACT that Sen. Clinton has NEVER pumped her own gas!!! I guess NOT, since you are worth $109 million and riding around in limousines and private jets!!

    AND she NOW claims that she lived in Indiana too. I thought when she was in PA she claimed she lived in Scranton, PA. NOW, we're in Indiana and NOW she's claiming that she lived in some small rural white town. GEEZZZZ, Sen. Clinton, I guess NEXT you'll be telling us you lived in Puerto Rico, Guam, Kentucky, etc. Wow... .

    Wow....if you Americans are buying her PANDERING wink-wink THEN you deserve another 4 YEARS of Bushman's politics.

    Wow... who is the TRUE elitist here.

    April 30, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  5. Kitty

    It's a lie to tell the American people that she can get money from the "windfall tax" to help offset the gas holiday.
    But that is not unusual for Hillary, - the lie part that is. Or wait, did she just "mis-speak " again?
    The American people are just not going to be fooled by this. Where's Bob Reich when we need him to campaign with Barack?

    April 30, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. ErinOK

    Approx. $30 is not worth risking our bridges and roads. Hillary's plan is flawed. Even with the tax holiday, supply and demand would raise the costs to negate any savings anyway. IN & NC – you are being lied to just for votes!

    OBAMA 2008!

    April 30, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  7. leon IN


    April 30, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. Hoosiers for Obama

    truth yes, pandering no. Things are gonna get worse before they get better, folks, regardless of who is in the White House. Gas will go up more along with the cost of everything else. We might need to do something sensible like consume less, stay home more, not buy plastic crap made in China and sold at Wal Mart and focus on things that matter, like family and neighborhood.

    April 30, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  9. MCD

    Honesty wins out in the long run.

    Fantastic! The man has solutions, not photo ops. I hope the right people see this ad, or is it more important to be doing photo ops at gas tanks and talking about a band aid tax?

    OBAMA 08!

    April 30, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  10. paul

    It occurred to me that Hillary's posturing on this is a replay of what happened in the buildup to the Iraq war (thought with lower stakes this time, of course). A Republican pitches a proposal that is poorly thought out, but has a certain populist appeal; polls (internal as well as public) show that the idea is taking hold among the voters, especially the less educated; Hillary sees a chance to score points by moving to the middle, so she grabs the mantle from the Democratic side and loudly insists that "leadership means taking action now". And if you oppose it, then you must not care about the struggle of average American families... just as those who opposed the Iraq war were accused of not "standing up" to dictatorship and terrorists.

    In effect, she becomes the dream of certain right wing Republicans.. a top Democrat willing to be a hand-waving advocate for their crazy ideas.

    This is what Hillary Clinton's "Solutions for America" are all about, what her "35 years of experience" boil down to. She may be awfully smart, but since her decision-making is driven by short-term political calculations, what difference does it make?

    April 30, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. Antoinette

    I dont agree with it either

    He said we'll only save 30 dollars over the course of the summer and others have confirmed it also

    30 dollars isnt even a fill up in my car

    More long term solutions and less short term ones

    April 30, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  12. Kevin-Seattle

    Okay maybe we all can use an extra $30 for whatever reason but this knickle and dimes in our pocket will cost the government $9 Billion dollars in revenue to our already growing deficit. Now I ask you, do you still want the $30 now for your children to pay for later? Come on people, we are smarter than this..........

    April 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Raf In California

    PEAK OIL folks ... read about it

    There is NO answer to this except get OFF oil. It is a hard fact to swallow but 120 dollar oil is going to be looking real good after 5-10 years when it is double that or more.

    Obama is the only canditate that has the courage to call it like it is and therefore is the best choice. On this issue we need candidates that will tell the American people the truth and yes we will have to start conserving and investing heavily in other renewable energy sources.

    April 30, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. Michael from Notre Dame

    this plan will help no one! $10 a month savings is an insult. all of these hillary supporters are demanding obama reveal his short-term plan...but here is the problem–every expert has said that there is NO short-term plan that won't cause more harm than good...the clinton/mccain plan is an irresponsible attempt to get votes...that is poor judgment if you ask me

    April 30, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  15. Chris L.

    Why listen to Bill? He sold us all out. Higher gas prices don't have to be here to stay. Part of the reason we have higher gas prices right now is because we decided to outsource jobs to the most populous nations in the world (China and India). Now they can afford gasoline powered vehicles. So to me the answer is simple. Stop investing in those countries just so we can keep a few extra bucks. Even if a billion Chinese only ride motorcycles, they will run up the price of oil.

    April 30, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. Dave W

    Generally I am a Hillary supporter, but I must say that I prefer Obama's approach to the problem of high gas prices. I do not like the fact that Hillary came out quick with an ill-considered and ineffective plan that nets nothing while consuming legislative energy. I like the fact that Obama considers the problems a little more carefully before responding more thoughtfully. I think this is a good quality for a President. Nothing is so urgent that it requires a knee-jerk response. It's not a timed debate; it's okay to consider your actions carefully.

    April 30, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  17. Jim

    Obama is the only candidate with enough integrity and allergy to PANDERING (You can ask Hillary to show you how to do that) to stand up and calls this GAS TAX HOLIDAY for the SHAM IT REALLY IS:

    Drop gas tax, no measure to control gas prices = oil companies raise prices to take advantage, and all the money "saved" from tax removal goes straight to the oil companies, AND US HWY TRUST FUND loses 10 BILLION DOLLARS.

    In this world where Hillary and McCain will say ANYTHING to get a vote, including "plans" that will hurt everyone except the oil companies, Obama stands up and challenges us to use our brains and resist the knee-jerk response and the LIES that only Hillary and McCain have no shame to perpetuate.

    April 30, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. d

    mr. obama is correct. Cutting the gas tax would be horrific for this country. First of all –
    1. increase pollution
    2. cash strapped states need the funds
    3. After labor day the prices will sky rocket
    4. the tax is needed for roads
    5. The big oil companies will increase their prices

    I hope obama really explains this to people that a cut on the gas tax would be the dumbest thing to do

    April 30, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  19. Jim


    Are you an idiot, or are you an idiot?

    you are wrong.

    Hillary is WRONG on this one.

    Obama says NO GAS TAX. Hillary wants gas tax holiday that will turn out to be a mess for the US HWY TRUST FUND and only ENRICHES THE OIL COMPANIES as we SAVE NOTHING.

    How you see anyone copying another in this topic is mind boggling.

    The only copying here is Hillary copying McCain.

    April 30, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. madison

    Yeah! Rah!
    GO OBAMA!!!!

    April 30, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. Jim

    To Mike,

    If you go with Hillary on this one, MAY YOU DRIVE ON YOUR LOCAL BRIDGE WHEN IT COLLAPSES because YOU JUST HAD TO SAVE THAT $10 a month.

    And guess what? You'll probably end up saving $5 or less as the oil companies raise gas prices on you. And face $15,000 in emergency room bills when the bridge falls down with you on it.


    April 30, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  22. Tony B B.C. MI

    It has come to mind that 5 years ago before we went to invade.... I mean went to war to oust Saddam Hussien..... I don't believe that the gas was what, 3.75.................. and the majority of the Iraq people where living a great deal better than they are now..... and there where no such beings known as insurgents! ooooohhh and there were 4,000 American soldiers still alive,, well most of them were still in high school............................besides that I believe more people have been killed in the past five years in Iraq than .Saddam was responsible for in His 20 plus years as dictator...............I don't know , but these things may have played an important role to these current conditions......... If not someone please do explain.......... but there has to be something better than a gas holiday....... if that is what they want to call it............................

    April 30, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. Joe Schmo

    HE IS SO LAME!!!!

    April 30, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. Joe Schmo

    OBAMA HAS DRAMA!!!!!!!


    April 30, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  25. carlo

    First of all, Politifact, a non-partisan organization, said on POTUS today that the claim that Obama voted for a tax holiday is "barely true" and a "total distortion." He voted for the tax but noted in his vote that although he didn't think it would help, he would give it a chance. When it came up for a new vote, he voted against it.

    Almost all of the economists who have spoken out on this issue have said that this is a bogus solution, due to the fact that the demand would go up, the oil companies would raise the prices, and there would be no savings. In addition, Congress is NEVER going to approve that stupid tax on oil companies she is proclaiming.

    Hillary Clinton is PANDERING, just like she did when she started that dumb moratorium on foreclosures crap, which most economists have said is a recipe for disaster.

    See: Obama supporters do something a lot of Clinton supporters don't do-they read.

    April 30, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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