May 2nd, 2008
02:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: Clinton, McCain 'reading from same political playbook'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton, Obama, and McCain continued Friday to trade attacks over a possible federal gas tax holiday."]
(CNN) - The standoff over a summer gas tax holiday continued Friday, as Hillary Clinton and John McCain’s campaign said Barack Obama did not understand the pain ordinary Americans were suffering at the pump, and the Illinois senator accused both his rivals of political pandering on the issue.

“…[O]n this issue, Hillary Clinton and John McCain are reading from the same political playbook,” Obama said at an Indiana campaign stop.

“This isn't a real solution. It's a political stunt. This is what Washington does whenever there's a big problem. Politicians pretend that they're looking out for you, but they're just looking out for their poll numbers.” He also referred to recent comments by Clinton campaign adviser Geoff Garin, saying “they put her campaign pollster on the phone to talk about how the [tax holiday] idea polls well.”

In response, the McCain campaign said again that Obama had supported the idea as an Illinois state senator – and that his current opposition showed he was out of touch with the current crisis.

“Barack Obama is trying to explain why he thinks Americans should pay more at the pump rather than less, and voters are wondering why he believes that gas tax relief was good for Illinois but bad for America,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds. “Barack Obama has offered no plan for summertime gas prices, and he appears not to understand why working people are hurting and need immediate action.”

And Hillary Clinton told a North Carolina crowd that both her opponents were off-base on the issue. “Senator Obama doesn’t want us to take down the gas tax this summer and Senator McCain wants us to, but he doesn’t want to pay for it,” said Clinton. “I believe we should impose an excess profits tax on the oil companies. They have record profits that they frankly are just sitting there counting because they are not doing anything new to earn it; they are just taking advantage of what is going on.

“We ought to say: Wait a minute, we’d rather have the oil companies pay the gas tax than the drivers of North Carolina, especially the truck drivers, or the farmers, or other people who have to commute long distances.”

Earlier Friday, Obama’s campaign released a new ad which criticized Clinton’s gas tax holiday plan.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Doug R.

    Shell, who purchases most of its oil from Saudi Arabia, seems to charge the consumers the highest prices for gas. I drove past a Shell station going to work one morning and the price for 87 octane was $3.55/ gal. Going back home, 9 hours later, the very same Shell station was charging $3.69/ gal.
    I wouldn't hold my breath about rebates or tax holidays from anyone. It's not going to happen, especially with the 2 oil men in the White House.

    May 2, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. After further review,Texas

    Gasoline?Lets talk about the billions Lurita Doan just got fired for stealing from us,yesterday.She quietly snuck out the side door for giving out no-bid contracts and engaging in illegal political activities.

    May 2, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. Chrissy, TX

    Obama should just his mouth......he's saying he is better than Clinton and McCain but yet he sat and listened to the hatred spewed out of Wright's mouth for 20yrs. Plus he took his two innocent daughter's to hear this garbage. Now he expects the American people to believe that in all this time he did not know that his "uncle" (as he referred to him when he threw his grandma under the bus) was all about. If anyone does not know how to do things it's Obama. He has poor judgement, is liar and a big hypocrite!

    May 2, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Ben

    Some day an aetheist will run for president. Would that bring all the differant churches together? They seem so divided against each other, and yet the Christians all read the same bible. The muslims all readthe same Koran. The Jews all read the Talmud.
    What does religeon have to do with politics?

    May 2, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |