May 3rd, 2008
09:37 PM ET
14 years ago

Spurred by gas tax debate, Clinton goes on offensive

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Hillary Clinton stumps in a pickup truck in North Carolina, Saturday."]
GASTONIA, North Carolina (CNN) - Three days before the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, Hillary Clinton laid out the differences between herself and Barack Obama, attacking his voting record and his rejection of her proposed "gas tax holiday."

"I understand my opponent disagrees with me, he doesn't want to give you a gas holiday, he doesn't want to go after the oil companies. He wouldn't vote against them with the 2005 Dick Cheney energy bill and I did," Clinton told supporters.

"Sen. Clinton's been using this issue to make the argument that I'm somehow out of touch," Obama said earlier Saturday at a rally in Indianapolis. "Only in Washington can you get away with calling someone out of touch when you're the one who thinks that thirty cents a day is enough to help people who are struggling in this economy."

Obama has seized on the issue, pointing to analysts who say the legislation to tax oil companies' record profits is flawed. They argue that it would either have little impact or it would have a negative effect by either causing drivers to drive more or oil companies to
simply raise their prices.

Obama also made fun of the questions surrounding Clinton's plan, saying she could only find an oil lobbyist to go out and support it.

"The Obama campaign must be bitter about sliding in the polls and is clinging to these gas tax attacks out of frustration," Clinton spokesman Doug Hattaway responded.

Clinton said that her biggest difference with Obama is over health care, arguing that his plan isn't universal and leaves 15 million people uncovered. She also took him to task for not supporting her efforts to place a moratorium on home foreclosures.

"We've seen this from him before," Clinton said in Moorseville, North Carolina, about the candidates' division over the gas tax legislation, "instead of attacking the problem, he attacks my solutions."

soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Over the Hill(ary)

    Interesting how she calls it "my plan", when it's the plan she stole from McCain. Regardless, the plan sucks, and so does Hillary.

    May 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. derrick smith

    i have wrote a few and they were not posted i will try one more time

    bill once said(i did not have sex with that woman) Hillary was hiding from bullits ,a set of liers .

    Obama 2008.

    May 3, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Rob

    Its hilarious how this women keeps trying to champion this gas holiday to people but EVERY economic strategist in Washington has said this won't do a thing to help. She is really playing the public for fools

    May 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. cary


    HILLARY NET PRESIDENTE EU. 2000 GO.............

    May 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Nate McDonald

    It smacks of Hillary Clinton up to her scheming Hillary tricks. I think Obama was right to call her out for it.

    May 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Belle

    Yup...sounds like ideas of HIS own, so he criticizes other ideas as "stupid." Then mocks the candidates...

    He sounds more like Rev. Wright every day.

    May 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. IFH (Idiots For Hillary)

    It will be no surprise if Clinton's "gas tax" gimmick get's her some votes. There is a reason why the least educated Americans are voting for her...they just don't understand these not-so-complex issues, never mind the ones that actually are complex.

    May 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. cameleon116

    NM Party Chair Brian Colón Endorses Barack Obama; Delegate Countdown: 277 To Go

    Earlier today, New Mexico State Party Chair and superdelegate Brian S. Colón endorsed Senator Barack Obama, citing Obama's ability to bring new voters into the process as well as the positive campaign Obama has run.

    May 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Esoxslayer

    You never hear about Chelsea dating anyone. Wonder why?

    May 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Ricardo Williams

    First of all Hilary it is not your plan, it is John McCain's plan. You remind me of my two year old daughter. At this stage of her life everything she says, "It's mine." Well it's not your plan. While I want to see the Truckers get help. I feel we must tackle the problem at its source and not give into a quick fix, because the next time I drive over a bridge that collapses I'll regret the 30 bucks I save on gas price. My life is more valuable than 30 bucks. Get real Hilary. Stop playing games with people's minds.

    May 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Jim

    HRC proposal isn't really worth talking about except for the fact that many voters will fall for this campaign ploy. I hope the voters think it through. Let's say the savings over the summer encourages greater consumption – this will lead to higher prices on top of re imposition of the tax in the fall. Tell us again Hillary, how this helps us. It's laughable, but the joke is on the voters. Believe me, she knows better.

    May 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. california voter

    instead of making negative comments (which he swore off of the other day) against Clinton's proposal, he could just be proactive and explain in detail his own plans to provide help.

    May 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Ganesh

    Even noble prize winners for economy (2001,2006) prefer Obama's plans and ideas over Hillary and McCain. Too bad I have never heard any mention of it on CNN but I wud trust this guy given the support he has from experts...

    May 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Jerry

    Hillary got booed at the Jefferson Dinner along with Gov Easley why CNN didnt report this I read ABC news this morning on there website and they reported it. I guess CNN is bias against Obama

    May 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. D R

    I wonder how many super delegates pockets are being greased by the crooked Clinton clan! Of course if Hillary can convince Ohio and PA that she didn't support NAFTA, then anything is possible.

    May 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. OPO

    Obama is right! Hillary "The Chameleon" Clinton putting forth this "gas tax holiday" plan as a way to get back into this race but at the expense of good policy and a real long-term solution. What good is a temporary solution when we will be in the exact same spot in a few months with more people having lost their construction jobs and our highways and infrastructure in even worse shape. This idea is so stupid that it doesn't surprise me that a Republican (McCain) is putting forth the same idea. I think its hilarious that she sent out a Shell oil lobbyist to convince us of why this is good for US. lol

    Obama '08

    May 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. ray

    Good judgdement...on your part ....OBAMA.
    Stay above the fray ..and always tell the truth will be our president.
    Obama 08

    May 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Kentucky

    Looks like the Obama train is rolling again!!!!

    May 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. Eddie

    Edwards needs to man up and shut Hillary the destroyer down.This gas tax would last over a 3month period and only give me enough money to by my family a cheap breakfast.Then the price would rise and make me sale my car and end up trying to walk 25 miles to work,get real Hillary/McCain.

    May 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Jim

    Clinton's gas tax proposal is so phony it is beyond belief. She is hoping that the people of Indiana and North Carolina are either too stupid or just don't understand the way these kind of economic changes work to know the difference. It is pandering of the most insidious kind, and is another reason voters end up hating politicians. It has NO chance of ever becoming a reality and NO chance of providing any price relief if it did.

    Hopefully, the people will see through her tricks and finally end this "gone-on-way-too-long" race.

    May 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Sam

    Obama is right – this gas tax holiday is just a phony idea to win election. First of all, it will not save much and second $10 bi or so in lost revenue will come from superhighway fund which means they will have to defer the construction work on highways paring 3000 jobs.

    Clinton again and again comes off as dishonest and someone who will say anything and do anything just to win election. Once the elction is over, I don't think she is going to solve anything. Besides, she is a polarizing figure and is unlikely to be able to bring people together to solve tough problems.

    May 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Jenny from Indiana


    This gas tax will save you about $30 over three months! It's a band-aid, and used one at that! We need real solutions! Not to mention, our federal roads will be ruined for the summer!

    Obama is the only politician left in this race who is brave enough to tell us the truth instead of voting for the "popular" solution that is bad for the country and only "popular" because it has been mispresented to the AMERICAN PEOPLE!

    OBAMA '08!!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. The truth

    Anyone that doesn't go along with Hillary's plans must be a outcast. Obama has the brains not to follow crooked people.

    Go Obama!

    May 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. CA 4 Obama

    The gas holiday would save Americans approximately $27 this summer. Experts indicate that about 300,000 employees will be laid off as a result. I'm sorry, but I'd rather pay the $27 to keep food on Americans tables and grills this summer. McClinton is just desperately tyring to get votes.

    May 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Jay, Chicago

    Here are the facts – not a single expert on economics on either side of the aisle supports a gas tax holiday. The only person stumping for the proposal is a lobbyist for Shell. You decide who's telling you the truth.

    May 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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