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. GoHillary

    The puppet speaks – one of the bitter ex-Clinton campaign team must have their hand up his back!

    Now let see if he can answer questions on his!!

    May 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Ricardo Williams

    The solution to gas prices is to have American workers work from home. We have developed technology to the point where we can do this. If you call any American company it takes years to get someone on the phone and then when you get someone, they can't help you. So let's work from home and reduce our dependencies on Oil.
    Obama 08

    May 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Eric, Durham, NC

    Dear Hillary,

    I do not want summertime relief for what has been a longterm problem.

    I want real and substantive measure enacted that will help to solve this problem for years to come. Dropping the price of gas by 12 -18 cents over the summer when it is slated to go up above $5 is just short sided and small minded.

    Give me a longterm solution....

    Obama '08

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

    I was mistaken – no conviction for the Clintons pastor ... there's some wrong info out there ... but still stands as pending against the Clintons!! I will be more careful in the future ... so the valid site are: and - I cant find anything on CNN regarding the case ... hmmm ... what if it were PaulvObama ... do you think we'd hear anything???

    May 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. 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! These greedy SOBs are sucking up more than their fair share of fuel!

    We need a national gas card that prices gas on the basis of your income and rations it on the basis of your need!

    May 3, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Watchman

    I am bitter on the gasoline's price. Give me a solution rather than words. Nobama for sure!!!!

    Clinton 08

    May 3, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Ohh No!!

    It is pretty clear that what Obama is saying is true. For the life of me, I don't know why people even listen to the side talking Clinton's. Polls show people don't think Hillary has integrity, nor do they think she is honest but they still vote for her. The Clinton's have had investigation after investigation linking them DIRECTLY to improprieties, an impeachment and still people vote for them. They can lie to our faces and then say sorry when people question their motives with out skipping a beat. Billary seems to take credit for telecom and tech companies creating new technologies in the 90's that opened new jobs and fueled our economy. I don't think Billary has any patents on cell phones, the Internet, operating systems, etc. You, who are reading this, could have been president and the economy would've grow. There were more jobs then people to fill them then, those days are gone. DON'T BELIEVE BILLARY WILL SOME HOW MAGICALLY BRING THEM BACK.

    May 3, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. kathy in ohio

    i thought you were about CHANGE sounds like same old same old

    May 3, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Cowboy Jack

    Obama is such an elitist.... maybe saving money isn't impt to him, but it is impt to people who are living day-to-day on their paychecks

    May 3, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Obama 08

    What a joke CNN has become...finally a posting about what Obama is doing today and most of it about Clinton!!

    May 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Solaris

    Clinton said that Obama is "attacking my plan to try to get you some kind of break this summer"

    Well, that means that either: (a) Clinton beleives that Obama is against helping and offering solutions to people, which can only mean that HRC is as dumb as a doorbell, or (b) that HRC is actively pursuing politics of old in a smart, calculated, old fashoned, destructive, insolent, and irrespectful manner.

    Be that as it may, I'm true blue, and if she wins the nomination it'll still be a thousand fold better that McCain.

    In the meanwhile: Yes we can! GO OBAMA!

    May 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. ej oregon

    It's hard to put Senator Clinton's comments into context without hearing her contrived Southern accent in North Carolina and southern Indiana. But a bad idea is a bad idea in any accent, thanks Senator Obama for keeping it real.

    May 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. phony politics

    To Charlotte,
    The lady who keeps posting Barack receives more money from subprime mortgage lenders: The companies themselves do not contribute to Barack's campaign, that would be illegal. Only the employees of those companies do. And by Hillary's figures she received $199,000 more then Barack in this category of subprime lender's employees. (FEC reported numbers which came from the Clinton Camp)

    What do you have to say now Charlotte???

    May 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. mike from CA

    And he should. We don't need short-term solutions to buy votes and would make 300,000 construction workers lose their jobs. We need real solutions with cleaner energy, coal, and more drilling.

    May 3, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. justobserve

    If Clinton's supporters have any brain they would have asked themselves why a candidate opposed a candy to voters in a tight race as this. Shouldn't it easier for him to do like Clinton to get their votes too? He should ask voters what is their choice: a savings of 30-70.00 on gas for summer or the lost of 6,000 to 7,000 jobs? That is tha tax holiday is reserved for.)
    Clinton proposes to tax the oil companies? Why didn't they be taxed already? What did she do in the Senate during all this time?
    By the way, Obama got endorsement from the Friends of the Earth for just this very difficult decision not to pander to get votes.
    "Friends of the Earth Action cites senator’s stand for real energy solutions instead of sham Clinton-McCain ‘gas tax holiday’ as key reason for endorsement."

    May 3, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Bob Stephens

    Barack, Hillary does not like when anyone confuses her with facts. I am sure that she is trying her best to think up something evil to do to you now...

    May 3, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Ed, Fl

    This isn't called attack. He is just showing to the voters this subtantial difference on how they will each approach the economic crisis if either one of were to be elected.
    CNN get a hold of yourself. You are loosing credibility.

    May 3, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |

    My father called on Americans to ask what they could do for their country.

    Those who answered his call built a movement that transformed our country and brought out the best in our national character.

    Barack Obama has followed in that tradition - dedicating himself to public service as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago and then as a state and U.S. Senator.

    Now, Barack is calling on a new generation of leaders to get involved and help transform this country.

    The Obama Organizing Fellowship is designed not just to help win this election, but to strengthen our democracy by training dedicated volunteers in communities across the country.

    Answer the call. Ask what you can do - for this movement, for our democracy, and for this country.

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

    WHY is there yet another article on Obamas ex-pastor on the top of the ticker? WHY? What would happen if the media went a whole day without mentioning that particular distraction? Maybe we could address some of Clinton's mountains of baggage, instead of focusing on the molehills of Obama's. Maybe we could focus on some actual issus instead. Media – Please stop manufacturing the level of focus on one issue, and get back to fair coverage.
    Go Obama

    May 3, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Moses

    The savings better be in the travelling public instead of the pockets of big oil.

    Is it true that Senator Obama voted for the Bush-Cheney energy bill that gave BIG OIL large tax breaks?

    If yes, it looks that Senator Obama cares more for BIG OIL than for the majority of Americans.

    May 3, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Dylan John

    This bogus plan would lead to the loss of 300,000 jobs and the negative impact on highway repairs would be severe. All this for a measly 30 cents in savings a day? There is not ONE economic expert who doesn't think this plan is absolute rubbish.

    Apparently Hillary is hoping for an information-deprived electorate on Tuesday.

    Thank you, Senator Obama, for once again talking to the American people like adults and not playing election-time politics.

    May 3, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Jayson

    Funny how a man who thinks that oil companies are screwing everyone doesn't seem to think the same thing about the government who has been taking in large amounts of money regardless of the price of oil/gasoline. Even though the government isn't doing anything and has failed to adequately use the tax revenue from gasoline sales to maintain the infrastructure of this country. This is the same government that instead of doing more to stimulate the economy continues to waste countless hours trying to save people from their own stupidity. If every time people make dumb decisions and expect the government to take care of them they will never learn from their mistakes.

    May 3, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. PJ

    Obama, a little relief is much better than nothing as you offer. In the long term solution Clinton is head and shoulders above your proposals that are in line with the oil industry lobbyists that you have in your campaign. Please be honest and stop trying to be "another one of the guys". How was the ice cream party earlier today?

    May 3, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Michigan for Obama

    Senator Clinton, with all due respect, we do not need "some kind of break this summer," if in the end it will mean loss of jobs for thousands, billions in debt, and roads and bridges crumbling. No thanks. What we need is a sound, long term plan to get us out of the mess Bush got us into. What we need is Senator Obama.

    May 3, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Jason

    Hillary does not know the meaning of truth.

    May 3, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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