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. Michael

    Come on people, get real.

    Clinton has real solutions and ideas to fix the energy crisis, and gas prices. All Obama has done has said oh that won't work that is political pandering. Well guess what where is your idea then?

    You are always saying Cliton is negative, Clinton is like Karl Rove, well then stop attacking her ideas, and come up with some of your own.

    Please someone on this thread respond and tell me what Obama's plan is on getting gas prices down besides the other steps that Senator Clinton has already outlined.

    He is playing politics with people's money and that is not right.

    I want to hear from him what he will do, instead of saying Clinton is trying to get votes. I don't care about that I care about having money in my pocket so I can afford to eat.

    This makes me so mad, that he is going around all of these towns and saying Hillary's plan is calculated and political, but then has no plan of his own.

    GO Hillary 08

    May 3, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Not Buying Your Gas, Hil

    Hillary must really think we're morons if she expects us to buy the idea that her tax holiday idiocy is possible at all, let alone ready to roll out this summer. Congress wouldn't touch it even if she were president right now, because it is universally recognized as a HORRIBLE IDEA. This whole pander is perhaps the most disgusting, contemptible thing we've seen from her yet, and I doubt she's come close to hitting bottom yet.

    May 3, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. Neutral

    He VOTED FOR it.

    Obama will SAY ANYTHING when its POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT for him to do so. He VOTED THREE TIMES for Holiday Gas Tax in Chicago in 2000, that is a PUBLIC RECORD!

    This man is a FLIPFLOPPER!!!

    Lets talk about Wright Obambi, you were outraged what he said but you did not denounce him. Without Wright, you're nothing!

    May 3, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. SC voter

    Obama just continues to attack Hillary's plan with no solution for himself, and just because her plan is a "quick-fix" to the gas problem doesn't mean that she isn't concered about the long run either...
    Obama just continues to call her plan a quick fix, which it is, but its just along the road to a long term solution, admittedly neither one has clue on

    May 3, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Steve H minneapolis

    well we wouldent have this problem if there were more educated people in this country These politicians think they can fool the public and they seem to get buy with it now mind you if we were more educated we all vote Obama and we wouldent have to listen to this crap our fault we validate those such as the clintons due to are ignorance

    May 3, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Joyce

    Just a reminder that Hillary's proposal was to tax the oil companies, not pull from the highway/bridge budget. Obama does not have the experience to go into Washington and make changes. It takes more than a speech. She knows how to facilitate change. I am hard pressed to believe that Obama can move mountains in Washington when half of his church can't decide whether to back him or not.

    May 3, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Randle Bate

    Hillary should tell Bill that should he experience an erection lasting longer than three days he should immediately seek medical attention – of Monica.

    May 3, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. kingsley




    OBAMA 08

    May 3, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. Dmitriy

    Obama needs to rip into those people who are trying to silence Rev Wright. As an ex-Marine he, more than others, has earned his right for freedom of speech. He made that right possible for others. Let the reverent exercise his God given right.

    May 3, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. chad

    hey hilary supporters she'll give you 30 cents a day for the holiday to get elected!

    May 3, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Charlie

    If one burns an average of 6 gallons a day driving to and from work My math comes up with a saving of $5.40 a day. Over a 3 month period of 20 days a month my math reads $324.00. That is worth considering instead of listening to a false prophet with no solutions.
    Houston, Texas

    May 3, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. observer

    When you are solution provider, you solve the problem like hike in gas price. The solution is to ask insane profit-making gas companies, which don’t invent anything, to pay for the gas taxes and not many low-income Americans. When you are just talker, you can’t provide solution but say “its phony idea”.

    May 3, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Venus

    Not only is she stupid but she's lying!

    Not only will the gas prices continue to go up – but so would food and every thing else!

    We are paying more for gas which is why we are paying more for food!

    The smart thing would be to have us all ask Bush for some help – since he is still president.

    It would be nice if this could be our last week with Hillary!

    Go Obama!

    May 3, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Nate P

    Ok, maybe it's just me, however I was watching CNN and all Obama did was rip on Clinton's gas tax plan. What was his idea? I didn't see one. He just talked smack about one plan but didn't offer his own. I want some straight answers Obama

    May 3, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. Donna, MA

    Hillary said that she would do anything to win. Now she is buying votes with gas tax. She has no power to do what she is saying. Wake up people. She is not tell you the truth.

    May 3, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Randle Bate


    May 3, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Derek

    This gas tax is just another example of how Hillary Clinton will say anything to try to get elected. How does this address the problem – Americans use too much gas. Also OPEC now represents less than 35% of the world's oil supply so they are not able to control the world price – it is driven by supply and demand – and people in Asia and the developing world as their incomes increase are buying cars and thereby increasing the demand for oil. WIth a world demanding a whopping 90 billion barrels!! of oil a day – American Oil Companies are going to need those profits if they are going to find increasingly scarce remaining reserves of oil in a world – especailly at a time when national governments around the world are increasing preventing them from drilling for oil in their countries.

    Hillary is using fear and misinformation to scare voters. I am impressed that Omaba has resisted the temptation to jumping on this (gas tax) bandwagon.

    Seems to me these two candidates are running to be president starting in January 2008. A gas tax holiday this summer before the convention has even been held is nothing more that a cheap political move that offers no long term solution.

    May 3, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Mario

    She says that there wil be a save of 70.00 for three months ohohoh Thats mean 3 full tank a day ahahahahah

    May 3, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. GoHillary

    Another lie from OBAMA!!!!

    Hillary already said she would pay for it with a windfall tax on oil companies.

    BO do you really believe the BS that you speak?????

    May 3, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Jason

    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.

    Thank you,

    Caroline Kennedy

    May 3, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Matt

    Atleast he is saying what is correct and not just something popular that will win votes. I can't stand to watch clinton lie everyday, either about that Sniper issue or something else. I don't know how one can trust her as president, who repeats the same lie again and again and then comes out and says that she was tired and misspoke. She will do anything to win this nomination. If she does end up stealing the nomination from Obama, I will vote for McCain.

    May 3, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Nic

    I just don't think a gas tax holidy is really doing anyone a favor. Gas has gone up 100% in the last 5 years. 18 cents for 3 months isn't going to do anyone any good. I don't care if they'll save $30 this summer, they are still spending 100% more than 5 years ago. Lets actually fix the problem instead of throwing out a temporary relief strategy. The US can't afford anymore temporary fixes...

    May 3, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Peter

    Hillary Clinton Solutions:
    1. Gas tax relief – Very bad policy to anyone with ANY grasp of economics and business.
    2. Foreclosure Moratorium – Very bad policy which increases credit costs and decreases credit availability,
    3. Universal Medicare – Great policy which is incompatible with private insurance. The dream which has failed at Hillary Clinton's own hand and that will certainly fail again!

    Wake up America are being scammed by a person you already admit is a scammer, a liar and a cheat!

    May 3, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. dwc

    She is just saying this is for some short term relief. I don't know about anyone else, but something is better than nothing right now. He doesn't have a clue about anything, that's why he either copies her ideas or attacks them. He tell lies just like every other politician, the difference is that he has absolutely no ideas of his own on how to fix anything.

    May 3, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Bill in Rochester

    Seems like Hillary's gas tax pill is like taking an aspirin for your headache, when you need to follow Barack long term strategy and find out that you have a brain tumor and what to do about it.

    May 3, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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