May 5th, 2008
06:20 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton: Gas tax debate is ‘false choice’

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Hillary Clinton defended her proposed legislation to have a gas tax holiday Monday."]

MERRILLVILLE, Indiana (CNN) – Hillary Clinton returned to Indiana Monday afternoon, delivering her closing arguments before Tuesday’s primary contests and passionately defending the legislation she has proposed to make oil companies pay the gas tax this summer.

“I think you should have some immediate relief. In fact I think it’s a false choice – as my opponent and others have been trying to say, ‘Oh we can’t do anything in the short run to help people, we can only worry about what we do in the long run.’ People live in the short run,” Clinton told a packed firehouse in the northwestern corner of the state.

Clinton has been steadfastly outlining which issues she and Obama diverge on, namely, home foreclosures, health care and – primarily – the gas tax holiday.

“My opponent Sen. Obama disagrees with me, he wants you to pay [the gas tax], not the oil companies. And he’s always going on TV, and he’s always saying ‘oh you know, that’s just [saving] like $20’. Well you know, for a lot of people $20 is something,” said Clinton, adding that the Department of Energy figures the number is closer to $70 for the average household.

Clinton has also been emphasizing that it’s not just about the money saved but the message sent.

“When are we going to start laying down the line on the oil companies? They have been part of the problem, not part of the solution,” Clinton told her supporters. “I do see you, I do hear you. I do believe that you’re doing the best you can under difficult circumstances and we’re going to get in there and we’re going to reverse these circumstances but in the meantime, let’s provide a little help along the way.”

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. John

    Hillary Clinton,we as your supporters are with you all the way.A good response from voters,well informed,mature,hard working and realistic; are unanimously vouching for you. Winning Indiana,and North Carolina is just a tip of the iceberg.More promising and encouraging events in the primaries will catapult you to the big House,Pennsylvania Avenue #1600.No braging,insulting,jeering anyone.We will however humbly accept your advancement.Go Hillary-in the taugh trek ahead to unite the people of America,and develop success to bring prosperity and intergrity we all deserve!You got the wisdom and strength to just do that.Tomorrow will be a great day!!!!!!!!

    May 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Obama is the man

    Sorry Hillary–I took Econ 101–did you? Apparently NOT!!! You are delusional, and so are your followers!
    People–read up a little on this. How is is possible that not ONE economist can agree with her plan? Does that tell you something?

    May 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. mona

    May 5th, 2008 7:22 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    The elitist's who support Barack Obama just don't get it do they? When I go to the pump and there are two gas stations directly across from each other and one says 3.79 and the other says 3.78 I am going fill up at the 3.78 gas pump. Why? Because that penny matters to me if it means I am saving something. So if what Hillary proposes is going to save me a penny in the summer…so be it!!!! Now if you choose to pay more for you gas, than by all means you definitely should be voting for Obama. When did $30 not become a savings in this country? I could feed a child for a whole week with a savings of $30. This elitist mentality is what keep the rich, richer and the poor, poorer

    President Hillary 08

    May 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. marcelo

    Nice Hillary!! A play right out of the Republican playbook.

    Keep BUYING votes like the republicans by promising of tax cuts and make anyone who's against them look like they are the bad guy. We're currently in a $300 billion budget deficit for the current fiscal year and she doesn't care because this will help her win.

    She's just like Bush! Spend now, let our kids pay for it later!

    May 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  5. Oreo

    How many people here really think Hilary Clinton knows better than the economists?

    I'll give you one thing: She knows politics better than the economists, and she knows how to please everyone by saying what they want to hear and victimizing them.

    Gas tax holiday = bad idea. Anyone with an inkling of intelligence should know that, even if they don't know the reasons why. I guess people just go along with it because it sounds good. Economics should be required in every high school.

    May 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  6. Tjaye

    I can GUARANTEE you that after saving $30-$70 over the course of 3 months, you will STILL be complaining about high gas prices.

    I gotta give it to Hillary...she's seems to know her supporters are just not that bright.

    Obama O-8!

    May 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. Will

    Instead of gas tax "holiday", which is going to increase demand, how about "free public transportation for the summer" paid by oil companies?
    (Taxis not included of course).

    Well, people in the urban area will get more from this since public transportation is more prevalent. And this can be extended to include greyhound and amtrak as well.

    At least, it will help "some" households to save money on transportation costs, and it will reduce oil demand.

    Plus, this approach focus more on the lower-middle income people, since they use more public transportation.

    May 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. wolfsbane

    CNN, your coverage is horrible – you have not included Obama's response, it's all Clinton.

    Report both sides, not Clinton's version alone.

    May 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. aware

    Right Hillary!

    Hillary Clinton 2008 and 2012 – America's Margaret Thatcher!

    Hillary has short range and long range solutions! 🙂

    Obama – the candidate of obfuscation, misinformation and far left ideology!

    May 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Truth Be Told

    with hillary's gas relief plan, it's penny wise, pound foolish. i guess most people don't see it that way. true, $20 means a lot. however, if you're going to lose $100 in the long run, it's foolish. the gas companies will just raise their prices (as they're doing on a daily basis nowadays) to offset hillary's gas relief. also, it's not going to happen this year. will it happen next year? don't bet your house on it!

    May 5, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. JN

    Good for all you Hillary supporters..Thirty dollars in your pockets..Just one thing to remember. DO you really want to cross that bridge that has been left to crumble because her great idea takes money from the street workers? Is thirty dollars worth your liife? Hillary has a jet she's flying with your tax dollars..Bet she ain't worried about $30.00..She can't even use a coffee machine or for that matter pump gas>>>:(

    May 5, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. Minnie Hadley

    I am beginning to think we do not know enough about Obama. Maybe we are rushing too fast.

    May 5, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Felicia

    I find it very funny that you Obama supporters dump all over Clinton because of her plan. Instead of bashing Clinton's plan, why don't you brag about Obama's plan–OOPS I forgot, he doesn't have one!


    May 5, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  14. K

    Obama is an arrogant nitwit and an empty suit.

    May 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Chris

    Love how Obama is the only one stating THE FACTS, yet America is so not use to an American politican telling the truth what do they do? THEY JUMP ON HIM sayign hes not doing enough. Please... if you listen to all the major news all the top economics say it will do nothing to help. Get with it people.

    May 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Answer This One !!!!

    Obama Doesn't want Us To have Any releif At All !!!!
    Obama Is Worthless . He Doesn't Have A Clue How To Handle The Problems That This Country Is facing Now . No Plans Or Actions To Turn Things Around . Obama Wants Us To Suffer , He Out Of Touch!!!!

    No Obama !!!! No More Problems!!!

    HILLARY 2008

    May 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Sean

    She misses the point. They will just raise prices to cover the cost of the tax. There will be NO savings, just a long term increase in cost because Big Oil isn't going to drop the price when the "Gas Tax Hilliday" is over. Think about it. She doesn't seem to be...

    May 5, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. James

    This woman has some very major mental problems. It has become clear that she is running for McCains VP.

    May 5, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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