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

Clinton: Gas tax debate is ‘false choice’

Sen. Hillary Clinton defended her proposed legislation to have a gas tax holiday Monday.

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. James

    Lies lies lies.

    May 5, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. CONCERN NEW YORKER

    YOU PEOPLE ARE SOMETHING ELSE, IF OBAMA SHOULD WIN HE WILL NOT BE ELECTED PRESIDENT FOR 2009, IT WILL BE
    MCCAIN, ALL YOU HILLARY HATERS GIVE THE REPUBLICAN THE GO AHEAD. YOU GO HILLARY I'M BEHIND YOU 200% GO
    GET THEM SHOW THEM WHO YOU ARE AND PROVE TO THEM
    ALL HOW MUCH OF A WOMAN YOU ARE. OBAMA IS GOING TO
    SHOW YOU ALL SOMETHING BEFORE IT'S ALL OVER, A WOLF
    IN SHEEP CLOTHING.

    GO!!!!!! GIRL GET'EM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    May 5, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. Gnomepark

    $20....$70 You must think the American voters are retarded!

    Where Is A REAL Plan!!!!!!!!!!

    May 5, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. Lisa P

    And I would guess the short run *she's* interested in happens tomorrow in Indiana and North Carolina. After that? Hey, maybe she keeps on pushing her unworkable short term plan, maybe not. I remember how she stuck to her guns with her universal health care plan in 1994. Oh, wait...

    May 5, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. Robert O'Rourke

    Hilary's just sticking to old politics and "overblown gastric gimmicks! "
    Come on.. a cd is $20! popcorn at the movies $15!
    We need serious help and we are not all simpletons...!
    She has over $100 million in the bank...and really doesn't know what a $20 bill is.

    We need help! not gimmicks!

    And so she is should stop dividing her own party... just for her own ego!

    May 5, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. LA Ben

    The fact that Clinton herself admits that the gas tax is a short term solution yet still continues to pedal it says it all.

    All reason and logic has gone out the window with her. She'll say and do anything for a vote.

    May 5, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Steven

    Good job, Hillary!

    May 5, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. JOJO

    SHE IS GOOOOOOD!!!

    May 5, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. Jessica, MI

    Griff: I bet you really thought that was clever. It's sad that people can't see what a pandering, fake candidate Hillary is. I thought we Obama supporters were the "sheep"

    May 5, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Cowboy Jack

    Can we stop clinging to this negativity? It makes me bitter

    May 5, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. David, Paducah, Kentucky

    This woman is something else! Does she really think the American public is so stupid as to not see through this? All you have to do is watch the news. The House leaders, the Senate leaders, the economic experts, and the media are all saying this isn't going to happen. The ysay its a stupid idea that will end up hurting all of us. Its pandering for votes and taking advantage of the hardships being faced by the general public. Hillary Clinton is treating us like we are fools and that we should believe her and not believe the experts and the people in control of Congress.

    May 5, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. laura

    So, if elected president, she's going to spend time pushing this through congress...$70 bucks, to change the way the gas tax is paid, where the gas companies can offset the cost, not to mention the potential damage to the environment and lost opportunity of making real change in energy policy. Obama's plan is better, a windfall profit tax and $1000 payroll tax break to working families.

    May 5, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. leej

    Bush-lite....if you don't agree with me, as in ALL the economists, then you are ALL wrong cause "I AM FOR THE PEOPLE" talk about an elitist who made 100 million over the last ten years..jeepers.

    May 5, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. CANADA FOR OBAMA

    IF HILLARY'S PLAN WAS AIMED AGAINST THE OIL COMPANIES, THEN HOW COME, HER MAIN SPOKESPERSON FOR THE PLAN IS A SHELL LOBBYISTS. THESE GUYS ARE NOT KNOWN TO ENJOY TAKING A FINANCIAL HIT, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CONSUMER. ONLY THE STUPID WILL BELIEVE HER, AND FALL FOR IT.

    May 5, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. Roger

    Who should we believe here? Economist that have an education and experience with this sort of thing or Hillary and her campaign advisors who clearly have a short term agenda....

    I am going with the experts who happen to agree with Obama.

    May 5, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Earl

    Hillary's right.

    Another example of Obama not seeing the big picture. Why not have long-term AND short-term fixes?

    Like when he said that John Edwards and Hillary were wrong to vote for legislation that would cap credit card interest rates at 30% because 30% was too high. But Edwards and Clinton argued while they agreed that 30% was too high, they want to a least put A CAP on the interest rates credit card companies could charge and 30% was better than NO CAP.

    Obama is so focused on perfect legislation that he can't understand that there are also ways to propose short term legislation that can help Americans too.

    Obama just has judgement issues that seriously hamper him in my view as an electable Presidential candidate.

    Go Hillary 08!

    May 5, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. Darryl

    Hillary the Do anything say anything to get your vote more of the same Clinton spend lie drama...

    May 5, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  18. fran

    She's right. $20.00 is a lot of money for some people. But the bigger picture is that at least she is talking about helping people NOW! I bet everyone of you who disagree with the tax holiday would wait in line at a gas station that was selling gas today, for .18 cents less than other gas stations in your area. I will go to a gas station that has gas for 2 cents less per gallon...every bit helps. And by having a gas holiday, it makes congress do something about these prices and puts the problem on the front burner and get congress to get up off their butts and do something

    May 5, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  19. JOJO

    She's a certified IDIOT. As a politician, your job is to make good & responsible policy. Your proposal is 100% GIMMICK, has been denounced by all leading economists as bad policy, and furthermore has NO SUPPORT even among your own Democratic party. Lead responsibly, or GET OUT OF THE WAY!

    May 5, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  20. keith

    She is playing to people's fears over the economy by copying McCain's plan. This is both econimically irresponsible and wrong just as she played to people's fears over Osama Bin Laden in the PA. campaign ad.

    Let's get real solutions NOT a temporary fix it scenario that will hurt us in the long term.

    I have to admit that I like her fight, but I don't know how anyone can trust she is fighting for the right thing

    May 5, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. Michelle

    I think its pretty pitiful if the promise of $30 buys your vote. And thats $30 that you will never see....

    I guess its the thought that counts huh? Tell that to the soldiers dying in Iraq while you feel a little 'imaginary relief'.

    May 5, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. mona

    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 feel 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 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Michelle

    PREDICTON TIME:

    Hillary will win both Indiana and North Carolina.
    SHOCKER!! not really she is better than Obama.

    May 5, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. Mike Guinn

    Hillary Clinton proves once again why she is not capable of being President, why she shouldn't EVER be President, and why she has a 60% NEGATIVE rating.
    She is a panderer, a liar, and together that spells typical politician.
    Can't wait til she's done for–and that will be SOON.
    She's going to get every nasty trick and innuendo out there before she's done. Millions of we true Democrats will never forget this or forgive her for it.
    She will NEVER be President of this Country!

    May 5, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. KA

    Are the oil companies going to bear these costs? Given they make hell of a profit even during down time. I don't think so. I m not against hillary or I don't support obama, but this is a highly immature thing to do. If she makes the gas companies pay for this they are going to reciprocate the same on us. Long story short we will end up paying all of that if not this summer may be in winter. Law of demand supply if the demand increases and there is a scarcity of supply, obviously the prices are going to increase. Will the 20 cents she talks about going to make any difference if the price becomes 4$ 20 cents? I believe not.

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