May 16th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton blasts Bush over oil, claims popular vote lead

JUNCTION CITY, Oregon (CNN) – As Barack Obama and John McCain spent much of Friday sparring over foreign policy, Hillary Clinton quietly ignored them during an economic roundtable in an Oregon home, instead focusing her attacks on President Bush’s attempts to lower oil prices during his trip to Saudi Arabia.

“President Bush is over in Saudi Arabia having tea with the Saudi leaders trying to persuade them to either increase supply or lower prices. That’s his energy policy,” said Clinton. “I don’t think it’s good energy policy to depend upon the kindness of the Saudis and the other OPEC nations.”

Energy is a pillar of Clinton’s stump speech and at every rally she lays out a four point plan to lower gas prices. The most recent addition to the plan is her economically and environmentally controversial proposal to remove the gas tax this summer and have oil companies pay it.

“I think it’s very important that we do something more dramatic than having tea with the Saudis,” said Clinton. “The Saudis may decide, “Well we better do something to help out President Bush,” but that’s a short-term fix and it’s not going to have any long-term consequences.”

After meeting with the president, Saudi Arabian officials agreed to increase output but it’s unlikely that will be enough to impact oil prices.

At the end of the roundtable in Marvin and Sandy Mehlbrech’s Junction City home, Mrs. Mehlbrech begged Clinton to ignore calls for her to drop out of the race.

“Please stay in, please stay in,” Melbrech pleaded. “I know there’s so many people that are really behind you.”

Clinton said she was going to stay in the race, claiming that she is ahead in the popular vote – debatable because of the complicated method of counting states' votes as well at the controversy surrounding Michigan and Florida.

“I appreciate you saying that,” Clinton told Mrs. Melbrech. “We’re going to let everybody vote.”

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
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