June 9th, 2008
01:50 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain resurrects call for gas tax holiday


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/28/art.mccain1.ap.jpg caption=" McCain regularly called for a gas tax holiday in April and May."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - With gas prices reaching a national average of four dollars a gallon - a record high - John McCain is planning to resurrect his call for a national gas tax holiday, which became a staple of his stump speech in late April and early May.

A McCain aide told CNN's Dana Bash on Monday that the Arizona senator planned to plug the gas tax holiday in public statements throughout the day as a message to voters that he understands the plight of working families in a tough economy.

Before a fundraiser in Richmond, Virginia on Monday, McCain mentioned the gas tax holiday in remarks to a smaller event for about 40 high-dollar donors. "That was derided by Sen. Obama and others as a gimmick," McCain said, but added that working people and truckers would appreciate it.

"I don't pretend that it's an answer to our energy problems," he said.

Gas prices have risen more than 10 percent from $3.671 a month ago and are nearly 29 percent higher than the $3.105 average a year ago, according to AAA figures.

McCain's original gas tax holiday proposal called for suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Hillary Clinton supported a similar proposal during her Democratic primary bid.

Along with Barack Obama, many economists largely dismissed the notion of a gas tax holiday as a political ruse that would do little to lower prices, but McCain has repeatedly said he does not believe the proposal would be a panacea for America’s energy woes.

Instead, McCain argued, low-income families could save some extra cash to pay for their children’s school supplies this fall, or perhaps treat themselves to a nice dinner.

UPDATE: Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan blasted McCain for continuing to push the plan.

"By touting a gas tax holiday as part of his proposal for economic recovery in Virginia today, Senator McCain proved he was right when he said he doesn't understand the economy as well as he needs to," he said in a statement emailed to reporters.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    Every little bit helps.......

    June 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. Jon

    Worthless and useless suggestion. This is his idea for solvlng our energy issues? God help us if he wins.

    June 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. mollygonz

    McSame..you're kidding me right????

    June 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. mikky from grand rapids, michigan

    I can not bring myself to vote for Obama. I just cant see any good he has done. At least with McCain I know what Im getting. Besides, I vote for the person, not the party.

    I cant wait for Obama to lose and ALL of us Hillary supporters can yell...

    NO YOU DIDN'T!!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Beltway Insider

    LOL – yeah, keep digging that hole McCain. It's going to be quite amusing seeing how the republicans will have learned nothing from the Clinton-Obama race.

    June 9, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. Eric

    this guy is an idiot. "Treat themselves to a nice dinner" when's the last time you paid 20 bucks for a dinner out? Do some basic math John, 20 bucks doesn't mean jack squat. and the last thing we need to another bridge to fall down.

    June 9, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Mike

    Here is the strategy. As a democrat I will vote for McCain like many others I know. McCain will win in November and wont do too much damage because is more liberal than his fellow republicans, actually he is practically a democrat.

    Then we can all vote for the real democrat again in 2012, Hillary!

    Hillary 012

    June 9, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Enlightened Voter - no mccain

    Fact: he admitted, in his own words , "I know very little about the economy..." enough said!

    June 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Viva Obama 08

    A Vote for Barrack Obama is a vote for Hillary Clinton because they support the same cause.
    A vote for John McCain is a vote for a George Bush third term more wars, bad economy and more country will not want to deal with our country. If you were really a true Hillary suppoter that want a better America for this generation and the future generation you must vote Democratic this November. Please do yourself a good favor and vote for the Democratic nominee this coming November.
    No hard feeling because Hillary has none against Barrack. We must put the Republican out of the white house.
    As you can see, we are in a big reccession and that will get worse with a John McCain.

    June 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Deborah

    As a fair-minded woman – pro-choice, pro-gay, anti death penalty – I don't normally have much in common with the Republican party, but I have to say I respect Senator McCain, what he's endured, what he's accomplished and his heartfelt desire to do the best for the American people.

    If there were any kind of relief at the pump for my family during the Summer, I'd welcome it! Forget politics, this is about survival!

    June 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Its OK to be right

    THIS IS A GIMMICK. People are always talking about Obama's lack of experience; however,McCain has already stated he doesn't know much about the economy. This will be one of his many downfalls.

    June 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Ron L

    Before doing anything like this he needs to explain how it will be paid for WITHOUT adding to the state or national debt OR interupting ANY highway projects.

    The truckers DO NEED HELP but they should be given something different and VERY substantial. Maybe a VERY LARGE tax credit at the end of the year.

    June 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Nuwan Samaranayake

    By the time the govt. do this gas prices will beat the gas taxes. It may make a little difference but I dont think it is something that we need to be fighting over.

    June 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Alice - NYC

    Did you see Obamas energy policy....

    Ride a bike while looking like a dork.

    June 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. No McBush

    every little bit helps BIG OIL!!!!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    Here we go again.

    June 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Teleprompter John McCain can't remember what he says from one moment to the next but whatever he says it's always a blunder. There's some conflict her with his going to the Moon story and trying to show concern for our economy. John McCain has no idea of how much gas is increasing per week which would be in total conflict with in gas tax holiday, just this past Friday gas increased per barrell by $11reaching a high of $140 per barrell. McCain's economics are very questionable, just like his plan for war, the two just don't mix.

    June 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. MLG

    McCain 08

    June 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. Obama Mama

    More phony pandering that won't really do anything to help consumers. Give it up Gramps !

    June 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Ben


    June 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. REALLY???


    June 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. km

    Didn't he see where that got Clinton? This guy seems to be as dense as Bush when it comes to listening to the public.

    June 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Michael in Columbus, Ohio

    Someone help me with some thing here, does he realize that this "gas holiday" thingy was one of the or even the last nail in HRC's coffin for his race, or did he forget, but then again, he may have.

    June 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Go Obama, Daytona Beach

    McCain you need to go to the old folks home. You are nothing but another George Bush in sheeps clothing. Why would you want to be President after you left your wife? I hope that the public wakes up and sees you for who you are. Lieberman you need to be a Republican because you are such a benedict arnold. WAKE UP CLINTON SUPPORTERS!!! McCain wants to get rid of Roe vs. Wade. Do you want your kids to stay in a war that shouldn't have been? McCain you are nothing but a third term for Bush. Retired along with your Stepford wife. She will be a first lady. GO OBAMA GO!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Casey

    How nice, Mr. McWar... how about you and your billion dollar wife donate a few million to schools to buy those school supplies or a few nice dinners?

    You are an elitist old fool.

    It's not ONE year of school. It's not ONE dinner or even a few. You and your war machine have bankrupted this country and we'll be lucky if we don't enter a new Great Depression.

    for all those Clinton (no, wait, McCain) supporters? When your children die in Iraq or Iran, your teenagers have to marry or become parents at 15, you lose your job to outsourcing or inported (cheaper) employees, you lose your house because "you're on your own" and you cannot even afford to drive to the grocery store to buy food you cannot afford.... well, I hope you feel like you got "even" with Obama.

    You ARE why we had Bush in 2004. You ARE the ones who put him in office. YOU are the old politics. Congrats.

    June 9, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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