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. Dave

    Dumb idea. Costs jobs and the oil companies will only raise their prices again.

    Flat out dumb.

    June 9, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. CW4Barak

    Clinton supporters you will love McBush now!! Here comes the pandering....but thank GOD there are a lot more educated, intelligent people out there than stupid people who live in WV and KY, who thought this would actually bring them any kind of relief....you know McBush is targeting those Billary supporters.....the only people who will benefit from this tax holiday are the same people McBush is giving big tax breaks to....large corporations, who don't need it....who will lose, all the idiots who think that taking money from the highway fund for .28c is worth it!!

    Obama '08

    June 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Elaine

    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.-

    A nice dinner. That's all well and good and they would like that, but they'd like the extra money more for paying bills and buying groceries.

    Shesh. He's an idiot.

    A vote for McCain only gets you someone who doesn't know a darn thing about the ecomomy or the country.

    Obama 08

    Yes we can!!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Paul

    Get a nice dinner. No thanks McCain, but feel free to eat me.

    June 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Xavier, St. Louis, MO

    What an idiot! Old man McCain don't have a clue about our economy. All he cares about is a pointless that we never should have started.

    June 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. David Peter

    Well how nice! Poor Americans can save a few extra cents at the pump to buy themselves a nice dinner and forget all about the recession! Yeah right, McBush...

    June 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. KMAN

    What a pandering wad ... so, who will make up the shortage to our nation road projects when the tax revenue dissapears for this asinine suggested 'vacation' from the federal gas tax?

    Obviously, Mcthuselah is clueless as to what to do ... if he is so stupid as to put forth this moronic idea again!! It should be apparent to most thinking people by now ... this man is still living in the past century and has no new ideas for the future!

    June 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. charles

    lm not suprised he has no clue about the economy. even his supporters agreed the other day on cnn that it is a gimmick. so leave him shoot himself in the foot further. we all know he is clueless so take no notice.

    June 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. Tom, Houston

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

    This is for Jon. It is not his idea for solving the energy issue, but maybe there is an issue with our education system that is more severe as it seems you cannot read with comprehension.

    June 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. Haters beware, its McCain time

    I will never vote for Obama now. I am more for Hill now than ever.

    Obama used our early support and unity for BOTH our candidates against us.

    He said HIS supporters would defect if Hillary were the nominee, and He arrogantly boasted Hill's would come back to him in the end.

    Obama used the open-mindedness of HRC supporters and our unity to advantage Obama and damage Hillary.

    Why didn't the media question why ALL his supporters would just forget their values and party loyalty and forget the WAR, the ECONOMY, the Courts, blah blah blah... and desert the party nominee.

    Why didn't they question Michelle Obama when on TV she said as much for her vote as well?


    Fool us once......

    PLEASE those who love Hillary... DO not betray her twice.

    June 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. Mike Jones

    I hope McSame follows all of Hillary's suggestions. it worked real well for her. This Don Rickles impersonator needs to sit down. There is no country for old men.

    June 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Peter E

    Political scoring at best, playing on people's lack of foresight. If anything gas prices SHOULD continue to rize so that people will cut back on their outrageously wasteful behavior. Why on earth does my neighbor need her SUV to go to the grocery store ONE block down the street to pick up a single gallon of milk?

    June 9, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Shame on CNN

    McCain doesn't have a CLUE. Our governments efforts should have started 20-30 years ago, and NOW they are paralized with no easy fix.
    Bushie made his money and could have been the leader 8 years ago but wasn't. It was more important to finish Iraq off for his daddy than to lead this country to prosperity. Our economy is out of control with energy, healthcare, jobs, among other things. Shame on a powerful govt that could have curbed all this a long time ago.

    June 9, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. CW4Barak

    Oh, btw.....when they have filled their belly's with that one dinner....what next Mr. McBush....you are trying to feed us for a day....we wan't a president who is going to feed us for life.

    Obama '08

    June 9, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. insanity

    haha!. McSame is desperate !
    IT IS a GIMMICK !! Don't fall for it.
    When the price goes down, the Oil companies will just swoop in and get the profit. Also, the demand will increase and that will make the gas prices go even higher. And once the gas tax comes back, expect to pay even more than what you're paying now.

    Also, don't forget the job losses in infrastructure constructions. This is really a gimmick for stupid people who thinks it will help at all.

    June 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. j

    Is he in touch with reality? This is pandering, pure & simple.

    June 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. McCain and Obama both

    Have no idea what to do regarding energy demand and high prices... vote Libertarian Bob Barr in office... i'm sick of this garbage

    June 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Penelope

    Check out Obama's plan. He's going to hand out more money and put the deficit even higher. You affluent O supporters better get ready, he's going to tax the rich for this. Wow! a real Robin Hood.

    June 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. Tori

    Sure so go ahead and do a gas tax holiday while the infastructure continues to crumble. So then when another bridge collapses and people continue to complain about the I405 cracks and earthquake issues that went ahead and voted for MCSame look at yourself and see what YOUR CHOICE was. instead of someone that want to give a $1000 tax break go after the oil speculators and invest in alternative energy.

    McCain:Short term Bush soluition

    Obama: Long term change for the better.

    June 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. charles

    He likes to call obama young man will he like it if obama said old man.just wondering.

    June 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Stacy Clarks

    So what are you going to do for me when the gas tax holiday is over and gas goes up EVEN HIGHER AS A RESULT?!?!?1

    yea, yo left that aprt out you loser!!!

    DEMOCARTS IN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. cherry strawberry

    He has got to be kidding if he thinks that after the "holiday" the gas prices wouldnt spike 3x as much., Idiot warmonger

    June 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. David Goldman for OBAMA

    IDIOT !!!!


    June 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. what next

    Hillary folks, research writein rules for your state.

    If that is NOT an option...consider the Green ticket nominee, if your state has no write in for HRC or if that vote will go to the "formal" party nominee.

    June 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. Billy

    If its proven that Obama will lose because of Clinton Voters voting for McCain, what do Clinton supporters think Obama supporters WILL do in 2012? They will act out (emo) just like you did and ensure that McCain gets his full 8 years. Remember, Obama got 18+ Million Voters too...

    Best thing is that Obama picks Hilliary as VP, she'll make history automatically being first female VP and have a better shot in 2016 with the full suppor tof both Obama supporters and Hillary supporters.

    June 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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