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. Steve in DC

    It didnt work for Hillary...It wont work for McCain. What kind of sense does that make? Put thousands of highway workers out of work so you can save the average a few dollars for a couple of months?

    [sarcasm]Yeah...that sounds good to me[/sarcasm]

    June 9, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Nick - Arlington, VA

    didn't he see how this didn't work in the NC and IN democratic primaries?

    June 9, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. charles

    McCain are you listening Dick Cheney said yr ldea is a joke. got it. it is a JOKE. if yr buddies are saying that wat do u expect from people like us . we say its a fools ldea.

    June 9, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. McSame

    why do not you call on an initiative to use sugar cane bio fuel like Brazil did, it is 10 more effective than corn bio fuel. The tax gas holiday will only benefit the oil companies. No Thanks McBush !!!

    June 9, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Loretta from California

    Clinton supporters--We get it. You will not vote for Senator Obama. You have a perfect right to vote anyway you chose. Fine.

    June 9, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Cindy in California

    Okay so people but school supplies, and have a nice dinner, so what!! Gas prices will be 5.00 – 5.50 a gallon and we are back to square one, no dinner no way to replenish the school supplies, so now what? "Let Them Eat Cake"

    June 9, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Easy Rider

    I fail to see how a few bucks is really going to make any kind of impact. We have to DRIVE to get to a "nice dinner out".

    And, for those of us for which that measly "gift" would really make a difference, I highly doubt it would be wasted in a restaurant. It just might go towards FEEDING FAMILIES.

    McCain is OUT OF TOUCH to say the very least.

    June 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    This is going to be good....the gas tax holiday stunt won't work this time....people are hurting and they won't take any more pipe dreams on a platter from pandering politicians...we need real change and John McBush ain't the man for that!

    June 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. McSame

    why do not you call on an initiative to use sugar cane bio fuel like Brazil did, it is 10 times more effective than corn bio fuel. The tax gas holiday will only benefit the oil companies. No Thanks McBush !!!

    June 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. molly

    you Hillary bitter supporters I think you will fit in nicely with the Mcsame camp, we dont need you here go and see how you can enjoy and make a better world of mccain as leader hello iran war hellobush the third, go on we dont need your vote , oh I forgot Hillary voted for the war as well. but now she knows better thats why she is supporting Obama, go get your few cents dinner... lol

    June 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. John in NY

    This would amount to borrowing 18 cents per a gallon from China to save 1 cent a gallon at the pump. You will not see a 18 cent drop in the price bc all the gas people will take a cut of the action. That is how the economy works.

    If it did save 18 cents a gallon and we didn't have to borrow from China then I would be in favor of it, but sadly this is not the case.

    If you really have to borrow more from China then please just give us the money directly rather than using a stupid McGimmick.

    June 9, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. bridgette

    This is and was a stupid idea from the beginning. The price of gas is high and will remain high until Bush and Cheney get out of office. Saudi Arabia is getting ready to have a summit on why the price of oil keeps going higher and higher. Saudi Arabia people. They have speculators who keep putting out fake information that makes the price of oil and everything else keep going up. It is not supply and demand it is a select few that no one knows who keeps making the price of oil go up. You are talking about giving a tax credit and states are talking about raising the tax on gas. So it doesn't even balance itself out. McCain is pandering and telling people what they want too hear and not offering solutions. The reality of it is there is nothing he nor Obama can do right now.

    June 9, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Joe, Northern Virginia

    All those people who are saying that they are Democrats but wont vote for a democratic nominee and are constantly blogging on here aren't Democrats but republicans who are trying to sow seeds of discord within the Democratic party. They are trying to turn Hillary's supporters against Obama. Just read their blogs carefully and you would realize that no true Democrat regardless of the nominee will vote for a Republican... because this elections isn't about a nominee; it’s about our values and ideology... it’s about our life and how we want it to be. Any decision made out of anger will very much be regretted one day... but it will be too late when that day comes. Think about it fellow Democrats!

    June 9, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Jack from Texas

    "….you are trying to feed us for a day….we wan't a president who is going to feed us for life." – CW4Barak 2:10

    What's wrong with feeding yourself? If you want hand outs, move somewhere that provides them. Let those of us who enjoy the freedom to live our lives the way we want live in the country that was founded on that premise.

    Nader 2008

    June 9, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. Sean

    He said this is not his answer to the energy crisis, just a little relief for familes to help pay for school supplies etc. What do you think Obama knows about the economy? The fact is that presidents are very rarely economic wiz kids...that's why they have people to advise them on what policies to make. All McCain did was tell the truth and that is why he is going to get the best economic minds he can to help him out. Did Obama say he is an economic genius or is he giving us a liberal-lies free weekend to also help with school supplies and groceries?

    June 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. DM

    McCain Lobbyist connection and contracts are in support of the Rich and Wealthy. Senator McCain does not care for the Poor and the Military.. Why is that??????

    June 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Chut Pata

    McCain needs to come to Oregon and see for himself the impact of taxes on oil. Oregon has no state tax except those like gas and what is the price difference? Almost the same! It is because the higher gas prices and good transit system encourages Oregoneons to travel by bicycles, buses, and street trains. The result? Lesser gas profits for oil companies so that they stay in competition (with alternate transport).

    McCain needs a lesson or two in economy. It is the economy again stupid.

    June 9, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. HH

    What you are saying is we should take money from Peter to pay Paul.

    I would rather have our roads and briges being well kept, then saving me a lousy $30.00.

    This is the biggest fairy tale being played by Senator McCain.

    June 9, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. indy dem

    McCain would rather have a few cheap votes than safe roads and bridges. I hope we don't the straight talk express in a tragic bridge-collapse

    June 9, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. Shelly in IL

    OK! They need to get started on this thing if it's gonna happen. Come on, lets get a move on with it! We need a break or is this McCain flip flopping again?

    June 9, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. Loretta from California

    This morning, I paid $4.49 cent per gallon for gas. We Californians are at the top of the totem-pole when it comes to suffering through this economical crisis, but we are not so stupid as to fall for quick fixes or political pandering. Go join Bush in Europe.

    June 9, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. mike

    He doen't know what expensive means but he knows faking old joks.........simply I request to quiet the race. He knows about war but he doesn't understood what wages and where the directions are goining on. complitily he doesn't understood inside war of on economy, war on the majorties of American dreams. For 5 years the surrender Iraq war but he said i will never surrender in Iraq so who is responsibile the loss of precious lives in thousends and billions of $ in a day since started?
    If you really love your country needs to think farawy not.....abut your surrenderness but abut the future of this country in correct jugde for all humankind.

    June 9, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Unknown

    If I have to watch that man for four years I might as well fly to Cuba and wash castro's feet....

    June 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. lil

    In my opinion you Cindy must be either very rich or like the way things
    are going. As you said its your vote.
    I just pray you dont get what you vote for.

    June 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Peter Damoah-Afari

    Obama has made it clear to the people of America about such a trap. Why is it that and adult like McCain is still hanging on something Hillary even used but failed? No wonder Obama will beat him come november.

    June 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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