August 5th, 2008
05:13 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama teases McCain on drilling

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama teased McCain on drilling Tuesday."]
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (CNN) –- Barack Obama continued to slam John McCain’s energy policy Tuesday, attacking his opponent’s focus on oil drilling and mocking his Monday comments that “we need to drill here, and we need to drill now.”

Watch: Obama teases McCain

“Instead of offering a real plan to lower gas prices, the only energy plan that he's really promoting is more drilling,” Obama told supporters at a town hall meeting in Ohio, on the second day of a week of energy-themed events. “That's what he talked about yesterday. I want to drill here. I want to drill now. I don't know where he was standing. I think he was in a building somewhere.”

CNN Election Center: Where do the candidates stand on energy policy?

“This plan will not lower prices today, it won't lower prices during the next administration,” Obama continued. “The truth is we wouldn't see a drop of oil from John McCain's plan for at least seven years.”

Though Obama supported last week’s proposed “Gang of Ten” bi-partisan energy plan that includes an element of off-shore drilling, the Illinois senator has continued to rail against it and McCain and his campaign have been sure to remind voters. A recent CNN/Opinon research poll showed 69 percent of Americans support off-shore drilling.

Listen: The McCain campaign slams Obama's energy policy on a Tuesday conference call

The McCain campaign quickly fired back. “While Americans are hurting, Barack Obama is opposed to off-shore drilling, and is also opposed to admitting that he voted for the same corporate giveaways for Big Oil that he’s campaigning against today,” wrote McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. “It underscores that Barack Obama isn’t being straightforward with voters and has the bad judgment Americans can’t afford right now.”

Obama outlined the energy proposals he put forward in a major speech Monday, including the ambitious goal of eliminating imports of oil from the Middle East and Venezuela within ten years.

“I know that there's going to be all kinds of discussion,” said Obama. “John McCain wants to talk about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. That's his idea of a really relevant campaign. But I don't have time to deal with that mess.”

“We can watch helplessly as the price of gas rises and falls because of some foreign crisis we've got no control over," he added, "and uncover every single barrel of oil buried beneath John McCain's feet only to realize we don't have enough for a few years much less for a century.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (402 Responses)
  1. Barack Has My Vote!

    That's what I'm talking about! Not only does Senator Obama have an energy plan, and can reach across party lines, and makes sense in how he does it, but he knows how to move forward to implement change in a positive way and ARRIVE AT A REALISTIC CONCLUSION! While Senator Obama (and other energy experts) absolutely know that offshore drilling is not going to produce any oil IMMEDIATLEY, NOR WILL IT REDUCE THE PRICE OF OIL AT THE PUMP TODAY OR IN YEARS TO COME , HE'S WILLING TO COMPROMISE TO SOME DEGREE FOR THE GOOD THE PEOPLE OF THE U.S.A. His position is drill offshore, but drilling CANNOT AND IS NOT THE ONLY ANSWER TO AMERICA'S ENERGY CRISIS. Our energy plan has to be comprehensive and include all clean and safe sources of energy.

    Oh, and Senator Obama is so funny too! I can imagine ole McCain "my friends, I want to drill HERE and I want to drill NOW", looking like an idiot standing in the middle of an enclosed room with no a drop of oil in sight! Geez, what a bunch of crap just to try to distract from the fact that he, Dubya and his big oil buddies pocketed over $10M of our hard earned money. And now he wants to drill, and drill now! Let me DRILL THIS INTO THE HEAD OF VOTERS, McCAIN HAS NO ENERGY PLAN OTHER THAN TO DRILL HIS WAY INTO OUR POCKETS AGAIN. I'll take the tire gauge any day, to check the hot air coming out of McCain's mouth.

    August 5, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. John

    Meanwhile, Obama has absolutely no plan.

    America, how many times are you going to buy the 'we won't see the effects of more drilling for 7 years.' B.S.?

    The democrats have been saying that for 25 years. We don't drill and we get more dependent on other countries. Exactly what they want. More dependence on foreign powers.

    Wake up America! The democrats have no plan for this country that involves helping you!

    August 5, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. B.Hawkins

    Does McCain deny he supports a 4Billion dollar tax break for big oil?I wonder how far that 4Billion would go in establishing health Care for all Americans who wanted it?

    August 5, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Mike from Westchester

    Proud Army and Navy Mom August 5th, 2008 2:39 pm ET
    The CRP puts Obama's total from oil and gas donors at $394,465. "
    He is LYING as usal. LYING I say and YOU believe him, hahahaha!
    Is there a reason why you did not put McCain's total there? Perhaps because it is over 3 times more than Obama, $1.33 million (according to

    So, who's lying now!

    What about the McCain oil lobby staff:

    Chevron – Wayne Berman
    BP – Eric Burgeson
    Exxon – Frank Donatelli
    Sunoco – Rebecca Anderson
    Occidental Petrolium – CHARLIE BLACK
    Kock Industries – Nancy Pfotenhauer
    Amco – Randy Scheunemann

    So, McCain has 1.33 million reasons and his staff has even more to push an energy policy that favors big oil over the public interest – sounds like the past eight years, huh?

    August 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Jenn

    I suppose we should all just inflate our tires and get more tune ups instead. *rolls eyes*

    August 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    This is such an absurd argument. Informed people are quite aware that drilling is not a solution (especially an immediate one), and this whole thing is a publicity stunt on behalf of the oil-controlled Republicans.

    Sadly, most Americans are not informed people. Our country is one of the worst in the Western Hemisphere in regards to educational levels.

    Any you wonder why Bush was elected TWICE!!

    August 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. jfs Memhis, Tn

    OIL IS A DEPLETABLE NATURAL RESOURCE....when it is gone it is gone. We can either use all up today or in 15 years....but it will be gone. There were only so many dinasorus. Which brings me to Sen. McCain. He has had 30 years to address this ON GOING issue while running for Presidents he has found the light...the heavens have opened up... and now... our 71 year old maverick has found the light that Obama is missing. I'll be a believer of McCain when I see him down a bicycle helment and a bike and rides several miles. That will never happen.....just as his oil package plan won't. His plan is not for you or me.

    August 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. Uhhhh,Ummm-bama

    "White folks greed runs a world in need"

    Why does Uhhhbama hate white people?

    August 5, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. ANGIE


    August 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. TJ Johnson

    Obama is a ridiculously idiotic man. He knows that the cry in the country now is "Drill here, drill now". So he really is ridiculing every American that thinks we should take action now rather than agreeing with him that doing nothing is best. What a foolish person BO is!!! Very dangerous. He will allow our country to run out of energy supplies so that his radical Muslim buddies can take over our country.

    August 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. aliou FL

    Since when did McCain ever stand for someone? H e abandoned handicaped wife for the rich blonde (as in beer). The wife who waited for him during his hanois episode. She got into an accident and our Mcoy just went on looking for greener pastures in the skirts of more fit nations.

    Do you think McCain will stand for you rather than the interest of the oil money that pays him? He chose Cindy over his ailing faithfull wife. What makes you think he will stand for American when we need him other than boom, boom boom?
    McCain is cold, calculated and vulgar. Only mccain can tell bad taste jokes like boom or offering his wife for nude contest and others on the campaign trail.

    August 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    “That's what he talked about yesterday. I want to drill here. I want to drill now. I don't know where he was standing. I think he was in a building somewhere.”

    john mcsame energy's plan – drill under my feet! Hillarious!!!!!!!

    go get 'em, Barack – hit him hard!!!!!!

    yes we can!!!

    Obama '08/'12!!!

    August 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. Natural gas is a FOSSIL FUEL

    You slightly less educated folks that keep touting natural gas, how do you think we get it??? I guess you think it's just like electricity, you just plug in your TV and it is there. You just go down to Lowe's/Walmart/gas station and get a cylinder, they are already full, hahahahaha! And yes, I know cylinders are LP gas, where do you think that comes from???? I know you all mean well, I know you want what is right for this country, you just don't know how energy works. It's OK, but Obama has ZERO credibility on the issue.

    August 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. Marc PDX

    What exactly is Obama's position (presently) on offshore oil drilling? I can't tell if he was for it before he was against it or vice versa. Could someone clarify which side of this issue he stands on (hint: clarify means "to make clear". So far his position seems to be obfuscation of where he stands so that no one can pin him down.)

    Change you can believe in! (Because he'll never give a clear answer)

    August 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. RJ from NJ

    Hardy Har Har.... that NObama is soooooo funny!

    With his air pressure gauge in hand (and nothing in his head), he pokes fun at poor old Johnnie who just wants to fulfill the wishes of most Americans and start leading us out of the energy mess. Hysterical, I tell ya. A true comedian.

    August 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Praetorian, Ft. Myers

    This is incorrect.
    McCain is pushing more production of oil–but his energy policy includes increased alternative fuels, biofuels, and nuclear energy.
    So who is taking the low road via mis-qoutes?

    August 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Barack Obama 08


    August 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Slider

    Alright, Obama, what's your plan?

    The effect timeline you are proposing is incorrect: the market for oil will be affected NOW. OPEC is a cartel; American oil drilling will impact that cartel in ways that you, and your Democrat cohorts, simply don't understand.

    But don't worry, son. I got my tire gauge.

    August 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. mk

    I like the $1000.00 that Obama wants to give us RIGHT NOW, and I like the windfall on oil profits too.
    Any company that has made as much as big oil has in the past year or more SHOULD be taxed accordingly.
    The average american pays plenty of income tax why shouldn't big oil?
    I heard McCain's waterboy Romney say that oil companies use those tax breaks to hire, and explore for additional oil. If that is true can someone please tell us why no new refinaries have been built by big oil, and why they aren't drilling on leases available to them right now?
    The American public deserves to have these questions asked and answered.

    August 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Comic Book Guy

    Barack Obama. Dumbest politician ever!

    August 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. john williams san diego, ca.

    i see osama became enlightened again (which is not a flip-flop) and now is for limited drilling..A man for all seasons and socialism.

    August 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Barack the Vote in RI

    McCain criticizes the past 30 years of our governament's failure. In his senility, doesn't he realize that HE was part of this failure for the past 25?????

    McCain – Change we CAN'T Believe In.

    August 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Alimi

    :John McCain wants to talk about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. That's his idea of a really relevant campaign. But I don't have time to deal with that mess". Succint and to the point. The difference is clear.

    August 5, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. henriettap

    Obama might be getting his donations from employees of oil companies but he has offered a better proposal for energy conservation and McCain has probably not ever had to take a car in for repairs or tire changes because you are told to keep the right air pressure in your tire to get better mileage not only on your tires but also gas mileage,McCain is really showing who is the elitest he is making a joke of what the average American should know.When he goes back to using Moses to make fun of Obama he is really dating himself.And he also shows that he has no sensitivity towards woman.

    August 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Marc PDX

    BTW, we should NOT tap into the strategic oil reserve as a way to lower gas prices. We need to strategically plan for the future (for a change) and if it takes 10 years then so be it. We should have started 10 years ago (or more).

    The strategic oil reserve should be used only for a national emergency such as a major terrorist attack on oil production facilities (a very real possibility in Saudi Arabia) or the shutting down of shipping through the Strait of Hormuz by Iran (another real possibility – especially if their nuclear production facilities are attacked). Playing with the reserve as a way of garnering votes (by temporarily lowering gas prices at home) is just plain IRRESPONSIBLE. Nancy Pelosi should be ashamed of herself. It's like tapping into your savings plan to pay off your credit card. Dumb! Americans! Take a long term approach and don't just treat the symptom!!! You're smarter than that.

    NObama N'08

    August 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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