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. Sandra J

    I was just looking at the total of oil exports and imports for this year so far. These are statistics that come from the Dept. of Energy. So far we have EXPORTED 275,507,000 barrels of crude oil and products and we have IMPORTED FROM THE PERSIAN GULF 372,821,000. Maybe rather than look at more off shore drilling we stop EXPORTING our own oil. I also think it's time to put time limits on oil leases as the big oil companies are sitting on a slew of leases but rather than develpe them they want the monopoly on all of the potential oil sites. Here's to hoping OBAMA doesn't sell out as Mc Cain has.

    August 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |

    Okay, so Obama is against drilling oil today? I can't keep up with his policies. He continues to flip-flop, I mean refine them.

    Someone answer me this. Obama is a law professor, but he flipped flopped on the DC Gun ban. Don't you think by the time you get to be a 48 year old attorney, you would know where you stand on that issue?

    Obama is the true say or do anything candidate. In November, Obama will win the same group of people he won in the primaries: liberals, youth, and blacks...........end of story.

    You should have voted for the candidate who was winning the swing vote.

    Still for Hill, but voting McCain

    August 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. Joel

    Obama is nothing more than a Jimmy Carter on energy.

    The posted comments reflect liberal support for Obama and
    surely show why I get my nes from Fox.

    August 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Tony


    August 5, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. mello doug New Mexico

    I do wish that the people who what to drill for oil offshore and in Alaska would get it through their heads that it will damage the ecology of the outer shelf and the fragile ecology of the the artic. Once you damage these areas they may never, never come back. Is cheap gas worth it? If we continue to damage the fragile world we live in there will be noting left for our children and children's children. As for atomic energy...I also wish that some of you would study the science and then talk about how safe it is. Chernobyl could easily happen again as could 3 mile island. I bet most of you don't even know what happened at Gallup, NM and that there are still two headed sheep found along the Rio Puerco.
    And just how will drilling help anyone trying to fill their gas tank when it is common knowledge that it will take at a minimum of 10 years for drilling to effect your gas tank if they started drilling tomorrow.
    It seems that McCain and the republicans tell these lies and that there are a lot of ignorant people who start believing the lies and then act as though it was the gospel truth. What a shame.

    August 5, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it." Obama 95

    Are you kidding... really

    Didn't the Dalai Bama just change his position on off shore drilling two days ago?

    OMG... he flips so much he can't remember his last stance.

    It's no wonder hes falling daily in the polls.... Obama... a joke we can believe in.

    August 5, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Brett in Denver

    So what is B.O.'s energy answer?

    Please don't tell me it's tapping the strategic reserve. What a great idea! We'll just fill it up again when oil is cheap in the future. What??

    I thought the idea of a reserve was to fuel our military and necessary operations in the time of an oil disruption. Has there ever been a more dire time than now to keep a reserve? I can't believe you people buy this line of crap.

    Hard to argue that producing more oil is such a bad thing... Even if it takes seven years, it will be far more proactive, than hoping that wind and solar power somehow become efficient enough to even be relevant. Without gobs of subsidies, they wouldn't exist today. You really believe they can replace oil.... in less than 7 years???? The country better wake up and consider what's at stake here.

    August 5, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Jake

    Anyone notice how McCain is reading off of some cue cards lately. It looks like he obviously is not familiar with what is on them by the way he practically reads right off of them on camera. This means to me someone else is controlling McCain because he can not be trusted to stay on message like the previous chimp who is now in office. He goes off on his own on a Sunday and tells the truth about Social Security and raising payroll taxes then his campaign people come out and say McCain does not speak for the McCain campaign. They go on to clarify that McCain will not raise any taxes even though he said he would that past Sunday. Do we really want another puppet in the White House? Remember this guy barely made it out of the academy and will not release his military records. I wonder what he has got to hide? He has been in Washington for 26 years and has done nothing. That makes him part of the problem and not the solution we need.

    August 5, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. rose

    CNN, please post!!
    Especially to Ronnie, New Mexico August 5th, 2008 2:39 pm ET

    I'm starting to believe the blogs are full of people from both campaign sites...with only a handful of voters. Don't get me wrong, you guys do vote, but PLEASE quit WHINNING like babies when you can't have your way.

    One minute CNN is okay, then terrible the next....what do you want?

    OBAMA '08

    August 5, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. dan

    For all of you who are in favor of the windfall profit tax on oil companies, the profit percentage that ExxonMobil had for the 2nd Qtr was about 8.5%. If the government decides that any company making more than 8% profit deserves to be subject to a special tax there will be a tremendous number of companies that will be subject to that tax. Taking shots at the oil companies is just more politically palatable than other industries since the democrats have convinced many people in this country that the oil companies are the root of all evil in the world. Many of you I'm sure work for companies making an 8% profit so if we start taxing them all make sure you bring in a big enough box to pack up your desk because it will ruin companies.

    August 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. gary m

    McCain is George Bush' right hand man

    August 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Debra

    We can not afford to be so short sighted. We must expand our availability to oil until after the alternative fuels are developed. Worried that the oil might not be avialable for many years?. Better consider that the alternative energy might not be available for many more years also and stop slamming the door on new drilling.

    The solution will probably be to use oil AND other forms of energy.

    This way we don't depleat our oil as fast and if we develop it in the US we will have a supply for ourselves without having to buy it from our enemies. We can not close the door yet and possibly never on developing more oil. The oil companys don't care if we develope oil or not. They will still get paid. The price we pay for it will make up for the difference.

    August 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. John

    If you sincerely believe off shore drilling is the way to take care of the mess we are currently in, then not only are you unintellectual, but moronic, as well. I am not going to reiterate all the stats (from the experts on this situation, mind you) because morons can not understand anything except "Dancing with the Stars", "Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader", and "American Idol."

    August 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. Tony


    August 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Marc PDX

    We have been stupid to allow ourselves to get into this energy mess in the first place. We lacked foresight and planning. Now the democrats want to provide a fix to a stupid problem with a stupid solution: tapping into the strategic oil reserve. We got ourselves into this mess with stupidity but we won't get ourselves out with even more stupidity. We now have to act like responsible adults. We need to plan and work our way back out of this mess over the next decade. Tapping the strategic oil reserve won't fix the root cause of the problem and it would be very STUPID!

    August 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Wes

    I wonder how much money these Republicans have in big oil stocks? It's about pure greed and they couldn't care less about the average Americans. After all, they can just move to Dubai along with Chaney and "W" if things get too bad for them here.

    August 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |

    McCain Supporters,
    He is not a maverick, but rather a flip-flopper.
    Below are only a few position McSurge has changed positions on:
    1. McCain opposed off-shore oil drilling; now he supports it
    2. McCain strongly opposes a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.
    3. McCain thought Bush’s warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.
    4. McCain defended “privatizing” Social Security. Now he says he’s against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)
    5. McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn’t.
    6. McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite.
    7. McCain pledged in February 2008 that he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Specifically, McCain was asked if he is a “‘read my lips’ candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?” referring to George H.W. Bush’s 1988 pledge. “No new taxes,” McCain responded. Two weeks later, McCain said, “I’m not making a ‘read my lips’ statement, in that I will not raise taxes.”
    8. In 2002 McCain said, it is OK for Bush to detain suspected enemy combatants in Guantanamo bay, without bringing any charge against them. In now (2007) he is against it, and even wants to closedown Guantanamo bay.
    9. In 2006, McCain said he was the “greatest critic” of Rumsfeld’s failed Iraq policy.
    In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as “a mission accomplished.” In March 2004, he said, “I’m confident we’re on the right course.” In December 2005, he said, “Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.”
    10. We can’t have a time-time for Iraq, and It’s OK to stay in Iraq for 100 years;
    ……….. 4 months later McCain appear agrees to an18-month time-table for a withdrawal
    McCain is no straight-talker….so…If you support McCain…. could you tell him to rename his bus/plane….. the FLIP-FLOP EXPRESS ?
    By keeping “straight talk express” on his bus & plane, McCain is insulting the intelligence of every American. Even a dummy, can easily tell McCain is the king of Flip-Floppers
    ……..FLIP-FLOP EXPRESS …. This is a better description of McCain, isn’t it ?

    August 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. remember OPEC is in charge

    OPEC controls oil. That simple. Increase in supply here means they lower their supply to keep global prices the same so they make money.

    The difference is in creating affordable alternatives on the automotive end. Alcohol is good one, hybrid plug-in plus alcohol plus gasoline is a great alternative around 5-10 years down the road.

    Until then, the oil must be drilled, because we will never lose our need of it. EVER! End of story.

    August 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. Debra

    ethanol is not the answer. If causes our food prices to increase.

    August 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  20. Baze

    I'm so sick of Republicans trying to insult my intelligence. Barack should just go on vacation, and let McCain continue to unveil the disingenous nature of Bush allied Repuglicans.

    August 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Go McCain

    You know the way you Dems are so anti-big oil, I sincerely hope that the oil companies move their headquarters to Dubai or someplace out of the US. How many jobs will that cost US citizens? How many tax dollars will be lost? How will that affect investors? For all you complaining and saying you saw this coming eight years ago, why didn't you do like I did? I didn't jump onto the big SUV bandwagon, bought a sensible car, and used my savings to invest in Big OIl. Got to love those dividends (unless Obama has his way and wants to tax those at a higher rate)

    August 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. Dameun Strange

    McCain is not outlining anything. All his campaign has done is attack Obama. There are no solutions, concrete or otherwise coming from McCain. To those of you responding that Obama is showing lack of good judgment, at least he is showing judgment. Since June, there have been crisis that have come up and Obama has responded with solutions whereas McCain only makes bad jokes and bad commercials. Let's here something besides WAR and DRILL...something new, something original. Let us see some simblence of judgement by McCain...then and only then can we tell who judgement, TODAY is right for America, TODAY...not 8 years ago or in some other place in time. What we are voting for is someone to lead us today and into the next decade.

    It is so sad that there is so much hate for a man, who has been trying to unite people shows the fundamental flaw in our society. E pluribus unum is obviously as superficial as "all men are created equal".

    August 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. Chris, American in London

    Obama, obliterates McCain in any debate over energy:
    Don't forget, McCain has no plans to get us off oil, he loves big oil so much (and Haliburton) that he wants to keep American troops in Iraq for the next 100 years.
    He loves big oil so much he wants to drill off the coast of Florida just in time for Hurricane season so energy speculators can watch the weather channel like its the nasdaq EVEN MORE then they already do to trade and rob us blind, despite the fact it'll be 10 years before we see a drop of oil from any of it.
    By then the rest of the Western world will be selling us new technologies their governments regulated energy industries into releasing AND JOHN MCCAIN WILL BE DEAD OF OLD AGE as America falls into a Brazil/Mexico style of rich and poor.
    Just what the doctor (Dick Cheney, aka Dr. Doom) ordered.

    August 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. no obama, please

    The dizzying pace of Obama's flip-flops leaves most Americans unsure of his true positions. He will do anything it takes and strike as many poses as possible to get elected. Everyone on the planet knows that alternate energy is the way to go. In the interim, increasing oil supply for the next 10-15 years is not such a bad idea and could provide a cushion to the boundless appetite of India and China. Obama spews so much hot air on the subject yet openly accepts money from the oil companies and vascillates daily on his energy stance. Please bring back Hillary Clinton so that the Dems can reclaim the White House. This loser will cost us the election in November.

    August 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Moderate Democrat, New York

    I miss my Hillary!

    August 5, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17