[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/06/art.macsuv0806.ap.jpg caption="The McCain and Obama camps have sparred in recent days over Sen. Obama's suggestion that vehicles could get better gas mileage with properly inflated tires."]
HUNTINGTON, West Virginia (CNN) - John McCain appeared to make a serious U-turn Tuesday on the practice of keeping one’s tires inflated to save fuel.
McCain and his campaign have ruthlessly mocked Obama for telling cash-pinched gas consumers in Springfield, Missouri last week to keep their tires inflated to conserve gas.
The presumptive GOP nominee got a big laugh at a massive biker rally on Monday when he mockingly told the crowd, “My opponent doesn’t want to drill, he doesn’t want nuclear power, he wants you to inflate your tires.”
But on a conference call with Philadelphia voters Tuesday night, McCain offered support for the fuel-saving tip.
“And could I mention that Sen. Obama a couple of days ago said that we ought to all inflate our tires, and I don’t disagree with that,” he said on the call. “The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it. But I also don't think that that's a way to become energy independent."
McCain’s campaign said the comment is in line with his past statements on the matter, and accused Obama of championing good tire maintenance instead of well-rounded energy reform.
“As John McCain has said multiple times and said again yesterday: keeping your tires inflated is great, but Barack Obama’s claim that this is a substitute for drilling as a part of a comprehensive energy strategy demonstrates his inexperience on the energy issue,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said.