“Some of you might have seen that Senator Clinton’s spending a lot of money on a television ad that attacks me for not supporting her and John McCain’s idea of a gas tax holiday for the summer. Now, this is an idea that will save you – altogether – half a tank of gas. That’s thirty cents a day. For three months. That’s if the oil companies don’t simply jack up their price to fill the gap, as they’ve done when this was tried before. Does anyone here really trust the oil companies to give you the savings when they could just pocket the money themselves?,” Obama asked.
Obama said this issue is about Hillary Clinton getting elected, “In a moment of candor, her advisors actually admitted that it wouldn’t have much of an effect on gas prices. But, they said, it’s a great political issue for Senator Clinton. So this is not about getting you through the summer, it’s about getting elected. And this is what passes for leadership in Washington– phony ideas, calculated to win elections instead of actually solving problems.”
He said that Clinton and McCain are the ones who are out of touch, “Now Senator Clinton’s been using this issue to make the argument that I’m somehow “out of touch.” Well let me tell you – only in Washington can you get away with calling someone out of touch when you’re the one who thinks that thirty cents a day is enough to help people who are struggling in this economy. I’ll tell you what I think – I think the American people are smarter than Washington gives us credit for.”
It speaks volumes about Barack Obama’s political skill that he has been able to turn what on the surface looks like an unpopular position into an advantage. I think that the American people are tired of being bought off with tax cuts, and stimulus packages. Every time we get, Washington takes us further away from real solutions. The gas tax holiday makes no sense unless you are a candidate who is looking for a distraction issue that you hope to win an election on.
Full Text of Obama’s Speech: