The Republican National Committee released a new web ad Tuesday blasting President Obama over rising gas prices as GOP candidates head to the polls in the Michigan’s pivotal primary.
The ad, titled “Obama’s failed promises: Michigan edition,” contrasts a video clip of then-Sen. Obama decrying rising gas prices as the “quiet storms our families have been facing for months if not years,” with recent news stories on the spike in prices at the pump. On screen text then urges supporters to “change direction” in a font reminiscent of the Obama campaign materials from 2008.
“In 2008, when visiting Grand Rapids, Michigan, Barack Obama lamented about the rising cost of gas and groceries saying things will get worse if ‘we don’t act,’” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement. “Unfortunately, after three years of being worse off, the only person to blame for inaction is Barack Obama.”
Republicans have been hammering the president in the past week over rising gas prices, with drivers paying an average of $3.72 per gallon on Monday. The price increase — a record high for February — is partially the result of escalating tensions with Iran, refinery outages on the West Coast, and supply disruptions in Africa. But Republicans argue that the president’s hold on the Keystone XL pipeline and restrictions on offshore drilling have driven up prices.
“The president pays lip-service to an all-of-the-above energy policy, yet rejected the Keystone Pipeline and has impeded American energy exploration,” Priebus said. “His ‘green energy’ policies equate to hefty handouts to campaign donors as in the case of Solyndra. As gas prices soar, Obama admits his own energy policy is just a ‘hodgepodge.’ Instead of more failed promises, America deserves a leader who is ready to tackle our challenges, not sit back and give speeches.”
The issue has become a potent point on the campaign trail, with Newt Gingrich pushing a plan that he says could drive down the price of gas by opening up more federal lands to oil drilling. Rick Santorum, meanwhile, argued that rising gas prices caused the 2008 housing collapse as he campaigned in Michigan Monday.
“We need to look at the situation with gas prices today,” Santorum said. “We went into a recession in 2008 because of gasoline prices. The bubble burst in housing because people couldn’t pay their mortgages because they were looking at $4 a gallon gasoline.”
President Obama blasted Republicans for “licking their chops” over the rising prices in a speech on energy last Thursday.
You pay more and they’re licking their chops. And you can bet since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas,” Obama said. “I’ll save you the suspense: step one is drill, step two is drill, and then step three is keep drilling.
“We heard the same line in 2007 when I was running for president,” Obama said. “We hear the same thing every year. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years.”