Let's All Politicize High Gas Prices

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In case you haven't noticed, gas prices are pushing $4 a gallon and since it's an election year, the burdensome price at the pump makes for excellent campaign trail fodder. Never mind that, per the Associated Press, "economists say there's not much a president of either party can do about gasoline prices," it's always someone's fault. Here are the lamest talking points we've seen on the stump so far:

Allan West  In an astonishingly irony-free statement Thursday, Florida Congressman Allen West blasted President Obama for the steep cost of filling up his 2008 Hummer SUV. "Here is the bottom line, last night it took 70 dollars to fill the tank of my 2008 H3 Hummer," West said.  "What is it costing you? What does it cost the president to fill his gas tank?” Congressman, you drive a monstrous combat vehicle that gets 15 mpg, that's why it costs a lot at the pump.

Newt Gingrich The unachievable election-year promise. Everyone makes them. But some are so nakedly unlikely it's a surprise they're delivered with a straight face, like Newt Gingrich's promise to bring the cost of gas down to $2.50. “Americans have every right to demand $2.50 gas — we are an oil-rich country,” the former House speaker told conservative magazine Newsmax. “My plan will have the price of gasoline at $2.50 a gallon so that Americans aren’t penalized every time they go to the pump.” Essentially, the plan boils down to developing offshore drilling, authorizing the development of federal lands for drilling and signing an executive order to green light the Keystone pipeline. $2.50, here we come. 

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The RNC For the Republican National Committee, correlation = causation. Also, Obama shouldn't be singing the blues. Enough said:

Rick Santorum  Campaigning in Ohio, Rick Santorum blamed the high gas prices on "the president's mismanagement of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East." This is coming from the guy who says he'd bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. I think we all know how gas prices would be affected by that.

President Obama With all these wonderfully spurious attacks on the president, there's no reason for him to invent what Republicans are saying. But on the stump, he thinks he found a rhetorical winner in this little number describing the GOP's "three-point plan." “Step one is to drill, and step two is to drill, and step three is to keep drilling." That's the best you can do?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.