Obama adviser: No ‘magic bullet’ for gas prices
Worried about the political threat of rising gas prices, Democrats scrambled over the weekend to push back against the GOP’s latest line of attack on the White House: connecting consumers’ pain at the pump with President Obama.
On Sunday, one day after Mr. Obama talked about the limits of presidential power when it comes to energy prices in his weekly address, Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs derided GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich, who promised $2.50 gas on the campaign stump last week.
Three House Democrats — Massachusetts’ Edward J. Markey, Vermont’s Peter Welch and Connecticut’s Rosa L. DeLauro — have sent a letter to the president urging him to use the reserves, as he did last summer. The world’s largest petroleum reserve has more than 700 million barrels — about a 30-day supply — maintained by the federal government.
Mr. Gibbs, the president’s former spokesman, said opening up the Strategic Petroleum Reserves is a possibility.
“Newt Gingrich also has a plan to create moon colonies and lunar outposts within two years,” he said.
Other Democrats have called for more production. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, on Sunday called for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to push Saudi Arabia to boost output.
The president in his Saturday speech said “there’s no silver bullet.
“But what we can do is get our priorities straight and make a sustained, serious effort to tackle this problem,” he said.
Republicans, he said, have one answer to the oil pinch: drill.
“That’s not a plan,” he said. “It’s a bumper sticker.”
The average price of a gallon of gas hit $3.65 nationwide on Friday, and Republicans in Washington and on the campaign trail Sunday put the blame squarely on the president.
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