April 23rd, 2011
04:41 PM ET
By CNN Political Coverage Manager Steve Brusk
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama confronted two political realities this week:
– Rising gas prices are bad for a politician's poll numbers.
– There is almost nothing a politician can do about it, at least in the short run.
The national average for gas rose another eight-tenths of a cent in the last 24 hours, to $3.856 a gallon, according to AAA. That's the 32nd consecutive day with an increase. Prices have risen nearly 31 cents a gallon during that streak, or nearly 9 percent.
And during that same period, Obama has seen his approval ratings slide and an increase in Americans who say the country is heading in the wrong direction. The latest CNN Poll of Polls out Friday put the president's approval rating at 45 percent, with his disapproval number up to 52 percent. That's his lowest approval rating of 2011. (In contrast, 52 percent of Americans approved of the job he was doing in mid-January).
For the full story, go to CNN's Political Ticker.
April 23rd, 2011
02:22 PM ET
From CNN's Rebecca Stewart
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama recognized the economic strain caused by soaring gas prices and stressed the importance of clean energy initiatives to reduce America's dependence on oil in the weekly address Saturday.
"Even if you haven't faced a job loss, it's still not easy out there," he said.
Obama added that despite rising costs, paychecks are not getting any bigger.
"There's no silver bullet that can bring gas prices down right away," he said.
Obama offered solutions including the "safe and responsible production of oil at home," and discussed a task force launched Thursday by Attorney General Eric Holder that has the mission of "rooting out cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, including any illegal activity by traders and speculators."
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