March 2nd, 2011
03:47 PM ET

Barbour accuses Obama of driving up energy prices – sound familiar?

CNN reported earlier today that Mississippi Governor and potential GOP presidential candidate Haley Barbour accused the Obama Administration of actively pushing for higher energy prices.

“In 2008, four dollar gasoline brought my state to its knees, before Wall Street melted down, and we have blown through three dollars a gallon on our way to four," Barbour said in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"We don't need that where I am. But this administration's policies have been designed to drive up the cost of energy in the name of reducing pollution, in the name of making very expensive alternative fuels more economically competitive," he continued.

Sound familiar?

When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008 and the nation was facing $4/gallon gas prices, the issue was front and center on the campaign trail. Sen. John McCain supported a “gas tax holiday” while Obama referred to it as a “gimmick.” Instead, Candidate Obama suggested that voters check their tire pressure to ensure better gas mileage.

During the height of the gas price battle, Obama was asked if high gas prices might actually “help us” in a June 2008 interview with CNBC’s John Harwood.

"I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. But if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment, first of all by putting more money into their pockets, but also by encouraging the market to adapt to these new circumstances more quickly, particularly US automakers, then I think ultimately, we can come out o f this stronger and have a more efficient energy policy than we do right now,” he responded.

Not surprisingly, the McCain campaign pounced.

"Barack Obama's assertion that the only problem with higher gas prices is that they've gone up too fast - saying he'd prefer a 'gradual' increase instead - shows how clearly out of touch he is with Americans struggling with record gas prices. At a time when Americans need relief at the pump, Barack Obama's support for higher gas prices and higher energy taxes is just another example of his weak economic judgment,” a McCain spokesman blasted in a statement.

According to his opposition, Candidate Obama supported higher gas prices and President Obama is purposefully driving up the costs of energy.

Debatable, but one thing is for certain: President Obama hasn't been able to make his campaign rhetoric on energy a reality. When asked by a New Hampshire voter if he could accomplish just one thing during his presidency, he replied: 

If it had to be just one thing, I would enact a bold energy policy because I think that we could save so much money, engineer such a surplus in the economy, and solve climate change all at one time. And it would improve our national security posture. So you get three things. It helps our environment, our economy, and our national security. And it would free up resources to deal with what I think is the most important domestic issue, which is health care. And I think it would help us strategically on the international stage as I was ending the war in Iraq. So if I just had to choose one thing it would probably be that…..I do want three things though. I want to end the war in Iraq. I want to get everybody a health care system that's accessible....and the energy policy. But if I just had to choose one thing it would be that.  But I really want three things.

Senator Barack Obama, Exeter, NH, December 2007

Topics: Energy • President Obama • The News • Uncategorized

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Liz Carter in Georgia

    These southern dixiecrats who hide mainly in the GOP are always going to blame the color of the sky, unless it's blue on a DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATION! That is how it's always been; BARBOUR has the gall to blame the energy and gas prices on PRES OBAMA! The oil companies and their CEOS have always jumped at ANY reason to raise gas prices! When a stage is set they can use, they jump on it! Americans have always turned chaos into profit for the GREEDY! Now it's because of LIBYA! We don't even get oil from them!

    March 2, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  2. thebob.bob

    Haley Barbour is taking lying lessons from another delusional Southerner, Mike Huckabee. How can they make Obama be " not like a regular American"? Hmmmm? How about ...... Obama wants gas prices to rise because he was born in Nigeria where they drill for oil and he wants the country of his father to get rich from high gas prices ..... or ... Obama wants gas prices to rise because the his jihadist muslim brothers will be able to sell more oil to America..

    They just make it up and then the RepubliCorps press office repeats it over and over until 20% of America believes it.

    March 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Yes Barry wants higher gas prices. In fact he campaigned on that issue. In June 2008 Barry said that high gas prices are a good thing. Also his buddy Al advocated $5 gal gas.

      March 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  3. Jay in NC

    We may or may not get oil from Libya but the people that do are now getting oil from the people we use to get it from. That is what free and open markets are all about. By the way Barry was the biggest recipient of (greedy) BP campaign cash.

    Profit for the greedy? Who Liz, the share holders, are you talking about IRA, mutual funds, union retirement funds? Most invest in energy stocks, oil that is, black gold. The stock holders, hardworking American men and women, are the benefactors in oil company success. Oh, and by the way, corporations exist to make money for their investors. If they don't they can be held accountable. This Liberal idea of the big bad greedy company is childish.

    Take a look at Barry's own page about energy. You can see for your self all the lies and broken promises.

    Here are just a few them ......

    Enact a Windfall Profits Tax to Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families.
    Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation.
    Swap Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Cut Prices.
    ncrease Fuel Economy Standards.
    Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
    A “Use it or Lose It” Approach to Existing Oil and Gas Leases.

    March 2, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  4. William

    It's probably Mr.Barbour fault the gas prices are being raised higher he probably don't mind because he's part owner of a gas company if not multiple gas company his self stop with the BS about it is the presidents fault you -whole anyone who's got a lil common sense no this is fiction you dumb-!

    March 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  5. panola

    Obama said "oil prices would necessarily skyrocket" and that's exactly what he got or caused.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:27 am |