Carney backpedals on Gingrich slam
March 13th, 2012
04:57 PM ET

Carney backpedals on Gingrich slam

Washington (CNN) – Monday White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said any politician who claimed they could guarantee $2.50 a gallon gasoline would be “lying.” There is only one candidate – Newt Gingrich – who has made headlines calling for exactly that.

On Tuesday, the president’s spokesman had to walk back such impolitic language.

“It is a fallacy, as I said yesterday, to suggest that there’s some three-point plan or five-point plan out there that could magically, if you wave a wand, reduce the price that Americans are paying per gallon of gas,” Carney told reporters today. “I said yesterday that anybody who said that would be a liar. And I shouldn't have gone on motivations. I should have said that anybody who says that doesn't know what he's talking about.”

On Monday, Carney had said: “What he [Obama] is not willing to do is to look the American people in the eye and claim that there is a strategy by which he can guarantee the price of gas will be $2.50 at the pump. Any politician who does that is lying, because it just - that strategy does not exist. It is a simple fact that there is no such plan that can guarantee the price of oil or the price at the pump.”

In a statement released after Tuesday’s White House briefing, Gingrich Communications Director Joe DeSantis called the Obama administration incompetent in dealing with economic issues.

“The idea of this administration, which has brought us a failed stimulus, boondoggles like Solyndra, $5 gasoline and record budget deficits, lecturing anyone on economics, would be funny if their utter incompetence weren’t so painful for the American people.”

The Gingrich camp says that $2.50 a gallon for gasoline is possible if domestic oil production increases.

“Newt’s bold plan to maximize American energy production has the White House rattled because it exposes just how dramatically out of sync the president’s hard-left energy policies are with the vast majority of the American people. $2.50 gasoline is achievable and drilling here, drilling now so we can pay less and be independent of Middle East oil is just common sense,” DeSantis added.

The president has touted success in increasing domestic oil production and decreasing dependency on foreign oil.

“Oil production here in the United States is higher than it’s been in about the past 8 years so we’re making progress on both the production front and becoming more efficient as an economy but obviously that’s not providing the kind of relief people are looking for at the gas pump,” Obama told CNN affiliate KCNC in an interview Monday

Topics: 2012 Election • Gas prices • Jay Carney • The Buzz

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. MikeRight

    The only reason Obama would want those comments backpedaled is because he knows it's possible. It just means pursuit of an extremely aggressive, but more realistic, energy policy. Yes, we need to develop sustainable energy. It simply does not happen overnight like Obama seems to be convinced it can. In the meantime, drill, drill, drill and work on alternative energy simultaneously.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  2. jerry

    Doogy it again..hahaha

    March 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  3. older than dirt

    The Gingrich camp says that $2.50 a gallon for gasoline is possible if domestic oil production increases.

    After 35 years of working in the oil patch I can tell you one thing for sure. Market price is set on the world market not by
    Newt Gingrich. Anyone telling they are going to lower the price of oil overnight is talking garbage. If you want cheaper fuel
    for your car. Start thinking natural gas.

    March 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  4. concernedjoy

    And once again Obama is taking credit for the oil production being up, knowing that HE has nothing to do with it. Oil production is DOWN on Federal lands, since he won't issue permits. It is UP on privately owned and state land – and anywhere BUSH issued permits.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Melo-D

      If Bush was such a genius when it comes to oil and gas, then why was gas $4+ a gallon in Aug. of '08? I mean the guy had 8 years to drill baby drill. Where's the $2.50 gas? Oh yeah, drilling has nothing to do with the price of gas, you're just pushing Newt's talking points.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
      • 5612jean


        March 14, 2012 at 10:03 am |
      • Steveo

        As a NY Knick fan, I understand that "Melo" and "D" really don't go together but I digress. No offense!

        Anyway, I don't know how folk STILL believe a president controls any commodities. Whatever oil and gas is produced in this country heads to the global market! In short, wasn't Bush's fault and isn't Obama's fault! Bachman mentioned $2.00 a gallon gas and now Newt's $2.50! That authority is not within the reach of any president! For that to happen it would take government interference and isn't that what we're are fussing at now?

        March 14, 2012 at 10:39 am |
      • FLIndependent

        Right Melo! And wasn't the Iraq war supposed to bring us cheaper gas? Our gas prices are still the cheapest among all developed countries yet we continue to complain. I don't like higher gas prices – who does? However, I guess we need to open our eyes and realize that oil is a finite resource and we're never going to see the prices we would like again. Also, we can drill out our country until there is nothing left of it and it still won't affect our prices as that is not how the world works today – it will be sold out on the market. If we don't support this President with what he is trying to do to get us off our oil dependence then I'm afraid we are doomed. Bush even said that Americans are addicted to oil, does anyone remember that??

        March 14, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  5. Irving Terzich

    You may recall, President Obama suggested the use of algae would be one possible answer to a lower price of fuel for vehicles. We might try the water hyacinth too, they were both checked for the treatment of waste water in prior years.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • jboh

      If you had heard the news conference, instead of Snewt's misinterpretation, President Obama praised research being done at that college involving algae. By the way, Popular Mechanics published an article about some guy who makes his own car fuel from algae in his garage. This was several years ago. Why are righties always looking to take a mean-spirited shot based on their own misinformation.?

      March 14, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  6. belindar

    This shows integrity in Jay Carney. If Nutty Newt has a plan the will give a price of $2.50 for gas, and he loves America as he claims, then he would put the plan out there and let those who are in office now determine if it is feasible. However, there is no plan at this time and Newt knows that. He still believes he is talking to people with his IQ. Gingrich will do anything outrageous to keep his name in the news. He is really a clown. A showman and a seller to any fool that will follow him. With that, I will not read another insane thing this moron says. He is nauseating.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • FLIndependent

      I agree and would have to say that about all of the Repub candidates. They all say they have better ideas on gas, economy, housing, Iran, etc. So, if that is true then why not confer with the President and see if he would like to adopt any of those ideas to help the country NOW. Why is it we always have to wait until the next election. Could it be because they are ALL full of hot air and really don't have any better ideas.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  7. Melo-D

    Man, you should have just stuck with he's lying, because he is. Newt knows exactly what he's talking about. He's pandering to people who actually think that the president can control gas prices. Evidentially there are quite a few in this country.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  8. Sillygringos

    How gullible can you be? Fox News and GOP keep talking about gas price when Obama took office which coincidentally was when the US was at the brink of depression. Basic economics people, energy is in high demand in growth periods. When you hit the skid like the US and pretty much the rest of the world did in 2009, demand is dirt low. Hence, gas prices are cheap. If they want to be fair, provide the price of gas before the bubble burst. Prices have been around these levels before and you can't ignore some sort of inflation adjustment.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  9. Name*Liz Carter

    Impolitic language?!? Jay Carney didn't need to walk back anything he said!! He just told us the truth...well, at least the truth as we know it or was told! The President has nothing to do with the cost increases nor decreases of gasoline! We were told that under Bushs' reign and every other Former President when gas prices were increased! Jay told the buttnaked truth. Newt is a LIAR! He is playing on voters ignorance and stupidity, not to mention the great hardship on us in trying to buy gas, just to WIN votes! If he were to when the election, and he won't because he's a liar and a cheater, unless some standing rules of policy concerning Presidential authority over the pricing of gasoline, he will be sitting up there in the Oval Office with his hands tied too!... not being able to do any more than Obama can, or Bush did! The President has no authority over the speculators...period! That's what we were told when we hollered, kicked and screamed about the high gas prices when Bush was President! Why and how did all of a sudden it become different now?? It's all a part of their plot to shine yet another bad light on Obama! We know what it's been all about all along! Newt is a liar, just like most Rethuglicans are!! That's their modus operendi!! They lie through their teeth and think nothing about it. If Obama had even made such a promise, my goodnes the media pundits and commentators, the internet 'blogger politicians', and the rest of the voters who heard it would certainly be on his case and hard!! I can just hear them now...'Who does he think he is..? ' He can't tell the speculators and oil moguls what to charge for gas'! 'Presidents don't have authority over gasoline prices'! 'He's arrogant..he's a snob'! 'He thinks he can walk on water, and thinks he's the smartest suit in the room'! All kinds of animals would come out of there cages after him for even saying such a thing!! Impolitic language wouldn't even be called into question on the issue! They wouldn't walk back a word! He'd be called a 'LIAR' and that's that!! They've already provened they don't mind calling Obama a liar! Right to his face too!! Oh, but since it's Newt, and he's running on the lying GOP ticket for PRESIDENT, we have to tip around his 'LIE' on eggs-shells or act like we believe he's telling the truth!! Carney shouldn't have taken a word back...he told it like it was!! That kind of thing to me is a prime example of REAL 'voter fraud'!! It causes the stupid and lower-level intelligents to vote on a KNOWN lie just to try to make Obama a 'one term President!! He's a liar pure and simple and that's that!! Obama told us that if we heard anyone saying they could fix it where we would be paying $2.50 per gallon for gas, they just don't know what they're talking about! At least he was trying to be 'polite', whether they are to him or not...and they never have been!! Jay Carney is the press secretary...his job is to tell us the truth! He shouldn't have to worry about being 'polite', over telling the straight truth!! Ignore the accusation of you using 'IMPOLITIC LANGUAGE', Jay!! Just keep telling us what's REAL! NEWT IS A LIAR!! No apologies are necessary!!

    March 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  10. Church

    Keep talkin', Newt. You only prove how dumb you are.

    March 14, 2012 at 5:05 am |
  11. Church

    Calm down, Liz Carter. The only place Newt is going is back to his all White men's country club.
    We have not forgotten how Newt started the vicious atmosphere in DC that still exists to this day.

    March 14, 2012 at 5:10 am |
  12. Sponge-Bob

    Carney is definitely not the best spokesman. It often looks like he's unprepared for questions he knows are coming.

    March 14, 2012 at 5:26 am |
  13. Steveo

    If we could harness all the back pedaling going on in DC..... energy crisis solved!

    March 14, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  14. Eric

    how old is the ink on this it dry yet.he spend two million to keep it a rsecet.why couldn't he spend a few thousand more to have a phony made up.just wondering why it took so long.he hiding something.what did he sped two million on to keep rsecet.just wondering again

    April 2, 2012 at 10:44 am |