There are no "quick fixes" for rising gasoline prices, President Obama said Thursday, trying to get in front of an issue that threatens to compromise his re-election campaign. Republicans are blaming Obama for the uptick — which could reach $5 per gallon by summer's driving season, according to some analysts — saying he has denied oil companies the chance to drill for more domestic oil. In turn, Obama faulted Republicans for "licking their chops" over rising gas prices, "rooting for bad news" so they can exploit voters' fuel frustrations for political gain. Does Obama have a point?
The GOP is thrilled about rising gas prices: "Obama got Republicans dead to rights" on this one, says Meteor Blades at Daily Kos. Instead of showing "sympathy for consumers scraping by paycheck-to-paycheck, Republicans are gleeful at the pinched pocketbooks because they present a double-pronged political opportunity." GOP candidates can use the issue to blast Obama, and to back up another push for their short-sighted "'drill, drill, drill' approach to U.S. energy needs."
"Obama zeroes in on myopic GOP energy plans and touts his own, but not one word about climate change"
Obama is exploiting high fuel costs, too: Both sides are playing politics, says Jeff Mason at Reuters. Obama is "raising the issue of high prices to promote" his push for increasing renewable energy sources, and to "blunt criticism" from GOP presidential candidates who accuse him of making the problem worse by blocking domestic drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline. They're both out to win over voters, especially in Western battleground states, "where people drive a lot and feel the sting of rising prices acutely."
"Obama exploits high gasoline prices in campaign"
Gas prices shouldn't be a campaign issue: Newt Gingrich is promising to bring gas prices down to $2.50 a gallon, says Matthew Yglesias at Slate, and the White House is touting an increase in domestic oil production. But when it comes to gas, presidents are impotent — what affects fuel prices is uncontrollable events, such as the threat of war in Iran, or the plummeting consumption of a recession. So remember, any time "politicians are talking about the price of gas, they're talking nonsense."
"Out of gas"