Obama: Rivals Support of Gas Tax Holiday a ‘Gimmick’

By Nitya

May 1, 2008 12:29pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., likened Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Hillary Clinton’s, D-N.Y., support of the gas tax holiday to the "Mission Accomplished" sign behind President Bush 5 years ago today, calling it nothing more than a political "gimmick" that pretends progress is being made.

Obama, who does not support the gas tax holiday, explained to seniors at a retirement home in Indiana that he believes savings would not translate into money in the pockets of drivers because gas companies would boost their prices.

"For us to pretend like we’re solving the problem by giving people 30 cents a day, for a grand total of $28, and that’s it. That’s our plan to deal with gas prices and energy?” Obama questioned of his two opponents, lumping them together and dubbing it the "McCain-Clinton" proposal.

Obama compared the plan to the now (in)famous "Mission Accomplished" banner which hung behind President Bush after he landed on a Navy jet on an aircraft carrier off the California coast and declared the end of major combat in Iraq, a moment that has come to symbolize the administration’s missteps and miscalculations with regard to the war.

"But that’s how Washington works," Obama making a parallel with his opponents’ support of the gas tax holiday, "People are more concerned about looking good for the cameras and for politics than they are at actually solving problems. You remember when George Bush five years ago put up a big sign in front of an aircraft carrier saying ‘Mission Accomplished in Iraq. I’m sure they thought that was good politics. Except five years later we’re still in this war in Iraq."

Obama said Clinton supports the plan because she thought it would poll well, and referenced a Washington Post article which quoted Clinton aides speaking of her support for the plan.

"You know what really burns me up is that we just read yesterday in the newspaper that Clinton’s own advisers admitted that this wouldn’t really work, this wasn’t really gonna help lower gas prices, but they said it was good politics, because they said ‘Obama was opposed to it – it might make him look bad.’ But that’s how Washington works."

Obama, who is hawking a more economic message in his campaign events leading up to the Indiana and North Carolina primary next week is using his dissension on the gas tax holiday as an example of his campaign theme against conventional Washington.

"Time we stop using gimmicks in Washington to make it look like we’re doing something," Obama concluded.

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