Obama Swipes McCain on Energy, McCain Camp Labels Obama ‘Dr. No’

Jun 24, 2008 10:56pm

ABC News’ Jennifer Duck reports: The two presidential candidates brawled over energy today as gas prices continue to stay above $4.00 a gallon.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., attacked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for saying offshore drilling would probably have more of a "psychological effect" rather than bringing the price of gas down immediately.

"The American people don’t need psychological relief or meaningless gimmicks … they need real relief that will help them fill up their tanks and put food on the table," Obama said in Las Vegas.

The presumptive Democratic presidential candidate said he was running for president to "do what’s right for America" not what "polls well."

"In case you’re wondering, in Washington-speak what that means is it polls well. It’s an example of how Washington tries to convince you that they’ve done something to make your life better when they really didn’t," Obama said.

The McCain campaign struck back at the comment, calling Obama "Dr. No" on energy policy proposals.

"While John McCain is putting the country first with the best ideas from both parties, Barack Obama has become the ‘Dr. No’ of energy, refusing to accept any idea that will contribute to solving America’s energy crisis," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.

Obama also launched an attack on McCain’s idea to award a $300 million prize to anyone who could develop a better battery to run automobiles.

"I’ve been talking about this myself for the last few years. But I don’t think a $300 million prize is enough," Obama said. "When John F. Kennedy decided that we were going to put a man on the moon, he didn’t put a bounty out for some rocket scientist to win — he put the full resources of the United States government behind the project and called on the ingenuity and innovation of the American people not just in the private sector but in the public sector."

Obama also praised former Vice President Al Gore, who recently endorsed the Illinois senator for president, saying Gore had great ideas in terms of reinventing government and cutting through the red tape.

"Al Gore, I thought, had some good ideas in terms of reinventing government," Obama said. "Not all of them got implemented. I want reinventing government 2.0 under the Obama administration."

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