President Obama kicked his PR campaign on gas prices into a higher gear Wednesday, giving what is believed to be the first ever presidential interview to AAA.
“I understand what folks are going through because it wasn’t that long ago that I was having to fill up my gas tank and drive to work, shuttle the kids back and forth to school or events, and it takes a big bite out of folks paychecks,” Obama told the motorist group, which has 53 million members.
The interview, which appears online and in AAA publications today, is the latest indication that Obama is worried about rising gas prices and their political impact headed into the summer and fall.
Sixty-five percent of Americans say they disapprove of Obama’s handling of gas prices in the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll. Twenty-six percent approve.
Obama told AAA, as he has repeatedly in the past few days, that his “all-of-the-above” approach to energy production will eventually help the country avoid gas price spikes in the long term. He has said there are no “silver bullets” in the short term.
The president also recalls his former membership in AAA and driving his first car, his grandfather’s 1970s Ford Granada.
“The Ford Granada was not the peak of Detroit engineering,” he said. “It rattled and it shook, and I don’t think the girls were particularly impressed when I came to pick them up in a Ford Granada,” he said. “But you know what? It moved and so I have fond memories of the fact that it got me to where I needed to go. That’s about all I can say about the Ford Granada.”