The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

A Discordant Tune From the ‘Gas Hike Trio’


The first Morning Jolt of the week features the outlook for the New York GOP Senate primary against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a not-so-surprising result in the Puerto Rico GOP presidential primary, and then . . .

I Prefer the Kingston Trio to the ‘Gas Hike Trio’

It isn’t the most original or innovative approach to an issue like this, but it will work:

Mitt Romney is ramping up attacks on President Obama over rising gasoline prices by calling for the firing of Obama’s Interior and Energy secretaries and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The GOP presidential frontrunner dubbed them the “gas hike trio” on Fox News Sunday and at a campaign stop in Illinois Saturday night, signaling the extent to which Republicans hope to translate pump prices into a damaging political liability for Obama.

On Fox, Romney claimed that Obama’s stated desire for lower gas prices is an election-year turnabout. “The right course is they ought to be fired because the president has apparently suffered an election-year conversion,” Romney said, echoing a line of attack he unveiled the prior evening.

“No question in my mind that these — I call them the gas-hike trio — that those three are on a mission to drive up the price of gasoline and all energy so that they can finally get their solar and their wind to be more price-competitive. That’s what they want to do,” Romney said in Illinois Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times and other outlets.

Of course, Obama won’t fire any of them. If he did, he would be admitting that they have done a lousy job, and that he by implication did a lousy job by picking them to perform those duties. No, Obama is backed into a corner, insisting that he has done everything right, his cabinet has done everything right, his policies are working as planned . . . and yet somehow, we’re headed to a summer of record gas prices.

Not long ago, Bill Clinton publicly urged Obama to “embrace” the Keystone Pipeline. Somewhere I get the feeling that Clinton is watching his television and yelling, “fire somebody!” Certainly, it’s what James Carville would recommend. Even the illusion of accountability is better for an embattled incumbent than a perception of lax, content, obliviousness, or a stubborn insistence that the current difficult circumstance is as good as it gets.

Obama is going to have no choice but to make this argument; CBS News Mark Knoller reported the president’s schedule for the coming week Sunday night: “On Wednesday, Pres Obama embarks on a 2-day 4-state swing to spotlight his energy policies. Stops include NV, NM, OK & OH. Energy stops incl: solar plant in NM; oil & gas production fields in NM, Keystone pipeline site in OK & energy research at Ohio State Univ.”

As I noted on Twitter, isn’t it an amazing coincidence how often President Obama’s “official business” requires him to hold rally-style events in swing states?

Tags: Barack Obama , Gas Prices , Mitt Romney


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