President’s Perennial Gimmick to Deflect Blame for High Gas Prices Tanks

Under pressure from Republicans’ coordinated effort to hold him accountable for doubling gas prices, President Obama recycled one of his go-to gimmicks to deflect blame yesterday – the “speculation” scapegoat.  The president’s transparently political ploy fell flat.   As several reports pointed out, what President Obama tried to pass off as a plan was “more politics than substance,” and won’t do anything to help ease the pain at the pump.  American families and small businesses aren’t fooled by President Obama’s empty rhetoric, and neither is anyone else…. 

  • “Scapegoating Oil Speculators Won’t Ease Pain at the Pump… No one, least of all President Barack Obama, should expect oil or gasoline prices to fall because of the five-point plan he unveiled at the White House yesterday.” (Editorial, Bloomberg News, 4/18/12)
  • “Obama’s Gas ‘Crackdown’ Will Do Little to Lower Prices… No one should imagine that this will help much at the pump, no matter how much the White House talks of the urgent imperative to protect vulnerable consumers.” (Editorial, The Washington Post, 4/18/12)
  • “Obama Push on Oil Markets Seen as More Political than Practical… [W]hile a Rose Garden announcement gave the president a platform to be seen calling for action on fuel prices, it’s not clear whether financial speculation is even a major contributor to oil and gasoline prices—or whether the administration’s proposals could have any real impact on the price at the pump.” (National Journal, 4/17/12)
  • “Obama’s Oil Market Plan More Politics than Substance… Announcing a high-profile crackdown on oil market manipulators might play well with voters and motorists. But it’s far from clear what impact, if any, it will have on the price they pay at the pump.” (MSNBC, 4/17/12)
  • “Latest Effort to Limit the Political Fallout from High Gasoline Prices…Won’t Have A Short-Term Effect On Gasoline Prices.” “President Obama, in his latest effort to limit the political fallout from high gasoline prices, challenged Congress Tuesday to pass legislation to ensure speculators aren’t manipulating energy markets. But Obama acknowledged Tuesday that his plan to increase oversight of energy markets likely won’t have a short-term effect on gasoline prices.” (The Hill, 4/17/12)
  • “Looking For Ways to Deflect the Political Pressure Over High Gas Prices,” White House “Tried to Divert the Focus to Congress and the Energy Traders...But officials did not point to any evidence that misconduct or illegal activity was on the rise or was contributing to the escalated prices.” (Los Angeles Times, 4/17/12)
  • “Economist: Crackdown On ‘Oil Speculators’ Won’t Help Gas Prices… Wells Fargo Senior Economist Mark Vitner says, ‘It’s really nothing.  Nothing substantive is going to come of this.’ … But the proposal may be more about politics than policies. … Whether or not you support the president’s plan, don’t get your hopes up about relief at the pump.” (WHNT, 4/17/12)
  • “The Plan Follows Daily Criticisms from Republicans that the President Isn't Doing Enough to Lower Gasoline Prices which have jumped 10% in recent months. It isn't clear what impact it would have on prices. ‘None of these steps by themselves will bring gas prices down overnight,’ Mr. Obama said.” (Wall Street Journal, 4/17/12)
  • “An Election-Year Attempt to Show Action on High Gas Prices.” “In an election-year attempt to show action on high gas prices, President Obama is calling on Congress to fund new regulations to help prevent speculation in oil markets…Before the official announcement, senior administration officials were careful not to estimate the effort’s immediate impact on prices at the pump, nor did they point to any evidence of illegal oil speculation…” (The Washington Times, 4/17/12)

As Speaker Boehner said on CBS This Morning today, President Obama and Washington Democrats are “gonna pull out every bogeyman they can” to distract from their failed policies.  House Republicans remain focused on addressing high gas prices as part of the broader Plan for America’s Job Creators geared toward creating a better environment for the private-sector to grow and create jobs.  The House has passed several bills under the plan that would remove barriers to American energy production to help address gas prices and create jobs, and will continue moving additional legislation forward in the weeks ahead.  It is time for President Obama to quit playing the blame game and start working with Republicans to get these bills enacted. 

Learn more about the Plan for America’s Job Creators at jobs.gop.gov and “like” the American Energy Initiative on Facebook.