Now that gas prices are below $2 a gallon and Democrats have suddenly decided that the president has a huge influence on those prices, while Republicans suddenly deny that they do (and vice versa, when a Republican is in office), it can be fun to look back on previous predictions from Republicans in this regard. Like this from Sen. Mike Lee in 2012:
Republicans hit the accelerator on Wednesday with their charges that President Barack Obama is to blame for high gas prices, with one senator making the extreme claim that the president’s reelection will push costs to $6.60 a gallon.
“When President Obama took office, gas prices were about $1.85 per gallon,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). “Now that they’re up to about $3.75 per gallon, we can see a steady increase. Over this 38-month period of time of his presidency so far, gasoline prices have risen on … average of about 5 cents per gallon per month.”
“This is staggering when you think about the fact that if he’s reelected,” Lee said, “it’s a total of an additional 58 months. With that increase, gas prices will be up at around $6.60 per gallon.”
Not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich said Obama would push gas prices to $10 a gallon, while he would drop them to $2.50 a gallon with his
policies magic spells:
Flanked by $2.50 gas price campaign signs, Newt Gingrich on Saturday laid out his vision for energy production in America and picked apart the speech President Barack Obama gave on the subject earlier this week.
“We have more than enough energy in the United States that we do not have to rely on foreign countries, but we have an anti-American energy government, an anti-American energy bureaucracy, anti-American energy regulations,” Gingrich told the 500-person crowd at the California Republican Party Convention’s luncheon…
“If you would like to have a national American energy policy, never again bow to a Saudi king and pay $2.50 a gallon, Newt Gingrich will be your candidate,” he said to cheers. “If you want $10 a gallon gasoline, an anti-energy secretary, and in weakness requiring us to depend on foreigners for our energy, Barack Obama should be your candidate.”
The president has very little to do with the price of oil or gas, of course, especially in the short term. But Americans being the mostly simpleminded creatures that we are and so susceptible to slogans rather than actual coherent thought, we almost automatically give credit or blame to the person in the White House. And then laugh when our political enemies do the same thing.