Texas Governor George W. Bush, June 23, 2000, blaming the Clinton administration for high gas prices because they were in office for seven years and gas prices were rising:
There seems to be an effort out of Washington to blame me for rising energy prices. And the American people don't buy that. It's the -- Clinton-Gore administration's been there for seven years, we're more dependent now than ever before on energy from foreign sources. And I am amazed that they're trying to shift the blame away from the people that are holding the office. And I resent that kind of politics, and so will the American people. ... And this is typical of an administration that refuses to accept responsibility. This is amazing. They've been in office for seven years, the price of gasoline has gone up during their period of time.
The price of gas that very week: $1.68 per gallon.
Now, the Bush administration has been in office for six and a half years. Prices at the pump have almost doubled since Bush blamed Clinton and Gore, reaching $3.10 a gallon (hitting over $4 in some areas). Well, under Bush 2000's logic, the president is to blame. Think that Bush 2007 would agree to that evaluation now? Think he would be willing to "accept responsibility"?
And it's not as if he's really been trying or anything, as if he's been on the case since day one. Only in the past year or two has Bush even made sounds about acting on high gas prices, and so far virtually nothing has materialized. Bush's biggest policy proposal, called "20-in-10," suggests that we cut fuel consumption by 20% over the next ten years. No relief for today or anytime within the remaining year and a half of this administration. Although refinery capacity was identified from the start of the Bush administration as
the biggest culprit one of the biggest culprits of rising fuel prices (PDF file), Bush has done absolutely nothing to remedy the problem, and today, the refinery shortage is worse than ever.
Our dependence on oil creates a risk for our economy, because a supply disruption anywhere in the world could drive up American gas prices to even more painful levels.
Boy, it's too bad that Bush didn't think about lessening dependency on foreign sources of crude oil back in 2000. Bush 2000, don't you agree?
I think we ought to make sure that we become less dependent on foreign sources of crude oil. I'll have an energy policy.
Oopsie! Too bad you let Cheney get the heads of the oil companies to write that policy!
You might expect that conservatives would argue that, after all, being in office for any amount of time does not equal culpability. But then, who expects conservatives to do anything but blame Democrats?
Fox News Headline: "Pain at the Pump: Gas Prices Rise on Democrats' Watch." Yes, apparently those damn Democrats have had a 51% majority in Congress for four months and gas prices have shot up during that time! Damn those Democrats! It's all their fault!
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