Just Like Bush, McCain Doesn’t Know the Price of Gas

  • Published on July 2nd, 2008

Gas in Willow Creek, CA 7/2/08It seems like everywhere you go, people are talking complaining about the cost of gasoline. From the natural food coop to Twitter, everyone is wondering how many hours they will have to work to fill up their gas tank. There is one person who remains clueless as to what Americans are paying at the pump:  John McCain.

In February, President Bush made headlines for his ignorance that gasoline could reach $4-a-gallon.  When asked about this possibility by a reporter, Bush responded,

Wait, what did you just say? You’re predicting $4-a-gallon gasoline? That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that. . . . I know it’s high now.

In fact, when Bush made this remark, gas had already exceeded $4-a-gallon in parts of California.

This out-of-touch remark by Bush should have been a lesson for presidential hopeful John McCain, but it wasn’t.  In a recent interview with Martin Wisckol of the Orange County Register, McCain was asked when the last time he pumped his own gas and how much did it cost? His reply:

McCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters. I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of town hall meetings, many as short a time ago as yesterday. I communicate with the people and they communicate with me very effectively.

In Oregon and New Jersey, citizens are not allowed to pump their own gas, but I bet they know its cost!  To be that out of touch with an issue that is hitting Americans of low and middle socioeconomic status hard demonstrates McCain cannot represent and address the issues that concern most Americans.  In fact, I find it insulting to state, “I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters,” when many Americans are faced with decisions about buying food or gasoline to get to work.  In trying to smooth over his faux pas, McCain ended the interview by saying:

McCAIN: Thank you. It’s a pleasure…. Hang on just one second. I think the last time that I … I’ve been on the campaign trail for so long I don’t remember when I last filled up my own gas tank, but I certainly did for many, many, many years and I understand the difficulties and challenges that it poses for the people of California and my home state of Arizona. I thank you, my friend.

Somehow I doubt he really understands. As Bill Visnic wrote on Edmunds AutoObserver, “The cost of a gallon of gasoline is the seminal economic and political issue of the moment – yet the Republican presidential nominee can’t hazard a guess?” Seriously, John McCain can’t look out his limo window as he passes a gas station and notice the price?  The rest of America is noticing, why isn’t McCain?

Related posts on John McCain’s energy policies:

About the Author

Jennifer lives on 160 acres off-the-grid in a home built with her own two hands (and several more skilled pairs of hands) from forest fire salvaged timber. Her home is powered by a micro-hydro turbine, and she has been a vegetarian for 21 years. Jennifer graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in art education and has been teaching art to children for over 16 years. She also spent five years teaching in a one-room schoolhouse before becoming the mother of two beautiful children. Jennifer has a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently teaching preschool, as well as k-8 art. She enjoys writing, gardening, hiking, practicing yoga, and raising four akitas. Jennifer is the founder and editor of Eco Child's Play (http://ecochildsplay.com) "I’ve always been concerned about the earth and our impact upon it. Now that I have children, I feel compelled to raise them with green values. From organic gardening to alternative energy, my family tries to leave a small carbon footprint." Please visit my other blog: http://reallynatural.com
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  • Edward

    your very lucky in the US if you was in the UK your gas would be $10 plus

  • Proud Human Supremac

    I'm getting tired of everyone saying how cheap America's gas is compared to Europe. It's not our fault those governments rape their citizens with such outrageous taxes to pay for a welfare state. We have to pay so much more for health care, for example. So stop whining and let us whine.

  • Henry

    Why would the worlds biggest free trader and one hundred year IRAQ OCCUPATION care about the price of gasoline? http://www.wclt.com/news/special/politics19810.ht… A little info on McCain.

  • Gamut

    I’ll go one further. No president, no matter what party of IQ, should be concerned in the least about the price of gas. They can do exactly zero about it, and can cause calamity if they try. If you forcefully lower the price, you increase demand past supply, and you get a shortage.

    Lots of people I know, including me, are buying smaller and more efficient cars, that’s the only remedy for high demand, and a sustained high price is the only way to get there.

  • Ragnarb

    As the rest of the world pays the same price for oil as us, $4 is cheap; considering everything the democrats have done to drive up the cost of oil and gas production in this country. By the way, US oil companies are small compared to the rest in the world. Calling them BIG oil is a misnomer. , Obama says this is not the gas he knew. The remarks about McCain are always the same; just mean spirited, not based in fact.

  • Brian

    McCain said he doesn't know when he last pumped gas, so it's been a while. Being that it has been a while since he pumped gas, the price at the time really doesn't matter, as it was certainly much lower than it is now.

    Trying to make hay of this makes you look foolish.

    As for your messiah, Obama, he said he likes the higher price of gas. He only wished it had gone up a little more slowly. He's not out of touch though, is he?

    You don't even know what Obama thinks about gas prices, but you write an article damning McCain on the issue. Chalk it up to FAIL.

  • Yes, the answer is simple…. anyone capable of getting themselves elected should not be allowed to do the job. That means the only person suitable is someone who doesn't want the position. Hmmm, maybe not a solution.

  • Well, here in New Zealand we are paying over $8 per gallon ($2.12 per litre) and I imagine it will keep going up.

    It will hurt people, most have been expecting the 'good times' to last forever and spending very last cent (usually more) and not it is biting.

    Personally, I think further rises are a good thing.

  • David

    So in June McCain knew the price, his answer was flipant to the reporter.

    The price of a gallon of gas in America stands at more than four dollars. Yesterday, a barrel of oil cost about 134 dollarsm" said McCain. "And various oil ministers and investment firms have confidently informed us that soon we can expect to pay 200 dollars for every barrel, and as much as seven dollars for every gallon of gas."

    McCain said he does not support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but he does support offshore oil drilling.

  • Gavin

    Anyone who reads Barack Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" realizes that he came from very humble beginnings. So, if he is rich as you say, isn't that commendable? Why is a rich Democrat somehow bad, while a rich Republican is good? I think most of Obama's riches have come from his book sales, which to me seems like a very commendable accomplishment. You're knocking his realization of the American Dream! He certainly isn't as rich as George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condaleeza Rice, and other members of the Bush Whitehouse! And, he isn't out of touch – one term as a Senate hasn't caused him to lose his commoon-touch, his humility or his thankfulness for his success.

  • Karine

    Don needs to go back and reread the question. What Mr. McCain was asked was "when was the last time you pumped your own gas AND how much did it cost?" Neither of which he had the answer for. And quite frankly I care about both of his lack of answers. One for being out of touch with the issues that are driving (pardon the pun) many Americans to bankruptcy, suicide, etc. The bottom is falling out of our economy and this "flippin" moron doesn't even have the slightest concept what MOST Americans deal with on a daily basis. Many Americans are doing without many of the basic necessitiies just so they can get to work. Many of us (myself included) are living far away from where we work just so we can 'remotely' afford to pay our rent and put food on the table, etc. and I can't imagine how lower income families are making it with children, etc. We need REAL candidates who actually LIVE in middle America. Not these upper class who make up about 10% of the population. We need representatives who do just that REPRESENT the people that they SERVE. Wow imagine that a politician that actually remembers they're supposed to SERVE THOSE THEY REPRESENT!

  • Not Quite, you may or may not be right, but considering McCain's idea for a gas tax holiday, he certainly should have been ready for this question. It's not even a hard question, and the rest of the interview is filled with other easy ones. Anyone who watches the news or reads a newspaper knows the price of gas, whether they pump it themselves or not.

  • I have posted several Blog reports in regards to Gas, Oil and Marxism as well as how Climate Change is totally debunked by normal everyday common sense and finally why the number one issue in the campaign is American energy independence. Check them out at http://www.barnhartblog.com

  • Obama grew up as the son of a divorced mom, raised by her and his grandparents. No help from family connections and privileges there, unlike McCain, who was the son and grandson of admirals. (Some have said that McCain made it through the Naval Academy largely because of his family connections. He did rank 894 out of 899 in his class.) Obama, smart and hard-working both, got into a good private high school on scholarships, got scholarships to go to Harvard, but also worked during college. When he graduated, he could have worked for a big Wall Street law firm, but instead he chose to work for community causes and as a civil rights lawyer.

    He has money now because he wrote two bestselling books, including "The Audacity of Hope."

    He is NOT the stereotypical "rich kid." (Like Bush.)I'm sure he knows exactly how much $4+ gas is hurting people. But unlike McCain, he's going for true long term fixes, not promises that won't do anything either long or short-term like McCain. (It will take 7-10 years for off-shore drilling rigs to begin producing…and the oil will belong to the oil companies, NOT the American people. They'll sell it to the highest bidder…and the way things have gone for the last 8 years, that will be China, not the U.S.)

  • not quite

    Jennifer, you are right that he was asked a two part question, but not quite right that he said it doesn't matter to both parts. Clearly from context you can see that his "doesn't matter" comment is in reference to when he pumped his own gas last. This is again spelled out in the follow up where he stated "I certainly did for many, many, many years" (fill his gas tank that is, not know the price of gas). At most he ignored the second part asking about the cost of the gas at that time or at any time.

    But, let us not pass up an opportunity to call McCain old. Even when on the campaign trial, I would know approximately when the last time I filled up my gas was. The answer is as simple as "the last time it needed to be filled before I got into the presidential race." done. Doddering old fart.

    As for who understands the common man's plight. Clearly this is Obama. The issue is not who has money now. Obama has 5 million in the bank and McCain through wife Cindy has 500 Million. The issue is who was born into money? McCain grew up very wealthy with influential parents, he has never needed to fill his own gas tank. Obama went to school on scholarships and loans that he is still paying back. (*Note Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is also still paying back law school loans).

    To Ailanit, I find your simultaneous cynicism and hopefulness confused and arousing. Kudos on making almost no sense.

  • Don, the question McCain was asked was two part: when the last time he pumped his own gas and what it cost. He said it didn't matter to a two part question, whether the question implied what it cost when he pumped it or what it costs now. Even when he tried to clarify his answer near the end of the interview, he still could not save face by stating the price of gas.

  • Tom

    Yes, Obama is rich… but I bet he knows what a gallon of gas costs.

  • Ailanit

    i agree with cameron that both McCain and Obama aren't concerned about this and personally i believe that they both aren't going to improve htis country for the better, they will mess it up, but in different ways… i think its important however to keep participating in rallies, making our voices heard for this cause so that these leaders for the first time in decades can listen to the people that are suffering. after all we are supposed to be a democracy

  • Don

    Of course, to claim that McCain was saying that the cost of gas doesn't matter is ludicrous. You'll have to tell us whether it's because you don't understand the English, or if you're being intentionally dishonest.

    The question McCain was asked was when the last time was he pumped his own gas. *That* is what he said didn't matter – and he's right.

  • laymo13

    The point isn't how rich either candidate is…

    It's that Obama has a clue..McCain, well, doesn't.

  • Do you have any idea how rich Obama is? You think he cares about gas prices any more than McCain? Trust me, they’ll both be fine.

  • Jeff

    …In fact, when Bush made this remark, gas had already exceeded $4-a-gallon in parts of California…

    California and Connecticut are ALWAYS on the high side of the curve.

  • yes, we here in Oregon do know the price of gas, because you will often be sitting in your car, looking at the prices on the sign, as the attendant starts the machine and the tank fills up.

    Oh, and in case you're wondering, having attendants at our gas station does not make gas any more expensive than on the other side of the mighty Columbia, in Washington.

  • in Poland your 1 galon cost about 9$ ! you haver very cheap gas 🙂

  • very funny in Poland your 1 galon cost about 9$