N2K Presidential Race: Gas Prices and Snake Oil

National Journal Staff

With Americans’ eyes rolling back in their heads along with the spinning counters at the gasoline pump, Mitt Romney and the Obama campaign traded charges today over who is to blame for spiking gas prices, and what, if anything, can be done.

Romney claimed that Obama embraced rising energy costs as a candidate, and called on him to fire several members of his administration for policies that have advanced that goal.

Obama’s chief campaign strategist David Axelrod said that promoting increased drilling as a way to “magically” cause the price of a gallon of gas to drop to $2.50 a gallon, as Newt Gingrich has suggested, is “not oil talk, but snake oil talk.”

Republicans clearly view Obama as highly vulnerable on the issue, a position borne out by polls showing the president’s approval rating has dropped as prices have increased. And they have potent weapons, with names like Keystone and Solyndra.

The inconvenient truth that oil is a global commodity and prices are not entirely dictated by U.S. energy policy—but you won’t hear that in a campaign ad. Read more

—James Kitfield


Gas Prices and Snake Oil
[National Journal, 3/18/12] With Americans’ eyes rolling back in their heads along with the spinning counters at the gasoline pump, Republicans and Democrats traded charges today over who is to blame for spiking gas prices and what, if anything, can be done.

Why Romney and Santorum May Battle Until June 
[National Journal, 3/18/12] Can either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum meaningfully advance beyond the ideological and demographic beachheads of support they have secured in the marathon slog for the Republican presidential nomination? That’s probably the most important remaining question in the grueling race, as National Journal’s Ron Brownstein reports.

Ann Romney Makes Pitch to Women Voters
[National Journal, 3/18/12] On the campaign trail, Ann Romney regularly talks about being a wife and mother, usually steering clear of policy or voting demographics. But in a departure from the norm on Sunday, she made a specific pitch to women voters as her husband seeks to lessen President Obama’s current double-digit advantage among them.

Illinois Primary Could Be Pivotal
[Boston Globe, 3/17/12] With Illinois, Romney faces yet another combative race in a state where he should be a shoe-in. The outcome of the race there could reveal who finds the most support from the Independents and working-class voters that populate Midwestern states--the voting blocs that can be important in a general election.

Obama Raises Cash in Chicago as Romney, Santorum Scramble for Votes in Suburbs
[Chicago Tribune, 3/17/12] Chicago proper isn't as friendly to Santorum and Romney as the suburbs, which is why they're spending much of their time in Illinois campaigning there and in the Southern part of the state, where Obama's hold isn't as strong.

Romney Redoubles Illinois Effort After Recent Losses to Santorum
[The Washington Post, 3/17/12] Following his Southern losses last week, Romney is campaigning hard to show he can win in the Midwest.

Analysis: These Dark Days Will Pass
[The Daily Beast, 3/17/12] Mark McKinnon, who formerly advised George W. Bush and Arizona Sen. John McCain during their presidential runs, pens a letter of optimism to the Romney campaign. Times may be tough now, but soon enough Romney will have the nomination, he writes.

All Odds Aside, GOP Girding for Floor Fight
[The New York Times, 3/17/12] With every passing day, a brokered convention seems more probable. The New York Times examines how the candidates and the party are gearing up for the rarest of primary race outcomes.

Brokered GOP Convention Could Energize Base, Some Insiders Say
[The Hill, 3/18/12] Though many GOP leaders consider a brokered convention the "nightmare scenario" at the end of a drawn-out primary, some are saying that it's just what the party needs to rev up voters from the base who have thus far been dissatisfied with the race.

Santorum Has History With Puerto Rico
[Politico, 3/17/12] During his time in the Senate, Santorum was friendly with Puerto Rico's governor and often backed bills that would help the territory. But his recent comments about requiring English to be spoken on the island have strained relations.

Missouri Caucus Anecdotes: Arguments, Arrests and a Good Day for Ron Paul
[ABC, 3/17/12] According to "anecdotes" from across Missouri, Paul and Romney supporters cooperated in counties where Paul was performing well. But Paul supporters also saw some mayhem, with two of them getting arrested in St. Charles County.

A Look at Long-shot Strategy by Long-shot Santorum
[Associated Press, 3/17/12] Aside from the issue of Newt Gingrich refusing to drop out and splitting the conservative vote, Santorum also has organization and money difficulties. But he's still hoping to win the nomination with support from the GOP's conservative base.

What Are We to Make of Romney's Flashes of Irritation?
[Real Clear Politics, 3/17/12] Every candidate has them, but Romney's outbursts have been scrutinized as his performance in the GOP primaries leads pundits and opponents to dissect his flaws.

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