"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

65% Of Americans Disapprove Of Obama’s Handling Of Gas Prices; Blocking Keystone Won’t Help That

March 12th, 2012 by mopns · No Comments

Energy Secretary Steven Chu
(“Times Tough For Energy Overhaul,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/12/08)
The Washington Post’s Dan Balz and Jon Cohen write today, “Disapproval of President Obama’s handling of the economy is heading higher — alongside gasoline prices — as a record number of Americans now give the president ‘strongly’ negative reviews on the 2012 presidential campaign’s most important issue, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. . . . Gas prices are a main culprit: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the situation at the pump, where rising prices have already hit hard. Just 26 percent approve of his work on the issue, his lowest rating in the poll. Most Americans say higher prices are already taking a toll on family finances, and nearly half say they think that prices will continue to rise, and stay high. . . . [T]he survey — conducted Wednesday through Saturday — finds 59 percent of Americans giving Obama negative ratings on the economy, up from early last month. Now, 50 percent give him intensely low marks, the most yet in a Post-ABC News poll, and a jump of nine percentage points.”

ABC News notes, “Americans by a broad 65-26 percent disapprove of how the president is handling the price of gas, which has gained 49 cents a gallon this year to an average $3.79. Strong critics outnumber strong approvers by nearly 4-1. And it’s important: A vast 89 percent are concerned about the recent run-up in gas prices; 66 percent are ‘very’ concerned about it.”

Another ABC story points out, “Rising gasoline prices have surpassed the federal budget deficit as Obama’s single weakest issue, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, which shows 65 percent of Americans disapprove of how the president is handling the rising price of gas, while just 26 percent approve.”

The president’s actions on Friday can’t have improved most Americans’ views of his handling of gas prices, since he “personally lobbied” Senate Democrats to block an amendment that would have authorized the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. As The Wall Street Journal wrote in a Saturday editorial, “Thursday night’s 56-42 Senate vote to kill an amendment to fast-track the $7 billion, shovel-ready Keystone XL pipeline contains a wealth of information about President Obama and the Senate Democrats’ priorities. . . . On Thursday Senate Republicans voted unanimously for Keystone, which would bring 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from Alberta, Canada, to interconnections in Oklahoma and refineries on the Gulf Coast, easing supply constraints and creating thousands of much-needed jobs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sees the world through a different lens: He didn’t want to let Republicans ‘appease the Tea Party or big oil companies.’ President Obama, of course, would have vetoed the measure had it ever reached his desk. But any such straightforward expression of his own beliefs would have put him on the wrong side of unionized workers the pipeline would have employed or voters worried about the unemployment rate. Hence the White House phone calls to the Senate this week to on the one hand urge Harry Reid to block the bill . . . . And so the result was that the Keystone pipeline died yet again . . . . Republicans have vowed to introduce the Keystone amendment again and there’s no reason not to do so. With the President and Senate Democrats dancing merrily on every side of the energy debate, it’s always a good time to identify the Keystone Democrats.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell put it well when he said on Thursday, “At a moment when tensions are rising in the Middle East, millions of Americans are struggling to find work and millions more are struggling with the rising cost of gas, Democrat opposition to this legislation shows how deeply out of touch they are with the concerns of middle-class Americans. President Obama’s personal pleas to wavering Senators may have tipped the balance against this legislation. When it comes to delays over Keystone, anyone looking for a culprit should now look no further than the Oval Office.

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: 37% Say Their Views More Like Obama’s; 53% Pick One of GOP Contenders

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