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GINGRICH: says his policies could lower gas prices
TULSA,Okla. (AP) — dangled the prospect Monday of gas as low as $2 a gallon if he's elected.
The former House speaker has spoken in the past of gas dropping to $2.50 a gallon under a Gingrich administration. The prediction, coming as Gingrich campaigned in Oklahoma, contrasts sharply with rival , who told an Ohio audience that big-city Americans should brace themselves for $5-a-gallon gas.
Both candidates are citing new sensitivity over rising pump prices to push for relaxed regulation on domestic oil production. Gingrich isn't the first candidate to claim he can bring relief; former GOP candidate Michele Bachmann made $2 gas a standard part of her pitch.
What the candidates don't say is that U.S. presidents have limited, if any, power to affect prices of a global commodity like oil because such costs depend largely on supply and demand. As the economy improves, demand could rise, putting extra pressure on prices.
Gingrich and Santorum have been highlighting oil exploration in North Dakota and slamming the Obama administration for delaying a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline. Those projects are considered long-term steps and might not have much effect on short-term prices.
But Gingrich's comments resonate in a place like Oklahoma, where the oil and natural gas sector is vital to a bustling state economy.
"With Gingrich policies, what we know is we will dramatically expand our independence in the world market, dramatically expand our capacity to produce energy without regard to our foreign potential enemies and in the process prices will clearly be a lot lower," Gingrich said. "Now, I picked $2.50 as a stabilizing price for capital investment reasons. It could easily go down to $2."
According to AAA's daily fuel gauge, a gallon of regular gas was approaching $4 in some places and even topped it in California. The national average was $3.56 per gallon.
Gingrich boasted that gas cost as little as $1.13 per gallon when he led the House and that the national average was below $2 when Obama was inaugurated.
"Why do we have this assumption all of a sudden, 'oh gee, that's the distant past,'" Gingrich said. "He hasn't been president that long."
Santorum focused on fears of prices climbing to record highs while campaigning in Ohio.
The former Pennsylvania senator blamed Obama for failing to drill aggressively for more oil and gas in the U.S.
Santorum said the economy has begun to improve slightly but "all of a sudden we're going to be hit with the same force of wind that hit us in 2008, in the summer, that caused us to go into a recession, all because of the radical environmentalist policies of this president."
Associated Press writer Charles Babington contributed from Steubenville, Ohio.
Small donors power Obama’s $29.1 million January haul
Barack Obama's campaign announced Friday morning that it made a $29.1 million fundraising haul in January for his reelection effort and related Democratic committees.
"Thanks to everyone who pitched in," the campaign said on its official @BarackObama Twitter feed, where it made the announcement.
The campaign also said that 98% of the donations were $250 or less.
A campaign aide said the funds would go to Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Obama Victory Fund (a joint venture of the campaign and the DNC), and the Swing State Victory Fund.
Put another way: The cash haul represents about $2.31 from each of the campaign's 12,559,238 Twitter followers.
The president's February figures are sure to be closely watched because they will reflect his fundraising after he reversed course and embraced so-called "Super-PACs," powered by vast donations from small groups of individual donors.
In the tweet immediately before the announcement, Obama cheered the apparent congressional deal on extending the payroll tax cut, saying the estimated $40 per pay period for the average worker was "real money that will make a real difference in people's lives."
Herman Cain Teaches Newt Gingrich How to Campaign
ATLANTA, Ga. - To help Gingrich's campaign bus Saturday to ride along for all three campaign events of the day and introduce the candidate, whom he endorsed in January, at each stop. pull off a needed win in Georgia, former candidate stepped onto
Cain had an idea or two for his friend of 16 years, and Gingrich listened.
"113-4.2-4? might not be as catchy as "9-9-9," but Gingrich said Saturday at a campaign stop that after inspiration from Cain, he's going to be pitching his own numbers and comparing them to President Obama's.
"Something I frankly got from listening to Herman, if you take $1.13 gasoline and 4.2 percent unemployment and a balanced federal budget, you realize those things were all facts," Gingrich said. "That's a pretty nice contrast to Barack Obama."
Though Gingrich has touted low gas prices, the unemployment rate and a balanced budget from when he was speaker of the House in the 1990s on nearly every campaign stop since Iowa, Saturday he changed his "stump" speech to tell the audience he had several numbers he wanted them to remember.
But it seemed Gingrich had trouble remembering the complicated numbers himself, when at his third stop he recited the numbers again, but with a long pause between 113 and 4.2.
The pair did two press conferences together. At the first, Cain walked up and stood behind Gingrich.
"Come up here," Gingrich said to him. After Gingrich's invitation, Cain even chipped in to help his friend answer a question.
When Gingrich was asked why GOP candidates Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney didn't want to debate him in Georgia, Gingrich said, "You can go ask them. I have no idea why they won't come debate."
"Can I give an answer?" Cain asked. "I believe that his people knew that Speaker Gingrich was not going to have three weak debate performances. Now he didn't have a weak debate performance, an average debate performance for Newt Gingrich is still better than most people, and he they knew he was probably going to be on his A-game, so they would rather not take that one."
Cain also interjected his opinion when Gingrich was asked what cabinet position he might have for Cain.
"My ideal job with a as president of the United States is to be a senior adviser, not in charge of anything. That's what I would want to do in a Gingrich administration," Cain said.
Cain said he has a couple pieces of advice for Gingrich as he continues on the campaign trail. He told Gingrich that the next time he has a "smack down" with the media at a debate, that his point would be made even better if he would smile when he's done.
Cain said one thing he and Gingrich discussed on the bus was making Gingrich's message more specific.
"This is what people want to hear," Cain said. "This is why I was glad to hear him talk about the $2.50 a gallon gasoline. Specificity about national security, specificity about creating jobs, so specificity of message is one thing that we've talked about, you know, just today."
Cain was questioned if Gingrich had not been specific enough with his message so far.
"He has been moving in that direction, but we wanted to accelerate it," Cain said.
Gingrich said he put Cain on the phone with one of his advisers to teach him how to be "clear and simple."
"Let me say quite cheerfully I think Herman is a better salesman than I am. I think he has a much better sense of marketing than I do and we had a great - we had a lot of fun on our way over," Gingrich said.
Throughout the day when Cain was on the stump, he went into moments of being a candidate again, talking about "9-9-9," and even throwing out a few "aw-shucky-ducky!" yells to the crowd.
"I'm still working on him," he said. "When he comes out you could say, Newt, Newt, Newt, 9-9-9."
Toward the end of his speeches, Cain brought the message back around to Gingrich, telling the large, enthusiastic crowds: "Contrary to what the mainstream, lame-stream media says, he can actually pull it out."
Cain elevated Gingrich's enthusiasm, adding some new excitement the day-to-day campaigning a candidate can often become complacent with. The pair walked out of a stage door after an event at a high school, where an enthusiastic and cheering mob ran to both candidates. Cain embraced the supporters with his enthusiasm and big smile seen early on the trail at the start of his candidacy. Gingrich, the rarely physical campaigner, gave out hugs, too.