This is more like it from Mitt. Democrats spent 8 years calling on President Bush to fire everyone from his Vice President to his butler. Now Mitt Romney has called for firing people who have obviously performed their jobs poorly; Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.
The Republican presidential hopeful's remarks on "Fox News Sunday" illustrated a GOP strategy to target Obama for rising gas prices as part of a campaign narrative that depicts the president as stifling U.S. production in order to boost alternative energy sources.
On Sunday, the AAA reported that the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline rose to $3.84 for an increase of almost 17% so far this year, according to www.fuelgaugereport.com.
Polls indicate Obama may be vulnerable on the issue, with his slowly rising approval rating in recent months appearing to stagnate or drop as gas prices have spiked.
Romney appeared eager to exploit the issue Sunday following similar comments he made the night before at a campaign event in Illinois, the next major primary in the Republican presidential race to decide who will run against Obama in November.
"There's no question" that Obama is to blame for higher gas prices, Romney said on Fox, adding that the president wanted higher energy costs to help speed the transition from oil and other fossil fuels.
"He has selected three people to help him implement that program," Romney said of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, "and this gas hike trio has been doing the job over the last three and a half years, and gas prices are up."
According to Romney, Obama had an "election-year conversion" and now advocates increased U.S. oil drilling as well as natural gas and coal energy development. Therefore, Romney said, the threesome of Chu, Salazar and Jackson "ought to be fired" or should "hand in their resignations."
No doubt you've heard the pushback from Democrats who say there's nothing Obama can do about gas prices. Actually, that's partially true. There is nothing the president can do today to lower gas prices significantly.
Except Obama wasn't elected yesterday. He's been in office for nearly 3 1/2 years and has hamstrung our fossile fuels industry while pouring tens of billions of dollars into insane green energy schemes that might help us out 10 or 20 years from now but are useless to supplying the bulk of our energy needs today.
Obama has never acknowledged that we can do both at once; wring every last drop of oil that we can from existing reserves while encouraging investment in renewables. It is this blindness, on display for the last 3 years, that has led to skyrocketing gas prices today.
Good move by Mitt. I hope Republicans in the House and Senate pick up the call to retire the "gas hike trio."