Firing back at Republican critics, the White House said Wednesday that President Obama is doing everything he can to deflate rising gasoline prices that threaten the fragile economic recovery.
Spokesman Jay Carney dryly dismissed the increasingly sharp attacks from Republican presidential candidates as "random statements by politicians seeking office" and mocked their proposals to ease the pain at the pump as relying on "magic solutions," "magic beans," or a "magic wand."
Obama "fully appreciates the impact of higher gas prices on average Americans trying to make ends meet," Carney said. "He's very aware of the impact that it has and fully understands the anxiety it creates."
The president is due to defend his handling of energy policy in a speech at the University of Miami on Thursday.
"Every year since he's been president, we've increased our oil and gas production. Every year since he's been president, we've decreased our reliance on foreign oil imports," said Carney.
Republicans have seized on Obama's refusal to speed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, meant to ferry oil from Canada's tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico, as a sign that he sides with environmentalists who oppose the pipeline over boosting domestic production.
But Carney shot back that Obama had boosted domestic oil production and, for the second straight day, blamed "other things beyond our control" for the spike in prices, citing "unrest in the Middle East" or "the growth of emerging countries such as China and India."
Asked explicitly whether Obama bears any responsibility for the price hike, Carney replied: "I think that if you're suggesting that there's responsibility for a rise in the global price of oil, it's certainly not because of anything he hasn't done to expand domestic oil and gas production."
"His is an all-of-the-above approach, and you'll hear a lot about that from him in coming days and weeks," said the spokesman.
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- Jay Carney
- President Obama