Republican Romney blames Obama for gasoline prices

Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:51am IST

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

* Romney plays pump politics before New Hampshire speeches

* Calls for more U.S. energy resources amid rising prices

* Potential Republican candidates to talk debt, deficits

By Steve Holland

MANCHESTER, N.H., April 29 (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney pumped his own tank of gas on Friday and blamed U.S. President Barack Obama for a surge in prices that are straining American pocketbooks.

Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, was set to join four other Republican rivals -- Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann -- for an evening of speeches about how they would bring down America's debt and deficits.

It is the biggest gathering of potential candidates since a Washington conference of conservatives two months ago in a slow start to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination race.

New Hampshire holds an early voting contest and is a must-visit state for presidential candidates.

Before the event, Romney played a little pump politics, mingling with customers at Hillsborough Gas and Repair in Manchester and listening to their stories about how they are coping with gas prices that are threatening America's fragile economic recovery.

"We cut back on frills, we don't go out as much," Sharon Williams told him as she filled up her Kia Optima.

Wearing blue jeans and a casual shirt, Romney parked a Ford Escape at one of the station's gas pumps, where a regular gallon of gas cost $3.93, and paid $38.72 to fill it up.

Gas station operator Tony Chedid said he paid $3.80 a gallon from a distributor for his station's supplies. After paying credit card fees, he makes only an average of 3 cents a gallon on the gas he sells.

"It's been downhill for the last two years," he said.

Romney is arguably the front-runner in a wide Republican field in the 2012 race for the White House.

He said he believed Obama was contributing to oil price pressures by not pursuing an energy policy aimed at drilling more and increasing America's supply.

This is leaving the impression with the markets that the U.S. energy supply will not be increasing, leading to the expectation of higher oil prices and pushing up the actual cost of gas at the pump, he said.

"It's a marketplace and if America is not serious about getting our own energy resources in line, then we are going to have higher and higher prices in part today as a result of the expectations of higher prices tomorrow," Romney said.

Obama says the United States' oil production reached its highest level since 2003 last year, and argues that money must be spent to develop alternative sources of energy to help alleviate higher prices in the long run.

Romney said it is fine to develop alternative power sources but stressed that most cars run on carbon-based fuel.

"It would be great if we had more electric cars but it's going to be a long, long time before that happens," he said.

Romney waved off a potential challenge from real estate tycoon Donald Trump, saying it was fine with him if Trump enters the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

"I like a big competitive field, and I think there will be one," he said.

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

RAINFALL THIS YEAR

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Election 2014

Election 2014

Thousands mob Modi as election race starts in Varanasi.  Full Article 

Monsoon Forecast

Monsoon Forecast

Met office rules out surplus monsoon in 2014.  Full Article 

Facebook's Performance

Facebook's Performance

Facebook Q1 revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads.  Full Article 

Earnings Season

Earnings Season

Bharti Infratel Q4 net profit jumps 64 percent.  Full Article 

Solar Dispute

Solar Dispute

Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India.  Full Article 

Oil Imports

Oil Imports

India to make May-July oil payments to Iran - sources.  Full Article 

Rice Exports

Rice Exports

India may cede top rice exporter spot under Southeast Asian price onslaught.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage