MOMocrats recently received an interesting email from the McCain campaign, entitled "FOX -- Obama says sky high gas prices a good thing." The email quoted this exchange from the Fox News Channel, between Fox News pundit Shephard Smith and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.
SHEPARD SMITH: Could sky high gas prices actually be a good thing? A top Republican is going after Barack Obama saying that he suggested just that. Obama is saying that the problem isn't that prices are too high, just that they shot up too quickly. He told CNBC today "if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment than I think ultimately we can come out of this stronger and have a more energy efficient policy than we do right now." Well, the top Republican in the Senate having a field day with that statement.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: The position outlined by the Democratic nominee shouldn't a surprise to most Americans given that Washington Democrats have repeatedly refused to allow increased energy production here at home - even though as we all know increase supply leads to lower prices.
SMITH: Senator McConnell saying it is like they're going out of their way to keep gas prices from going down. So far, no response from the Obama camp. We'll get it to you when it comes in.
Sounds like the McCain camp just struck campaign trail gold, right? Obama caught saying that the current record high gas prices are a good thing? When so many hard-working Americans are suffering, struggling to pay their fuel bills?
Trouble is, it's not true. The Obama quote Smith used was edited and taken out of context. And Smith's and McConnell's characterization of what Obama said recently during an interview with CNBC's John Harwood is simplistic and misleading. Here's what Obama actually said:
HARWOOD: So could these high prices help us?
Sen. OBAMA: I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. But if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment, first of all by putting more money into their pockets, but also by encouraging the market to adapt to these new circumstances more quickly, particularly US automakers, then I think ultimately, we can come out of this stronger and have a more efficient energy policy than we do right now.