Media Matters for America

With more good news on jobs deflating their attacks on President Obama, Republican politicians and their media allies have gone into overdrive hyping high gas prices and falsely assigning blame to the president.

Core Message:

If Republicans really cared about high gas prices, they wouldn’t keep us hooked on Big Oil.

Connect: Americans want relief from the pain they’re feeling at the pump—not political games.

State of play: After protecting Big Oil profits and letting Wall Street speculators get away with driving up gas prices, Republicans are now trying to shift the blame. 

Define: They’re using false claims to blame the president—and promoting false solutions that won’t lower gas prices for Americans, but will bankroll big profits for Big Oil.

Discredit: It’s no surprise they’d protect Big Oil and Wall Street every step of the way and cheer when gas prices are high—they’d rather see Obama lose than America win.

ATTACKS AND RESPONSES

Attack: “Gas prices have doubled since Obama took office.”

Response:

  • After protecting Big Oil profits and letting Wall Street speculators get away with driving up gas prices, Republicans are now trying to shift the blame.
  • The truth is that U.S. oil production is the highest in years and gas prices are lower than at the end of Bush’s term.
  • The recession Republicans helped cause sank gas prices just as Obama took office—so of course that’s the misleading starting point they’d use.


Attack
: “The Keystone XL pipeline will lower gas prices.”

Response:

  • Actually, Keystone would allow Big Oil to manipulate the supply of oil in the region—driving up prices.
  • An independent analysis not funded by the oil industry shows the pipeline could raise gas prices in the Midwest by 10 to 20 cents more per gallon.
  • Even TransCanada, the company sponsoring Keystone XL, admits that the pipeline will enable foreign oil companies to make an extra $2 billion to $4 billion per year off of the U.S. economy, thanks to higher oil prices in the Midwest.
  • With Keystone, Big Oil gets billions, foreign countries get the oil, and Americans get all the risks—plus higher gas prices.

Attack“Drill here. Drill now. Pay less.”

Response:

  • U.S. oil production is the highest it’s been in years—and gas prices have still gone up.
  • Oil companies are still raking in record profits, charging us $4 a gallon, and collecting billions every year in taxpayer handouts.
  • The only way to protect American families and businesses—the entire American economy—from volatile gas prices is to kick our dependence on oil.
  • So instead of protecting Big Oil at the expense of taxpayers, let’s invest in cleaner, safer sources of energy that will put millions of Americans back to work and won’t ever run out.

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We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn’t working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.