Video: New ad hits Obama on gas prices

Why not hit President Obama where he’s most vulnerable?  American Crossroads will spend $1.7 million in media buys for its new ad, “Too Much,” which hits Barack Obama on the rapid rise in gas prices, and attacks his claim to have been responsible for increased oil production:

Politico calls this “the downpayment version” of the expected avalanche of attack ads from the conservative group:

In an ad entitled “Too Much,” focused on President Barack Obama and energy prices, the outside group Crossroads GPS is going on air for a week on broadcast and cable in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, with a total buy costing $1.7 million, per POLITICO’s James Hohmann.

“President Obama’s ‘hope and change’ has deteriorated into hype and blame — puffing up his record and blaming others for his policy failures,” said Crossroads GPS President Steven Law. “This ad sets the record straight and calls for real solutions to sky-high gas prices, not more political spin.”

The ad comes at a good time, as other news outlets have begun to look at today’s high gas prices from a historical perspective.  Lauren Fox at US News notes that Obama has now surpassed Jimmy Carter for the record on gas-price hikes:

Marking the similarities between President Barack Obama’s time in office and former president Jimmy Carter’s is nothing new. But as of Monday, Obama has hit one more Carter benchmark – both saw gas prices double in their first term of office.

In fact, while just barely, Obama has seen an even higher gas price increase than Carter dealt with under his administration.

Under the Carter administration, gas prices increased by 103.77 percent. Gas prices since Obama took office have risen by 103.79 percent. No other presidents in recent years have struggled as much with soaring oil prices. Under the Reagan administration, gas prices actually dropped 66 percent. When Bill Clinton was president, gas prices grew by roughly 30 percent, and under both Bush presidencies, gas prices rose by 20 percent.

In fairness, the large change comes in part as an artifact of the 2008 financial collapse. Prices had hit new highs in early 2008, which prompted the Drill Here, Drill Now political push that actually resulted in a brief loosening of federal restrictions on drilling before the Great Recession drove demand through the floor, and prices with it. That continued for several months into Obama’s term. However, instead of taking advantage of the brief respite by following through on regulatory relief, Obama instead doubled down, especially after the Gulf spill, which is why drilling has declined 14% on federally controlled turf, as noted in the ad, and of course also killed the Keystone XL project that would have delivered Canadian crude to American refineries. That has restricted domestic supply, with the entirely predictable result in prices.

Poll after poll shows Obama particularly vulnerable on gas prices and the economy. Expect outside groups to focus sharply in these areas, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see later efforts focus on how these issues impact Gas Pump Moms, which I’ll predict will be the Next Big Demographic in American politics.