“What do you say to people who are losing patience with gas prices at $3 a gallon? And how much of a political price do you think you’re paying for that, right now?” This was a question asked of the president at a press conference in August…of 2006. The president was George W. Bush. In fact, it was a question that was asked in one way or another regularly during the entire eight years of the Bush presidency, regardless of where energy prices stood at that moment.
In May 2004, The New York Times reported that congressional Democrats “were stepping up pressure on the Bush Administration to ease gasoline prices,” when prices were still under $2/gallon. In April 2005, at another press conference, a journalist stated: “Mr. President a majority of Americans disapprove of your handling of social security, gas prices…” In 2006, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) exclaimed: “Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled…They are too cozy with the oil industry” after she drove one less-than-energy-efficient block to a press conference at a local Exxon station.
In 2008, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “blasted” the president for rising gas prices on his (and her) watch. In July 2008, ABC News asked the president what was his “short term advice for Americans about gas prices?” repeating a nearly identical question asked at a February 2008 press conference. In April 2008, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said gas prices were “the number one issue facing America today.”
You get the point. Yet, at the end of President Bush’s presidency, gas prices were 9% lower than when he took office (adjusted for inflation). So where have these outspoken critics been since Bush left office?