Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.) brushed aside Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s plan to bring gas prices down to $2.50 a gallon by comparing it to his idea for colonies on the moon.

“Well, Newt Gingrich also has a plan to create moon colonies and lunar outposts within two years,” O’Malley said on CBS “Face the Nation” Sunday, when asked what Obama was going to do about the price of gas.

As gas prices have risen in 2012 — as of Friday, regular gasoline was averaging about $3.65 a gallon — the issue has re-emerged in the presidential campaign. Gingrich announced last week he would air a 30-minute television ad titled “$2.50 Per Gallon Gasoline, Energy Independence and Jobs — An Address by Newt Gingrich.”

O’Malley is hardly the first to take a swipe at Gingrich’s moon colony proposal; Republican rival Rick Santorum also trashed it.

O’Malley said that the election is going to be decided by the economy, and that Republicans are turning to gas prices only because the economy is improving.

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“We're part of a global economy,” O’Malley said of the price of gas. “The fact of the matter is domestic oil production has been increasing every year under President Obama. Our reliance on foreign oil is down to the lowest level that it's been in 16 years.”

Social issues, which have gained increased attention in the presidential race, could also be beneficial for Obama if his Republican opponents concentrate on them, O’Malley said. “I think it's good for the president. I think it's bad for the country,” he said.

O’Malley said that it would be “best for the president" if Republican candidates "take their hard right turn, sort of war on unions, war on women, all these cultural issues.”

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