Pawlenty hits Obama on gas prices out of the gate

“In the third year of Barack Obama’s presidency, unemployment is at unbearable levels, gas and food prices are skyrocketing and federal government spending is out of control. ‘ObamaCare’ is unconstitutional, and it is already driving up health costs — not reducing them.

“The president's policies simply aren't working."

The run-up in gas prices has led to widespread GOP attacks on White House energy polices.

Pawlenty last month called for expanded drilling, including opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an area the White House wants to remain off-limits.

But he also echoed what’s more commonly a Democratic theme in arguing that a limited release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve should be considered.

Average nationwide gasoline prices have backed off their highs of nearly $4 per gallon, but remain far above last year’s levels. Gasoline is currently averaging $3.84, compared to $2.80 a year ago, according to AAA.