President Obama has ‘fond memories’ of hand-me-down Ford

President Obama’s first car — a rattling Ford Granada — apparently didn’t do wonders for his social life.

Obama said the Ford Granada passed down from his grandfather “was not the peak of Detroit engineering” in an interview with AAA on Thursday in Oklahoma.

“It rattled and it shook, and I don’t think the girls were particularly impressed when I came to pick them up in a Ford Granada,” Obama said. “But you know what? It moved, and so I have fond memories of the fact that it got me to where I needed to go. That’s about all I can say about the Ford Granada.”

Obama, in the interview, stressed that “Ford is doing great now.”

He spoke to AAA about gasoline prices during his four-state, two-day energy-themed tour (click here, here, here and here for E2’s coverage).

Obama touted his efforts to address gasoline prices, reiterating the themes expressed during the speeches on the trip.

The president noted he’s seeking near-term actions, such as ensuring enforcement of laws against illegal oil market speculation, but has said there are no quick fixes to gas prices, and in the interview said longer-term policy is vital.

“[T]he most important thing I can do as a president is not to simply focus on tomorrow; it’s focusing on getting America properly aiming towards our goal of continuing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said.

Obama, in the interview and on the tour, said the way to lessen exposure to price spikes is through greater domestic oil production coupled with fuel mileage rules his administration is implementing, federal support for renewable fuels and electric cars, and other steps.

Here’s part of what Obama told AAA, courtesy of its transcript:

Right now the key thing that is driving higher gas prices is actually the world’s oil markets and uncertainty about what’s going on in Iran and the Middle East, and that’s adding a $20 or $30 premium to oil prices, and that affects obviously gas prices. What’s also driving it, and this is something that’s not going to reverse, is increasing demand in countries like China and India. In 2010, for example, China added 10 million cars just in that one year. So as more and more people around the world see their standards of living rising, they purchase cars, they have demand for oil, that creates a greater demand worldwide and that raises the price. That’s why we’ve got to make sure that we don’t just focus on production. We’ve also got to focus on fuel efficiency; we’ve also got to focus on alternatives. If we don’t, we’re going to continue to be subject to these kinds of price spikes anytime something happens around the world.