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Romney: Obama can’t ‘precisely set the price at the pump’ for gas

Mitt Romney on Wednesday said that President Obama shouldn’t be held directly responsible for rising gas prices.

“I think people recognize that the president can’t precisely set the price at the pump,” Romney told CNBC on Wednesday.

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Still, Romney bashed the president for an energy policy that he says has contributed to an energy shortage. He said Obama should do more to open up areas to drilling, including in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. He also criticized administration regulations.

“[President Obama] can decide how much money for oil and gas is going to other nations, and to get that money here and to create jobs here and to stabilize prices here,” Romney said. “He ought to be taking advantage of all of our offshore, and ANWR, and North Dakota and Oklahoma and Texas gas resources instead of trying to hold them off. Natural gas is a huge win for us and through the EPA he’s been trying to hold that off.”

Republicans believe the president is vulnerable over rising gas prices.

In his weekly address given in late February, Obama said that there is no "silver bullet" for bringing down gas prices and called for an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy, while arguing that America is producing more oil now than it has at any point in the last eight years.

"There are no quick fixes to this problem, and you know we can't just drill our way to lower gas prices," Obama said. "If we're going to take control of our energy future and avoid these gas price spikes down the line, then we need a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy — oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels and more."

But Republicans won the headline battle last month when the administration nixed large portions of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

“Coal is a major source of our power — he’s made it more difficult to get the coal, more difficult to use the coal,” Romney continued. “And of course the Keystone pipeline, bringing that in from Canada — that was a no-brainer and he failed that test.”