The HillTube

Latest Gingrich ad hopes to draw White House further into tussle over gas prices

Gingrich accuses the Obama administration of attacking him over his proposal to drive down the price of gas by opening up further drilling in federally owned land and offshore areas.

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The ad opens with a wide shot of Washington, D.C.'s skyline with thunder and lightning crashing in the background. The congressional testimony of Energy Secretary Steven Chu is edited to emphasize a 2008 statement in which he called for gas prices to increase to levels similar to those of Europe.

Chu made the remark during an interview with The Wall Street Journal during a discussion about encouraging energy efficiency, but has said since becoming Energy secretary that he "no longer share[s] that view" and that he wants the price of gasoline to go down.

The Gingrich video then transitions to a speech by President Obama earlier this month in Charlotte, N.C., where he warns "the next time you hear some politician trotting out some three-point plan for $2 gas — you let them know we know better."

Onscreen text then asks, "We do?"

The ad then returns to Chu's congressional testimony, highlighting a portion where Chu advocates for the Chevrolet Volt, an electric car that has struggled to gain traction in the U.S. market despite heavy federal subsidies. GMC announced earlier this month that it was suspending production of the car.

"Ideas have consequences," the screen reads.

The commercial follows a similar ad released by Mitt Romney's campaign Monday, in which the GOP front-runner calls for the resignation of three top administration officials — including Chu — over high gas prices.

But Gingrich's campaign hopes to lay claim to the issue, especially following a week in which the candidate drew headlines when White House spokesman Jay Carney said he was "lying" about his plan's ability to drive down fuel prices.

Carney later retreated, saying he was wrong to have ascribed "motivations" to Gingrich's platform.

"I shouldn't have gone to motivations," Carney said. "I should have said that anybody who said that doesn't know what he's talking about."

The White House has maintained that there is little that can be done to influence oil prices in the short term, and has expressed skepticism about whether Gingrich's plan would have much effect in a global marketplace.

That prompted Gingrich spokesman Joe DeSantis to say Gingrich was "in the president's head."

Over the weekend, during an appearance on CBS, Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod described Gingrich's plan as "not oil talk, but snake oil talk."

Said DeSantis in a statement Tuesday, "President Obama’s fantasy-filled energy plan involves algae-powered cars, propping up money-losing energy companies like Solyndra, and magically hoping gasoline prices go down. It’s only a matter of time before he dusts off his line telling Americans to inflate their tires.

“President Obama should fire Energy Secretary Chu for admitting his goal is not to lower gasoline prices. Instead, the American people are struggling to pay for the cost of soaring gas prices because of this administration’s extreme anti-American energy policies.”

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