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Dana Perino: Media Blamed Bush for High Gas Prices But Gives Obama a Pass

By Doug Powers  •  February 20, 2012 01:36 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino has noticed the press handling their duties differently when it comes to reporting high gas prices. This isn’t surprising. Back when it was clear the MSM was in the tank for Obama, there was no reason to assume that wouldn’t also include the gas tank:

“Do you see a complete difference in the way we’re looking at it now?” anchor Gretchen Carlson asked Perino.

“Sure, because if you look at that commentary, the gas prices we’re dealing with now have been more gradual. When it’s more — when it happens over a month or two-month long period — that hurts more. Families adjust when it’s gradual. All of a sudden the media is talking about the laws of supply and demand and putting things in context. When President Bush was President, they talked about oil speculators. Who were friends of President Bush? They would put it together like that.”

Perino criticized The New York Times for pushing the narrative as Gas Prices Give Republicans Something To Attack, rather than framing it as Obama’s problem. “The GOP is now going to attack him!” Perino exclaimed. “This good man who has done nothing wrong!”

Duelin’ headlines:

NYT March 2011 ($3.57 a gallon): US better prepared for rising gas costs

NYT August 2005 ($2.55 a gallon): Economy shows signs of strain from oil prices

Another example can be found in this CNN piece from last year:

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama confronted two political realities this week:

– Rising gas prices are bad for a politician’s poll numbers

– There is almost nothing a politician can do about it, at least in the short run.

Compare that to this CNN article from mid-2008 entitled “President, Congress offer no immediate help on gas prices”:

“A lot of Americans are concerned about our economy,” Bush said. “I can understand why. Gasoline prices are high, energy prices are high. I do remind them that we have put a stimulus package forward that is expected to help boost the economy. And of course, we’ll be monitoring the situation.”

Americans are looking for more action, though, than monitoring the situation.

No mention back then that there’s almost nothing a politician can do about gas prices in the short run?

In 2008, ABC News reported that Bush was “in the dark” about gas prices:

While I’ve found plenty of ABC articles about high has prices hurting Obama’s approval rating, I’ve yet to run across one that flat out calls him clueless or implies that he just doesn’t care.

According to Newsbusters, network newscasts linked Bush to “skyrocketing” gas prices 15 times more than Obama.

But it wasn’t just the media. Here’s then Speaker Pelosi during the Bush presidency when gas prices got to be over $3 a gallon. Back then it was the fault of reckless administration policies from those two oil men in the White House:


Here’s Perino talking about it on Fox News:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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