At a town hall meeting on Wednesday at a wind turbine factory in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, audience member Jazz (per the White House transcript) complained to President Obama about high gas prices, now approaching $4.00 a gallon. The questioner asked whether prices might be lowered.
Obama’s response had a few highlights if you stuck with it to the end. In the middle of his answer Obama took a stab at a little stand-up comedy as he touted the federal fuel efficiency mandate:
I know some of these big guys, they’re all still driving their big SUVs. You know, they got their big monster trucks and everything. You’re one of them? Well, now, here’s my point. If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting eight miles a gallon–(laughter)–you may have a big family, but it’s probably not that big. How many you have? Ten kids, you say? Ten kids? (Laughter.) Well, you definitely need a hybrid van then. (Laughter.) . . .
Obama did everything but the old spit-take when the man cited his ten kids. If Obama had a mouthful of coffee, he would have spewed it all over the floor. (At Albert Brooks’s mock Famous School for Comedians, students attended a workshop on “the Danny Thomas spit-take.”)
In the conclusion of his remarks Obama offered this helpful piece of advice for the man struggling to pay the price for a full tank of gas:
So, like I said, if you’re getting eight miles a gallon you may want to think about a trade-in. You can get a great deal. I promise you, GM or Ford or Chrysler, they’re going to be happy to give you a deal on something that gets you better gas mileage.
Let’s just say that Obama lacks the common touch. Even before our current hard times, you may recall, Obama was complaining about the high price of arugula. Before an Iowa farm audience in mid-2007 Obama lamented: “Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula? I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff.” Nobody knows the troubles he’s seen.
The AP scrubbed from its story Obama’s advice about buying a new car to the gentleman with the large family. The AP has now posted the story in rewritten form. Glenn Reynolds preserved the original story in a screenshot he has posted. Glenn comments that the “memory hole” doesn’t work very well any more, but I’m not sure it needs to. The AP is going above and beyond the call of duty. In any event, Drudge links to this AP story by Darlene Superville with the relevant quotes.
Let’s go to the tape. You really have to see this.
I’ve borrowed the heading of this post from James Taranto.