INDIANAPOLIS—Barack Obama continued his assault on John McCain and Hillary Clinton over their proposed gas tax holiday today during a speech his campaign billed as his plan to fight for working families and against special interests. Responding to a new advertisement from Clinton about the gas tax, Obama, speaking in a high school here, said,“Keep in mind that this is an idea that will save you all together, half a tank of gas.”
He argued that no experts or editorials had supported Clinton’s plan.
Obama said that it was his “understanding” that she sought a surrogate to advocate her gas-tax holiday plan, “and that all she could find was a lobbyist for Shell Oil to explain how this was going to be good for consumers. It’s a Shell game.”
This received loud applause.
(The Obama campaign said Obama was referring to a supportive appearance for Clinton’s plan on CNN by Clinton supporter Steve Elmendorf, who has lobbied for Shell.)
Obama then pivoted off the gas tax debate to defend himself against the story line that he’s out of touch.
“Only in Washington,” he said “could you call somebody out of touch” because they didn’t think saving a voter 30 cents a day would make a big difference in their lives.
“I think that the American people are smarter than Washington gives us credit for,” said Obama.
His closing argument to the auditorium, which seemed mostly full of his supporters, further emphasized what he presented as the differences between his candidacy and old Washington politics.
“The only way a black man named Barack Obama who was born in Hawaii and started his career on the streets of Chicago is standing before you this day, and that is the only way I can win this race…if you decide that you’ve had enough of the way things are.”
The full speech, as prepared for delivery by the campaign, is below.