Martin Bashir | March 02, 2012
>>> just as they were lurjing toward social issues, republicans have decided it's the price of gas that should be their focus as they attack the president. when the president took office in january of 2009 , the average price of a gallon of gas was $1.79. todays the up to $3.58 and rising with some predicting five buck a gallon by summertime. republicans are pumping high ok tan fume offense their own.
>> under my administration we have a near record number of oil rigs operating right now. more working oil and gas rigs than the rest of the world woman dines. anyone that tells you we with just drill our way out of this problem does not know what they're talking about or is not telling you the truth.
>> john is a democrat from kentucky who serves on the ways and means committee . i want to discuss the weather in your area. a tornado on the ground just outside of louisville as i understand it.
>> that's right. 25, 30 miles north of here. i just watched video of it before coming on with you. there's a report that it's decimated a high school in henriville, indiana. it's still on the ground. there are more storms west of us. there's a tornado on the ground in owensboro. this is a pretty serious storm. there's already been injuries. i don't know about any deaths. i hope anybody that's watching us around here will make sure that they are aware of the alerts and are prepared to go to a safe place .
>> i'm sure they will appreciate and value that warning, sir. if i can move on. according to a new poll, fewer than one in five americans believe that the president is to blame for high gas prices . we know they are suggesting the president can control the price of gas is like suggesting that rudy giuliani could have prevented 9/11. i guess there are some politicians who would rather ignore the facts and launch the takes. is that right?
>> we know we have a lot of politicians that are detached from reality. we have candidates that say we will have $2 gasoline. maybe we will, but it's unlikely they can do anything to make sure that happens and there's no evidence anywhere else in the world that's possible. remember, we were at the same situation back in 2008 under the bush administration . gasoline was at $4 a gallon and just a short time later it had gone down by half. the american public is pretty well attune to the fact that gasoline prices don't respond to the laws of supply and demand . a lot of this spike has been because of speculators that are betting on turmoil in the middle east cutting down oil supplies . there was one study that says if you have a ford explorer and you fill up $10 of that cost is attributable to speculation. i think the american people understand it's complicated and decide there's no one person to blame for pricing.
>> the major oil companies receive $4 billion each year in taxpayer subsidies. they get this while earning billions in profits. given the profitability of these company, isn't the president right to claw back that $4 billion for the benefit of the nation?
>> of course. that's $40 billion over the next ten years. i have to remind the republicans that back during the bush administration , george bush said that there's no justification for the subsidied oil companies once oil gets over $55 a barrel. you can check the video tape on that wp we're at twice that amount now. the oil companies are doing extremely well, record profits. i think $130 billion just last year in the top five oil companies . $40 billion a quarter. there's no justification for any kind of tax subsidy from the american taxpayer particularly at this high level of pricing for the barrels.
>> indeed. before you go, i wanted to give you another opportunity to issue some kind of warning towards your concern about weather concerns, this massive tornado in your area. we'll leave you with a final word, if you like.
>> thank you. i hope everybody in the southern indiana and kentucky area maybe sure they are close to safe place or in a safe place and following the weather alerts. this is a very, very damaging, destructive and deadly tornado on the ground already near us and looks like more on the way. take care.
>> thank you, sir.