Think Progress has a post titled McCain: I ‘Don’t See How It Matters’ That I Don’t Know The Price Of Gas. Wow, that sounds pretty bad. Let’s take a look:
In a telephone interview with the Orange County Register earlier this week, John McCain acknowledged he was unaware of the price of gas.
Jeez. That’s really awful. But let’s take a look at the actual exchange that Think Progress is citing:
WICKSOL: When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost?
MCCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.
Later in the interview, McCain says:
I’ve been on the campaign trail for so long I don’t remember when I last filled up my own gas tank, but I certainly did for many, many, many years and I understand the difficulties and challenges that it poses for the people of California and my home state of Arizona.
Think Progess cites this as evidence of “McCain’s cluelessness about gas prices.”
But McCain isn’t saying he doesn’t know the price of gas. He is saying that he doesn’t remember the last time he pumped his own gas, and how much it cost then.
So, does John McCain know the cost of a gallon of gas in America? Yes, he does. Here’s a news story from June 18:
“The price of a gallon of gas in America stands at more than four dollars. Yesterday, a barrel of oil cost about 134 dollarsm” said McCain.
Again, that McCain quote is from June 18 — six days before the O.C. Register interview that Think Progress uses to claim McCain doesn’t know the price of gas.
This Think Progress post is a lie. At best, the story is that McCain doesn’t remember the last time he pumped his own gas. Even that is a non-story, since nobody pumps their own gas while on the campaign trail. Someone ask Obama when he last pumped his own gas.
Your mission: to go to every single blog that has linked this Think Progress post, and post the quote I just gave you that shows what a lie it is.
UPDATE: Here’s a partial list of bloggers who have repeated this: Andrew Sullivan (now partially corrected), James Joyner (
no correction stand-up correction issued), and John Cole (now acknowledging that he may have gotten it wrong). For more, check Memeorandum.