Obama calls GOP gas price plan "a bumper sticker"

President Obama used his weekly address to acknowledge the rising cost of gasoline - and to criticize the Republican presidential candidates for their campaign-trail message on gas prices.

"We hear the same thing every year," Mr. Obama said about the Republicans. "Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling."

He took a direct hit at presidential candidate Newt Gingrich who has re-focused his campaign message on energy costs on which he offered tough critiques of the president. Gingrich promised if elected that gas prices would go down to $2.00-$2.50 per gallon.

"Since it's an election year, they're already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas," Mr. Obama said.

"Well, the American people aren't stupid," the president said. "It's a bumper sticker. It's not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. It's a strategy to get politicians through an election."

The average cost per gallon of unleaded gas is $3.67 - higher than the $3.28 cost a year ago and even higher than the average cost of $3.37 a month ago.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney did not directly blame the president for rising gas costs. Instead, he applied economic principles: "I think the American people know that to a certain degree gas prices are driven by what's happening around the world, supply and demand."

However, Romney said the president isn't doing enough, and called on him to approve the XL Keystone pipeline project - which would transport oil from the Canadian Tar Sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast - that the Obama administration halted earlier this year.

The president's weekly address mimicked a speech he gave Thursday in Miami where he called for an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy that includes renewable sources, nuclear natural gas and bio-fuels.

Mr. Obama also called for an end to $4 billion worth of government subsidies for the oil industry. "A century of subsidies to the oil companies is long enough," he said.

In their weekly address, Republicans also focused on gas prices, tying it to the economy.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas called for the Keystone pipeline, which she said is part of an "energy policy that puts American workers and families first."

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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