Watch CBSN Live

Democrats Rip McCain "flip-flop" On Oil Drilling

Congressional Democrats ripped presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)  Wednesday for “flip-flopping," after McCain reversed course and called for the lifting of a ban on offshore oil drilling, which he once opposed.

“It is so hard to tell what Sen. McCain’s positions are because they change so rapidly,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday morning.

“[This] is certainly not the position he had just six months ago.”

As gas prices continue their steady climb past $4 per gallon, rising fuel costs are fast becoming a top tier campaign issue. Sensing an opening, Democrats pounced on McCain's Tuesday announcement that he would now support an end to the drilling ban, which was enacted by former President George H.W. Bush.

Hoyer said McCain and other Republicans calling for a repeal of the offshore drilling ban should call on oil companies to "use what you have first" before opening up additional federal lands to drilling.

Echoing the Democrats primary talking point on the issue. Hoyer said that oil and gas companies already hold leases to 68 million acres of federal land and water in which they are not producing oil and gas. 

But Hoyer didn't stop there, continuing his sollolioquy on McCain's alleged flip flops.

"When asking about Sen. McCain’s position, whether its torture or what we are doing here, there or everywhere, I need an update on what he is articulating presently," Hoyer said with a laugh.

The McCain campaign quickly responded to Hoyer's allegations.

“Only an out-of-touch Congressman has the luxury of calling a bold move to defend hardworking Americans from potentially paying $6 dollars for a gallon of gas a ‘flip flop,’" said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. 

"If Mr. Hoyer spoke for the commuters in his district instead of just the partisan politicians in his caucus, he’d be singing a different song.”

Continue reading post...

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.