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No "magic bullet" in lowering gas prices: Obama

(Xinhua)

14:34, March 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, March 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday defended his energy policy, saying there's no "magic bullet " in reducing the skyrocketing gas prices.

"There's no magic bullet," the president said in an interview with the local WFTV in Orlando, Florida, adding that any politician who says there is one is not being truthful.

The remarks came after a new poll suggested rising gas prices have taken a toll on Obama's job approval ratings.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the issue of gas prices, which have gained 49 cents this year to an average of 3.79 dollars per gallon, according to the Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Monday. Just 26 percent approve of Obama's work on the issue.

This has eroded Obama's ratings on economy. Fifty percent of Americans strongly disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy, a nine-percent jump to a new high in his presidency, according to the survey. Only 38 percent approve of his job on the economy, down 6 points from last month.

"Well look, as long as gas prices are going up, people are going to feel like I'm not doing enough, and I understand that," Obama said in the interview.

"The bigger driver of these gas prices is speculation of war in the Middle East, which is why we've been trying to reduce loose talk about a war there," he said.

Republican presidential candidates have made gas prices an important frontier to fight the incumbent president by blaming his administration for the high prices. Some even said they could get the price down to 2.50 dollars range if elected to the White House.

"First of all, nobody believes that. They know that's just politics. Anybody who says we can get gas down to two bucks a gallon just isn't telling the truth," Obama responded.

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