Politics at the pump

Posted at 7:57 PM, Mar 18, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-18 19:57:06-04

(CNN) Gas prices keep going up, inching closer to the four dollar mark in most cities. This hike has become a hot political topic in the presidential campaign.

It's a flammable issue that didn't go unmentioned in this weeks Presidential address

"...The price at your local pump has been going up and up, and because it is an election year, so has the political rhetoric," said President Obama. [WEB EXTRA: The President's address is at the bottom of the article]

AAA reports that the national average for a gallon of gas is about $3.84. And drivers in California, Hawaii and New York are really feeling the pain at the pump. Prices there already average more than four bucks a gallon.

Gas prices dominated President Obama’s weekly address.  (link out0

He took a jab at GOP Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich over the issue.

“Any career politician who promises some three-point plan for two-dollar gas isn't looking for a solution,” said President Obama. “They're just looking for your vote.”

Some Republicans were quick to counter-punch.

Gingrich has made this claim central to his campaign, that gas could be offered at $2.50 a gallon.

“This president doesn't understand the economy,” said Mitt Romney. “He's an economic lightweight and he's made decisions that have hurt the American people.”

“As you know, energy prices ripple through the entire economy and drive prices up everywhere,” said Rick Santorum.  “It's going to hurt average folks out there trying to make ends meet.”

With some primaries still ahead, Republican hopefuls are pumping up their rhetoric on the issue.