McCain takes air out of tire pressure debate

August 6, 2008

HUNTINGTON, W. Va – Republican John McCain appeared to back down on Tuesday in his dispute with his opponent Barack Obama over tire pressure.
Last week in St. Louis, Obama told an audience that steps such as inflating tires to the correct levels could make a difference when it comes to conserving fuel.
Cue gleeful mockery from McCain. Obama was naive, inexperienced and not talking straight to the American people about energy, he said.
His campaign went further, distributing to reporters tire gauges engraved with the words “Obama’s energy plan.”
Predictably, Obama hit back calling McCain’s mockery “ignorant,” arguing his plans were being misrepresented and saying that experts backed his call over tire pressure. Equally predictably, McCain’s camp hit back.
The surprise came during a telephone town hall meeting McCain held on Tuesday with voters in Pennsylvania.
“Obama said a couple of days ago says we all should inflate our tires. I don’t disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it,” McCain said.
But he kept up his broad criticism of Obama on energy: “I … don’t think that that (inflating tires) is a way to become energy independent.”
The United States’ energy challenges will be a central factor in the months leading up to the election. But when it comes to how far to inflate your tires, the air seems to have gone out of the dispute.

Photo credit Reuters/Mike Blake (Gas station near San Diego)


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Are the tire guages American made or are they those cheap inacurate Chinese ones?

Posted by rick fry | Report as abusive

I’m trying to turn the tables on the McCain folks and their stupid tire gauge stunt. I’m having gauges made and selling them on eBay in hopes of raising $2300 for Obama (the max contribution). If you are down, can you please forward this on to other like minded folks. Thanks! API.dll?ViewItem&item=110277515563

As I recall a young lady was nominated for CNN Heroe for distributing tire gauges to help people cut down on fuel consumption. Obviously CNN did not SHE was that stupid.

Posted by Tori Garza | Report as abusive

The posters above are angry that McCain pointed out the mistake Obama made, and the lie he told. But, the posters STILL have not answered the basic question:

Of course McCain is like all of us, he understands that maintaining proper tire pressure is a good thing that provides minimal benefits. But even if Obama’s lie WERE correct, if we actually COULD save enough by changing tire pressure to offset drilling offshore, wouldn’t it be even better to do both? Because just think of how many gallons of gasoline we could have, how it would drive down the price of gasoline and a barrel of oil. Why not combine both: the drilling of new oil here in the United States, the continental shelf; plus the proper inflation of tires, to double the effect of the oil that we are drilling? Obama is for the weak “tire pressure” strategy while McCain is attacking the problem head on to lower our price at the pump, while agreeing that conservation and new sources are also important.

Besides, you cannot grow an economy like America’s with just conservation.

Posted by Tom Paine | Report as abusive

Everyone keeps doing these calculations but according to the experts, if you properly inflate your tires you will save about .4mpg or 3 or 4%. How can you compare that to a barrel of crude oil we would drill for off the coasts. You would first have to calculate the amount of gallons of gasoline you are able to refine from a barrel of oil. I am sure that you get more than 1 gallon of gasoline from a barrel of oil. In addition you get other items from this oil: you get oil products from this barrel, diesel fuel, heating fuel, airplane fuel, etc. So comparing the 3 or 4% savings by inflating your tires is an inaccurate comparison. You gain much more by drilling that by just inflating your tires.

Posted by Kelly | Report as abusive

McCain wants to do everything it takes to secure our energy future. That includes conservation, drilling, bio fuels, increasing clean coal production, building new nuclear plants, wind farms etc. We have to be serious about this problem or we will all pay for this. Not only would this increase our energy security but new jobs would be created. A story was on the news 2 days ago about a new drill site in North Dakota and the starting pay for the workers was $70,000. These are good paying jobs and with our crisis these jobs will be around for a long time. But if we do what Obama wants and windfall profit tax the oil companies just forget any new drilling and new jobs.

Posted by Kelly | Report as abusive

I found a great website at s.html It says what people are thinking.

Posted by Ana Conda | Report as abusive

Is there spin on Senator McCain military record? Who gave him the nickname Songbird McCain?

And is there any truth that Senator McCain crashed 5 jets, plus was responsible for the Forrestal fire?

An article found on the Internet states that surviving crewmen and those who investigated the Forrestal fire case reported that McCain deliberately ‘wet-started’ his A-4E Skyhawk to shake up the guy in the F-4 Phantom behind his A-4.

‘Wet-starts’, done either deliberately (the starter motor switch allowed kerosene to pool in the engine and give a wet start) or accidentally, shoot a large flame from the tail of the aircraft.
In McCain’s case, the ‘wet-start’ ‘cooked off’ and launched the M34 Zuni rocket from the rear F-4 that punctured the Skyhawk’s fueltank, knocked the M-65 1000 lb bomb off it’s 500 lb rated mount, and touched off the explosions and massive fire.
The F-4 pilot was reportedly killed in the conflagration, along with 167 of his fellow Forrestal shipmates (including those who died later from wounds suffered). ‘Wet starting’ was a common practice among young ‘hot-dog’ pilots. McCain was quickly (they were still counting the Forrestal dead) transferred to the USS Oriskany (the only Forrestal crewman to be immediately transferred

George – US Vet

America imports 60% of its gasoline. “Smart Driving” needs to be part of a comprehensive energy program. It’s not hard to reduce gas consumption right now with smart driving practices like keeping tires inflated properly (+2%), reducing speeds from 75 to 65 mph (+15%), reducing aggressive driving by accelerating and decelerating smoothly (aggressive driving reduces gas mileage 33% on highways and 5% around town), keeping luggage in the car,not on top (+20%), emptying out excess weight in the trunk and car (+2% of every 100 lbs. removed), replacing a clogged air filter (+10%) and there’s lots more. These tips are on many Web sites – Consumer Federation of America, Sierra Club, even California’s governor is on board with a campaign. Why not take advantage of this “low hanging fruit” – for many Americans it can reduce fuel consumption tremendously – and it’s so easy! I’d rather drive smart then drill in Alaska or off the coast or – worse yet – continue to make military decisions based our national thirst for too much gasoline!

Posted by Terry Lee | Report as abusive

Ironic the republicans are trash talking the idea of keeping tires inflated correctly. In 2000, the 106th congress, which had an R majority in both chambers, passed the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD). One of the requirements of this law is that all cars must have a Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) to monitor air pressure in all tires.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

Have you seen the new book I’ll Be Sober in the Morning:
Great Political Comebacks, Putdowns and Ripostes?

It’s a lot more fun that watching the debates.

Here’s the one I liked best –

John Wilkes, a British reformer, was engaged in a nasty debate with his rival, who screamed at Wilkes – “You, sir, will either die on the gallows or venereal disease!” Wilkes then responds, “That depends, sir, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.”

Posted by will moredock | Report as abusive

It was said to be a debate because of the two opponents but the main thing here is how we can conserve energy.I guess it’s better to work on together in making the conservation possible in time.