Obama Strikes Back: 'It's Like These Guys Take Pride in Being Ignorant'

For nearly a week now, Republicans, including John McCain, his surrogates, and his aides, have been mocking the notion that routine auto maintenance can contribute to fuel efficiency. Yesterday, at an event in Ohio, Barack Obama mocked them back.

For those who can't watch clips online (and in the unlikely event you haven't seen the clip elsewhere), Obama told the Ohio audience:
[L]et me make a point about efficiency. Because my republican opponents they don't like to talk about efficiency.
You know, the other day I was in a town-hall meeting and I laid out my plans for investing $15 billion a year in energy efficient cars, and a new electricity grid and all this/ Somebody said, 'Well, what can I do, what can individuals do?' So I told them something simple, I said, 'You know what, you could inflate your tires to the proper levels, and that if everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper levels, we would actually probably save more oil than all the oil that we get from John McCain from right below his feet there, whatever it is that he was going to, wherever he was going to drill.
So now the Republicans are going around -- this is the kind of things they do, I don't understand it -- they're going around, sending like little tire gauges, making fun of this idea as if this is Barack Obama's energy plan.
Now two points. One, they know they are lying about what my energy plan is. But the other this they are making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4%. It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant.
You know, they think it is funny that they are making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their home work, because this is serious business. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference.
There are competing schools of thought here, but I found this pitch-perfect. I've long believed Obama is at his best, and most compelling, when he's on the stump, without notes, simply highlighting the silliness of the attacks against him. It makes his detractors appear even smaller, while setting the record straight.

Yes, his choice of words -- most notably "lying" and "ignorant" -- are provocative. That's precisely the point.

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