At Wednesday’s POLITICO/NBC Republican presidential debate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman splashed the biggest bucket of cold water on the idea.
“Of course not,” Huntsman said when asked if Bachmann’s plan was realistic. “We live in the free market economy. I’m not sure that dictating prices is going to get you anywhere.”
Mitt Romney didn’t completely dismiss Bachmann’s promise, and the former Massachusetts governor used the question to trumpet the familiar Republican “all-of-the-above” energy mantra that gives props to “clean” coal, natural gas, nuclear power and renewables.
“If we develop those resources and we use our capacity to generate that energy in a wise way, we can have an impact on global energy prices,” Romney said. “Can we get it down to $2? I’m not going to make that prediction. But I can tell you we can become energy secure.”
Bachmann stood by her gas price pledge by citing an American Petroleum Institute report released Wednesday that projected the creation of 1.2 million jobs and $800 billion in new government revenue if energy regulations were loosened.
“Don’t forget the day President Obama took office, gasoline was $1.79 a gallon,” she said. “It’s entirely possible for us to get back to inexpensive energy.”
While Rep. Ron Paul wasn’t asked directly about Bachmann’s $2 gasoline promise, the Texas GOP congressman planted his flag on the issue, too. “I can do much better than that,” he said. “I can get you a gallon of gasoline for a dime.”
“You can buy a gallon of gas today for a silver dime,” Paul added. “A silver dime is worth $3.50. It’s all about inflation and too many regulations.”
Paul’s time allotment ran out before he had a chance to elaborate.