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Posted at 05:03 PM ET, 02/27/2012

Santorum: Gas prices caused 2008 recession

Former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has suggested that President Obama has a plan to keep gas prices high in order to keep Americans driving less and as a result, limit carbon dioxide emissions.


Former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) campaigns in Michigan. (Joe Raedle — Getty Images)
Now, Santorum is claiming that it was high gas prices that caused the 2008 economic downturn.

Reports BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller from Lansing, Mich.:

“We went into a recession in 2008 because of gasoline prices,” Santorum told a packed hotel ballroom of supporters. “The bubble burst in housing because people couldn’t pay their mortgages because of $4 a gallon gasoline,” he added.
Santorum accused Obama of advocating for higher gas prices to protect the environment.
“He actually believes this is a good thing for America, I don’t,” he said. “We are not here to serve the earth, but to be stewards of the earth.”

The statement by Santorum would appear to be a novel interpretation of what actually caused the 2008 recession. Opinions vary, but most experts cite either the financial crisis on Wall Street, the bursting of the housing bubble, or some combination of those and other factors.

It’s also worth noting that the gas prices line is an argument that Santorum has previously made on the campaign trail, but one that is drawing increased scrutiny now that the candidate has pulled into the lead in several key primary states.

By  |  05:03 PM ET, 02/27/2012

 
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