Politics & Government

Out of bounds! Clinton's remark on gas-price gouging

Throw the flag against: Hillary Clinton

Call: Intentional grounding.

What happened: Clinton says legislation that's working its way through Congress would protect consumers from high gasoline prices by making price gouging a federal crime.

Why that's wrong: First, federal investigations have never proved gasoline price gouging. No less a referee than Bill Richardson, the former energy secretary under President Clinton, said in debate earlier this year that the oil companies weren't gouging. Second, the congressional proposals define gouging in such "hazy terms" that they'd be difficult to enforce or uphold in court even if found, according to www.factcheck.org, an operation of the Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Penalty: Clinton's statement is standard political posturing in reaction to high gasoline prices, and her promise of pending relief isn't believable. Penalize her campaign 10 yards' worth of credibility and loss of a turn to speak in the next debate.