In a blistering election-year attack on his political foes, President Barack Obama charged Thursday that Republicans are "licking their chops" over painfully high gas prices that threaten the fragile economic recovery.
"Only in politics do people root for bad news and they greet bad news so enthusiastically," he said in a combative speech at the University of Miami. "You pay more, and they're licking their chops."
The defiant rhetoric came after days in which the White House has worked to get off the defensive over high gasoline prices, insisting that Obama has done everything he can to bring those costs down. The administration blamed sticker shock at the pump on unrest in the Middle East, speculative trading, and heightened demand in China, Brazil, and India.