With the threat of high gas prices—and political fallout for the Obama administration—looming, Democrats are hoping to shift blame to the GOP, branding it the "Grand Oil Party."
Noting that they voted against repealing tax preferences for oil companies while also accepting their campaign cash, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting Republicans it considers to be vulnerable, including Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, Jeff Denham of California, Dan Benishek of Michigan and Judy Biggert of Illinois.
In the case of Benishek, the DCCC noted that he accepted over $58,000 from oil and gas companies and voted against moves from Democrats to use their subsidies to reduce the deficit.
"Republicans are going to have a hard time saying they're for lower gas prices when they've defended Big Oil companies record profits fueled by skyrocketing gas prices," a Democratic strategist says. "Now those profits are bankrolling Republican campaigns."
The DCCC's push comes as Republicans are taking aim at the White House over the issue, claiming that the administration's policies, especially its refusal to move ahead on the Keystone XL pipeline, is hurting the country's economy.