Debbie Stabenow blasted for dismissing surging gas prices

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Debbie Stabenow blasted for dismissing surging gas prices

A Michigan senator is facing backlash after boasting about the benefit of skipping the pumps in her pricey electric vehicle — which go for more than $56,000 on average — while everyday Americans struggle to pay record-high gas prices.

Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow made the eyebrow-raising comments during a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday while explaining how she was able to breeze past gas stations en route to Washington, DC.

“I drove it from Michigan to here this last weekend and went by every single gas station and it didn’t matter how high it was,” she said.

Surging gas prices have surpassed a whopping $5 per gallon in 13 states — including Michigan — with no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Stabenow’s remarks were blasted as “incredibly out of touch,” “tone death” and “elitist” by users on social media.

One Twitter user joked “Let them buy Teslas!” referring to Marie-Antoinette’s notorious “Let them eat cake!” reply when she was told her starving subjects had no bread to eat.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., speaks at a news conference, Tuesday, Feb., 15, 2022, after a Democratic weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow came under fire for boasting about the benefits of her $56,000 electric car.
AP/Jacquelyn Martin

“If MI voters & everyday Americans needed further proof @ how out of touch & elitist these electric limousine liberals are, just listen to Democrat Sen. Stabenow brag about not having to pay for gas while millions of Americans suffer in this #BidenGasHike,” GOP political commentator Paris Dennard tweeted.

The average price for electric vehicles is $56,437 — more than $13,000 higher than the average price of a standard full-size car and $5,000 higher than the average cost of an entry-level luxury car, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Meanwhile, the median household income among Michigan residents is only slightly higher than the cost of an electric car — at $59,234.

Model Y electric vehicles stand on a conveyor belt at the opening of the Tesla factory in Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany, Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
The average price for electric vehicles is $56,437 — more than $13,000 higher than the average price of a standard full-size car.
Patrick Pleul/Pool via AP

“It usually takes a Hollywood actor to sound so disconnected from Americans who are struggling to pay for gas, but now Senator Stabenow is laughing at the price at the pump from the comfort of her electric vehicle,” school superintendent and media contributor Joel Petlin tweeted. “Even if the goal is worthy, the message is incredibly out of touch.”

Stabenow did say her electric vehicle was something she worked towards, adding that she waited “for a long time to have enough chips in this country to finally get my electric vehicle.”

The Michigan senator has been a staunch proponent of electric vehicles.

She led efforts in DC to incentivize electric vehicles made in America and offer consumer tax credits for EV buyers. She also helped secure more than $16 million in funding to build electric vehicle charging stations across Michigan early this year.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity for us to move to vehicles that aren’t going to be dependent on the whims of the oil companies and the international markets,” Stabenow said at the Finance Committee hearing.

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