LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AFP) — Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton on Tuesday accused President George W. Bush of "begging" for cuts in oil prices in "pathetic" encounters with Gulf leaders.
The former first lady hit out at the US president as he wrapped up a tour of the Middle East, during a 2008 Democratic presidential campaign debate here.
"President Bush is over in the Gulf now begging the Saudis and others to drop the price of oil," Clinton said. "How pathetic."
"We should have an energy policy right now, putting people to work in green collar jobs as a way to stave off the recession, moving us towards energy independence."
Bush earlier urged oil producers to take action over near record-high prices, prompting his Saudi hosts to vow to increase output when justified by the market.
Bush, facing recession fears at home after prices surged to a record 100 dollars at the start of the year, raised the sensitive issue on the second day of a visit to OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia -- the world's largest oil producer.
He said he planned to discuss with King Abdullah "the fact that oil prices are very high, which is tough on our economy."
"And that I would hope, as OPEC considers different production levels, that they understand that if their -- one of their biggest consumers' economy suffers -- it will mean less purchases, less oil and gas sold."
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