Nightly News | April 23, 2011
>>> president obama weighed in on the price of gas today as the rising numbers at the pump are quickly turning into a political issue. nbc's mike viqueira reports from the white house .
>> reporter: just ten blocks from the white house , a sign of political peril for the president. today in his weekly address, mr. obama warned when it comes to a gallon of gas, there is no quick fix.
>> the truth is there is no silver bullet that can bring down gas prices right away.
>> reporter: as he kicks off his 2012 run, mr. obama hopes the price at the pump doesn't cost him at the polls. this week he talked tough, appointing a task force to fight fraud and price manipulation in oil markets.
>> we're going to make sure that nobody is taking advantage of american consumers for their own short-term gain.
>> reporter: but as prices have risen over the last two months, and voters feel more pain at the pump, the president has seen his approval ratings go the other way, dropping from a high of 50% in january.
>> higher gas prices unquestionably are a significant contributor to the president's drop in poll numbers.
>> reporter: republicans are again on the attack. just as in 2008 . hoping to gain political traction by pushing for more domestic drilling, and insisting on cuts in the president's plan to promote renewable energy sources like wind and solar. with the political battle forming along familiar lines, experts hope this time the result will be different.
>> we were at 30% imports in 1973 . last year we were at 65% imports. we're going backwards, not forwards. we're not getting the job done through our elected officials.
>> reporter: and, kate, another aspect of this that is sure to become a political football comes late next week when the big oil companies report their first quarter profits, sure to be near a record yet again. kate?
>> mike viqueira at white house