Toward the end of 2021, stickers featuring the words ‘I Did That’ alongside an image of Joe Biden pointing became increasingly popular, showing up at gas stations all over the US. The stickers cast blame on Biden for the high price of gasoline, which has since decreased.
Throughout 2022, the sticker movement went viral as the price of gas reached a high of $5 per gallon in some parts of the country, which was more than double what it was at the beginning of the previous year.
The blame game
Many blamed Biden for the price increases, seeing as they went up following his sanctions in Russia. Biden himself placed the blame on supply chain disruptions because of COVID-19 and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Gas prices have since fallen, and according to the AAA, are now at a national average of around $3. The price has decreased for 11 consecutive weeks and is now around 14.9 cents per gallon cheaper than it was at this time last year.
Cruz shows support
The sticker movement was supported by many, including US Senator Ted Cruz. In May 2022, at the height of the stickers’ popularity, he said at a press conference, “I’ll tell you what, the little stickers on gas pumps all across the country illustrate the American people know exactly whose fault this is.”
Cruz continued, “This was deliberate. This isn’t an accident. This isn’t an unintended side effect. This is exactly what Joe Biden promised he would do, and it’s what he’s done.” He also suggested that many of Biden’s decisions, such as canceling oil lease sales and the Keystone pipeline, were to blame for the increase in price.
At the time, sellers of the stickers made a huge profit. One such seller, Javier Estrada Ovalles, told Slate that his online and in-store sales had increased massively. “In this last month alone, once the prices of the gas really started going up, I started getting bulk sales twice or three times more than it was before.”
The stickers, however, caused trouble for gas stations and their employees. Speaking to WaayTV, Perry Cagle, assistant manager of a gas station in Alabama, said, “The point of the matter is it’s causing issues for us because we get points taken off if our corporate comes by and does inspections they do.”
Take it elsewhere
He continued, “Put it on your car, put it on your house. Don’t vandalize private property. Joe Biden doesn’t own this station and he’s not going to come by and fill up his tank and see that sticker and say, ‘Oh man I should’ve lowered gas prices today!'”
The Minnesota Service Station and Convenience Store Association also made complaints about the stickers in April 2022. The company released a statement asking people to stop using them at gas stations. It began, “Retailers in the fueling industry don’t like high gas prices just like everyone else.”
The statement continued, “As for the President Biden ‘I did that’ decals that may be attached to fueling dispensers, fueling retailers continue removing these decals as fast as they are placed by a third-party individual. A retail business is no place for politics.”
Ovalles, who was producing and selling many of the stickers, said that they were easy to remove and that he didn’t intend for them to be stuck on equipment at gas stations. Gas station workers, however, complained of the effort it took to remove them.
Now that gas prices have decreased once more, use of the stickers—which were especially popular among Republicans—has almost completely ceased. Those left in place now appear to be thanking Biden for the cheaper fuel.