Trump: Soaring Gasoline Prices Will Cost Obama His Job

Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012 08:52 AM

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High gasoline prices will cost President Barack Obama his re-election, as voters won't tolerate what they see as inaction to do anything to lower prices at the pump, says billionaire developer and real-estate mogul Donald Trump.

U.S. gasoline prices hit $3.87 a gallon in the week ended Monday, up more than 27 cents in the past month and the highest level recorded for March, according to data from the Energy Information Administration's weekly survey of service stations.

Experts have warned that prices will climb as the summer approaches, when driving increases and refineries switch to more expensive inputs.

Editor's Note: Obama Donor Banned This Video But You Can Watch it Here

Obama has taken criticism for not doing enough to encourage more drilling for oil and natural gas at home and also for halting expansion of a pipeline that would have funneled in more supply from Canada to lower prices.

"In my opinion, you're going to have gas at $5 or $6 a gallon. If that happens with motorists, I don't see how Obama will win this election," Trump tells CNBC.

Meanwhile, the United States remains reliant on OPEC nations for crude, which set prices to benefit their own economies often at the expense of the U.S. economy and consumer.

"We are sitting on top of just absolutely unbelievable amounts of energy and especially natural gas. The problem is we can't get it, because you have to go through environmental impact statements and the environmental stuff and you just can't take it out," Trump says.

"OPEC continues to just rip us left and right, like they are laughing at us all the way to the bank," Trump said. "And between OPEC and China, we have two very, very friendly enemies, believe me."

In the meantime, high oil and gasoline prices will benefit GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who Trump sees eventually clinching the nomination and beating Obama in part due to more consumer-friendly energy policies.

"I think Romney is going to go on to get the nomination and beat Obama. Gas prices, oil prices are going so high, I believe it going to be very, very hard if he doesn't do something quickly," Trump says.

"If he doesn't do something quickly about oil and gas, he's going to have a hard time being re-elected, in my opinion."

Obama has insisted that there is no "quick fix" or "silver bullet" to lower gasoline prices, blaming Middle East unrest for the problem and criticizing Republican solutions such as Newt Gingrich's plans to drill more at home to bring gasoline down to $2.50 a gallon as campaign talk and not doable policies.

"They start acting like we've got a magic wand and we will give you cheap gas forever if you just elect us," Obama said recently, according to Reuters.

Other market observers say the problem is worse than it looks.

High fuel prices, meanwhile, have been muted as of late due to a warm winter, which has cut into demand for heating oil.

However, when the summer driving season approaches and prices rise even further, consumers will spend less elsewhere in order to fill up their cars, which will hurt the economy, says billionaire private-equity investor Wilbur Ross.

"What I am worried about is the following: gas prices have been high and the effect on the consumer has been hidden," due to the mild winter, Ross tells MarketWatch.

Some states are averaging over $4 a gallon, and $5 a gallon is possible in some parts of the country.

"If we hit $5 at the gas pump over the summer, that would have a profound effect on the consumer," Ross says.

Editor's Note: Obama Donor Banned This Video But You Can Watch it Here



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