Donald Trump says the rejection of the plan to build the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada to Texas is “disgraceful,” but the argument would actually be moot, if President Barack Obama was willing to take advantage of the nation’s abundant energy resources. The real estate mogul also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Wednesday that if the election were held today, either Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney would handily beat Obama.
“Well, I think it’s disgraceful — frankly, we don’t need Canada — we should just be able to drill our own oil. [But] as long as it’s there we certainly should have approved it — it was jobs and cheaper oil,” Trump said. “It’s just absolutely incredible. I guess President Obama took care of the environmentalists, but it is absolutely terrible — and it is not an environmental problem at all in any way, shape, or form.
“Honestly we’re taking oil from Canada and paying them a lot of money — we don’t need Canadian oil if we did it right,” he said. “We need to drill our own oil — we have so much of it we don’t know what to do. Between natural gas and oil and lots of other things, we should be doing our own. The fact is the Keystone pipeline is a positive: You are talking about tens of thousands of jobs; you are talking about lower oil.”
Trump says Obama’s rejection of the pipeline was actually ironic, because approval could have worked in his favor as he campaigns for re-election in what has been deemed a difficult battle.
“Maybe it was done on purpose, because I have heard from day one he was never going to approve this before the election — the funny [thing] is I actually think he would have gotten votes if he approved it,” Trump said. “I think there are many more people that would like to see it than not like see it — I think it would have been a political positive thing.
“You see what has happened to gasoline prices,” he continued. “They are setting a record for this time of the year and it will get worse as people start to travel. I think it would have been positive politically for President Obama.”
Switching gears, Van Susteren asked Trump whether Gingrich or Romney could beat Obama if the election were held today.
“I do think they could, yes. I think they could beat him and I think he is highly overrated now. Maybe I’m in a small camp but I think he is highly overrated — Hillary should have beat him,” Trump said. “As I’ve told you before, at the end of those primaries last time three and a half years ago, at the end of the primaries he was losing virtually every one of them. And he just stumbled across the finish line. The fact is if those would beat him and I think it would by a margin that is lot bigger than I’ve seen in polls.”
Van Susteren then asked Trump his prediction for Saturday’s South Carolina primary.
“It’s going to be very close — I think Mitt was hurt really very badly by this whole thing with the income tax returns — I believe he should have given them April 1, but I didn’t think going into a little bit of detail without going into a lot of detail was a positive thing,” Trump said. “He’ll come back — he has proven to be a very resilient guy — he has been hurt a number of times by number of different things, he comes back. He really seems to be very tough and resilient — you have to hand it to him.”
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