Trump’s interview followed one with former Shell Oil president John Hofmeister who said that “the politics of energy is killing the U.S. consumer.”
“Oil at $110 [a barrel] is unsustainable and it’s going higher,” Trump said. “There’s so much oil, it’s all over the place. . . .One guy said, the ships are loaded, they don’t know where to dump it.” Trump did not specify who the “one guy” was.
Asked why gas prices were high and rising, Trump said, “It’s not coming down because OPEC sets the price.” As to how OPEC could be forced or convinced to lower the price, Trump said, “We don’t use our brain power – we need one thing: brain power.”
“It’s the messenger,” Trump said. “You know, I can send two executives into the room -- one guy comes home with the bacon; the other one doesn’t. . . .Obama is not the right messenger, we are not a respected nation any more, the world is laughing at us.”
“Look at Libya, look at this mess,” Trump said. “Nobody knows what they’re doing. “I would take the oil” he said adding that the United States is “a laughing stock throughout the world.”
Trump blamed Chinese currency manipulation as part of the problem and accused Obama of hosting Chinese President Hu Jintao for a formal state dinner at the White House while the United States maintained a debt to China. “I wasn’t invited, but that’s okay,” Trump said. “You don’t have dinner for people that are ripping you off, Candy.
“We are rebuilding China. I don’t know if you know that,” Trump said. “When was the last time you saw a great airport being built?”
The conversation turned to the emerging 2012 GOP presidential field. Asked about Mitt Romney, who recently announced his presidential exploratory committee, Trump was blunt, “Mitt Romney is basically a small business guy, if you really think about it.” Trump went on to accuse Romney of making money on companies “he didn’t create” and eliminating jobs rather than creating them. Romney helped to found Bain Capital, a private equity firm that both hired and fired employees to maintain a profit. “I’m a bigger businessman, and I have a much bigger net worth.” Despite the criticism, Trump went on to say that he didn’t really know Romney.
Asked if he would say how much he paid in personal income taxes, Trump held his cards close. “Assuming I run, and there is a good possibility,” Trump said, “in about two months you would know that information.”
“I wish I didn’t have to do it,” said Trump regarding a potential presidential bid. He said he enjoyed his life and “has a very successful show.”
“I will tell you, I am giving it serious, serious thought and I am honored by the polls,” said Trump, referring to recent polls that show him leading other potential 2012 Republican hopefuls. “You know why they know my name? It’s because of success.”
On Libya, Trump said he would have asked the Arab League to pay the United States $5 billion before the U.S. agreed to send troops. “They’d go boom, boom, boom, thank you very much,” Trump said of the Arab League.