‘Greedy’ OPEC Manipulates Oil, Could Swing Election: Trump

Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that rising gasoline could alter the terrain of the upcoming U.S. presidential election, as he blasted the Oil and Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for driving up energy prices.

Donald Trump speaks at the Ritz-Carlton on August 26, 2012 in Sarasota, Florida.
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Donald Trump speaks at the Ritz-Carlton on August 26, 2012 in Sarasota, Florida.

Trump, a vocal supporter of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that voters are increasingly vulnerable to the ravages of higher gas prices. He put the blame squarely on OPEC’s (learn more) shoulders, and linked the cartel to President Barack Obama.

“You’re looking at gasoline with a five in front of it, that’s pretty bad,” said Trump, who once flirted with running for the GOP nomination, but now regularly heaps scorn on the Obama administration. “If it goes up much more I think you’re going to have a little bit of a revolution when it comes time to vote.”

Approaching Tropical Storm Isaac — which threatens to disrupt oil production in the Gulf Coast — has pushed oil above $95 per barrel and retail pump prices above $4 a gallon in some parts of the nation. Tensions in the Middle East have some analysts predicting that $5 gas could be on the horizon. (Read More: More Drivers Than Ever May Pay $5 Per Gallon.)

“We have nobody to protect us against OPEC,” Trump told CNBC. “We have nobody that calls them, that sees them, and talks to them. They got greedy before the election, and they might lose their good friend Barack Obama.” (Read More: More OPEC Oil? Saudi Minister al-Naimi’s Vienna Jog May Provide Clues.)