GOP to Blame for High Gas Prices?

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," April 21, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Our other "Big Story," you know it, especially if you drive a car, if you've had your car filled up lately, maybe your SUV, gas prices are going through the roof.

By all accounts the economy is strong, but a new FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows that about 60 percent of those surveyed think the economy is only getting worse and they are blaming gas prices.

Could the GOP wind up paying the price for gas in November? Let's ask conservative columnist and best-selling author Ann Coulter.

So, Ann, the Democrats have already announced this is going on in local races all over the country, they are going to run against the Republican opponents on the price of gas. And they certainly have enough to work with, considering what the price actually is.

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: Yes and especially because of their enthusiasm for drilling in Alaska to get more oil for us. That's a good argument for them.

I mean, I guess it will be a problem for all incumbents including Democrat incumbents. Gas prices go up, people get annoyed. Unfortunately that will overwhelm the overwhelmingly great economy we have now. I mean, it's amazing how good the economy is, but gas is going up.

Also, I think we need to get them on the record admitting now that gas is $100 a gallon, that this was not a war for oil. I will not rest until we get that admission, after listening to that.

GIBSON: If there was a war for oil, we should have cheap oil.

COULTER: It's a subtle plan for the long term. We will steal their oil later.

GIBSON: All right, but while people talk about the good economy and I get these e-mails all the time, you know, people are saying, "Look, gas prices are high and this affects our weekly budget. Mortgage rates are high." They may not be high historically.

COULTER: Anybody who hasn't bought a house already has not been paying attention. We have incredibly — and by the way, by historical standards, you want high rates. Under Jimmy Carter it was 18 percent.

GIBSON: I remember those well.

COULTER: Did you buy a house at 18 percent?

GIBSON: No, I didn't and nobody could unless you were already a zillionaire. But the two indices that people generally perceive the economy by, gas and mortgages, don't work in favor of either Bush or Republicans running for the Congress.

COULTER: I didn't know those were the two indices. How about the Dow Jones or the unemployment rate? Those are pretty good.

GIBSON: They are pretty good. But what I see people saying when I'm doing the radio show, they yell at me, when I'm doing this one.

COULTER: Yes, they're not happy about gas prices.

GIBSON: They're not happy about gas price. And it's a reality.

COULTER: Well, OK, we want to drill in ANWR, and we want to bomb more Middle Eastern countries, so we want to steal their oil, that's our party.

GIBSON: How do Republicans counter this?

COULTER: I ought to say, I think this is going to be a very tough year for Republicans. This ought to be, by all historic standards, this ought to be the Democrats 1994 Newt Gingrich revolution.

I mean, they ought to be sweeping the House, sweeping the Senate and they ought to win the next presidential race.

Now we don't even know who's running, I'm just saying, by historical standards, the stupidest 10 percent of Americans tend to decide elections, because they are the Independents. They go both ways.

GIBSON: The swing voters.

COULTER: The swing voters. And they tend to say "Oh, we've had Republicans in office, let's just give the Democrats a try," forgetting how horrible life will be. I don't think this is going to be a 1994 revolution, historical revolution for the Democrats, because they're insane.

And take something like gas prices. I mean, what are they going to do better? Be like Jimmy Carter so we can have gas lines?

I mean, Ronald Reagan campaigned saying the first thing he was going to do was deregulate gas, and everyone laughed and called him a moron. And on his first day in office he lifted the controls and suddenly gas prices went down.

OK, so there is — you have the example from recent history, Democrats vs. Republicans, and we want to drill in ANWR and they don't.

GIBSON: But what do we do about this problem? I mean, people say the economy is good by any of the ways that it is measured but on the street, the main street...

COULTER: It's all gas prices.

GIBSON: It's gas prices. It's mortgages. It's things that impinge on their daily life, and they think the economy stinks.

COULTER: Hey, doesn't Iran have oil? Because I think I have a plan that would achieve two objectives for us.

GIBSON: Take Iran's oil, but Iran evidently doesn't have enough oil because they want nuclear power.

COULTER: And, by the way, that's something else we ought to be using. I mean, we are the party that supports nuclear power. Japan and France have about 90 percent nuclear power. We don't. We have Jane Fonda.

How about more nukes and drilling in ANWR? I mean, we have actual solutions. I don't know what the Democrat solution is, unless they want to have more price controls on gas and long lines.

GIBSON: Come November, what's your prediction?

COULTER: I'm not good at predictions. You never know until people vote. But the main point I want to make is this ought to be a blow out for Democrats. They have been losing everything for — and also Bush already picked up seats in the first midterm election violating all historical odds. You are supposed to lose seats in the midterm election.

Bush already picked up seats, so I don't see that there is any way historically that Republicans don't lose a few seats, but I don't think it's going to be a blow out because Democrats don't have ideas. And they have, you know, loons like Howard Dean doing their speaking for them.

GIBSON: Do you think the Republicans will maintain control of the Congress?

COULTER: I think the odds are that they don't, but I don't think it's going to be a 1994 revolution, which it ought to be.

GIBSON: Ann Coulter, author of "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)." And, of course, a new book is coming.

COULTER: Coming.

GIBSON: But it's a secret. Ann Coulter thanks very much.

COULTER: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2006 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc. (, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.