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Obama Praises Republican Oil Tycoon T. Boone Pickens

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," August 19, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I met with T. Boone Pickens yesterday.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Now, T. Boone Pickens...

T. Boone Pickens, he says we can't drill our way out of the problem.

He is a legendary entrepreneur. And, you know, one of the things that I think we have to unify the country around...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: OK, that's just weird, Barack Obama singing the praises of the guy behind financing that Swift Boat Veterans' attack on John Kerry.

Now, they differ on that attack, but not on attacking the nation's energy problem, which got weirder still today, when Boone Pickens shows up in Las Vegas with the likes of Harry Reid and Bill Clinton, talking up energy alternatives.

So, is this a sign that Boone has found a presidential alternative, a Democrat alternative?

I decided to go right to the source: Boone.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CAVUTO: You've been paling around with a lot of Democrats lately. And they have been saying wonderful things about you...

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: ... from Harry Reid and a host of others today in Vegas, to Barack Obama.

What's the deal?

T. BOONE PICKENS, FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, BP CAPITAL: I have got a plan, Neil. And it's an energy plan.

Video: Watch Neil's interview with T. Boone Pickens

And I think, from what we have done — and we have done a lot of work on this subject. We have done a lot of polling, now. And there's no question the American people are becoming acquainted with the number-one issue in this political campaign.

And I said it was nonpartisan from the start, and it is nonpartisan. And — but I have a plan to get away from foreign oil. And we're — you know, we still have $700 billion going out the back door for foreign oil. We're paying for both sides of this war. There's no question about that.

Now you have the Georgian and the — situation with Russia, and no question about that being — that's an energy issue, too. There's a million barrels a day involved in that problem. And...

CAVUTO: Well, obviously, some — it's resonated, though. And now you've got Barack Obama saying a lot of nice things about you. In fact, lately, you have been seen and heard and talking to Barack Obama more than John McCain, it seems.

Who's your candidate for president?

PICKENS: No, that's not right.

Oh, I don't have a candidate. I'm — I'm out of this race. But, no, I...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But wait, wait, wait. You must have a preference.

PICKENS: Well, you know, we will see how this unfolds. I mean, I don't know how these guys — where they're going to come out on energy and all. I have always — in the past, I have always voted Republican, but I...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Right. When you were last with me, you seemed to be leaning to McCain. And now you seem to be, well...

PICKENS: Well, I'm always — I'm always going to lean to the right, so...

CAVUTO: OK.

PICKENS: ... it's — I'm a right-leaner. But...

CAVUTO: But you're more favorably disposed to Obama now?

PICKENS: No. I mean, John McCain could not have been more, you know, engaged with me on the subject. And he and Lindsey Graham sat there. And we talked for an hour-and-a-half.

And, no, I mean, I would say that both candidates are — it's a total nonpartisan issue. It doesn't have anything to do with politics. This is about America, is what we're talking about. And — and when you have got both sides saying that this is not bipartisan, then you have got a real good chance at getting something done.

PICKENS: And I think we have got a good chance of having a — I think both candidates, I'm hoping they will come out and say, before election, that they will reduce, in 10 years, the dependency on foreign oil by at least 30 percent, and that does not include any conservation. I want that from both of them.

And, then, in the first 100 days, I want to — I want them to come up with a plan — Congress, too — and for them to enact something that will start it into action. And that goes along with the renewables, the wind. I want to see the corridors opened up, so you can transmit that wind power from the East and West Coast out of the wind corridor, which is from Texas to Canada.

And, you know, we could have a — it could be an unbelievable boost to our economy if we get some of these things accomplished quickly.

CAVUTO: Still, a lot of these alternative technologies and all, they had a great run-up. A lot of it was with you the wind at the proverbial back, you know. And now a lot of these technologies and investments in them have waned a little bit with the waning price of oil. You have felt that as well.

Do you think that the worst thing going for you is the declining price of oil?

PICKENS: No, no. I — I'm glad the price of oil has come down. I mean, it's — and the natural gas price has come down. Natural gas has got to be the bridge fuel to us to the next generation of transportation fuels, which means that we can get on natural gas — natural gas is the — is the only resource — now, this — this is very important — the only resource in America that can get you off of foreign oil.

Natural gas can replace gasoline and diesel. It's cleaner. It's cheaper. And it's ours, and it's abundant. And you have got...

CAVUTO: But you are still in the camp that says drill. I mean, it can be among the other opportunities you look at, but drilling should be among them, right?

PICKENS: I'm for everything in America. I'm for drilling. I'm for nuclear. I am for ethanol. I'm for everything American. And I am very clear on this. My only thing that I'm against is foreign oil. And that's...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Would you ever be an energy or entertain being an energy secretary in either an Obama or a McCain administration?

PICKENS: I think there's a time limit on that. I don't think I could do that after — I'm 80 years old. And I believe they won't let you be an energy — a secretary after 75. I say that.

CAVUTO: I don't believe that. No, I think you're wrong on that.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: I — and, by the way, I read that "Forbes" piece, that you — you have the sharp mind of a 40-year-old. So, that's bogus to me.

But, in other words, if — if...

PICKENS: No, it was 53.

CAVUTO: Fifty. All right. Whatever. But it's young.

So — so, let me ask you this. If a Cabinet appointment were offered to you by either gentleman, would you take it?

PICKENS: Well, let's see — well, let's see what happens here.

(LAUGHTER)

PICKENS: I wouldn't — I'm not going to answer that, because it's a hypothetical question. I don't think either one of them would be interested in me — for me in that role. I'm not sure that I would want to do that. I think — I think it really does call for a younger person.

CAVUTO: Well, I don't know about the younger person, because I have seen some young clueless people. So, you're not that.

Boone, final thought on the — on — on what's been happening with oil. It has been going down very quickly, even in the face of this Russian-Georgian war, even under threat of storms in the Gulf, which, in the past, just the fear alone would add a few dollars to it. It's not happening now.

Is this sort of like an Internet bubble unraveling or real estate unraveling? What do you make of it?

PICKENS: No.

You have still got 85 million barrels of oil produced every day in the world. And I don't think you can increase that. So, if prices go down, maybe a temporary oversupply. We have had a slowdown in our economy. Others, Europe slowing down, too, and that cuts off demand. And you have killed a lot of demand with price. When you got up to $4 a gallon, you started seeing demand go off.

And we have — we have now — the United States is down over a million barrels a day on demand. And that's — I mean, we did that with price.

But we said that. You know, you and I have talked about this subject a lot. And, when — when you kill demand, if you don't have supply increase, the only way you can kill demand is by price.

So, no, just wait. It will be back up again. It's — this is a temporary dip.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CAVUTO: OK. Boone Pickens.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

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