OTR Interviews

Trump: Republicans must start fighting Obama, president is 'very, very vulnerable' and oil will make him more vulnerable

Donald Trump breaks down the latest unemployment report, gas prices and their ramifications for the 2012 White House race


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 9, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now, here is Donald Trump.


VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, nice to talk to you.


VAN SUSTEREN: OK, Donald, today the number is 8.3 unemployment, 227,000 more jobs. And I thought, Well, OK, Donald Trump will be happy with that one. Then I saw your Twitter account, and you said U.S. unemployment 9.1 percent, U.S. underemployment at 19.1 percent. So are you unimpressed?

TRUMP: Well, the real numbers are probably 19, it could even be 21 percent. When people stop looking for jobs, they take those numbers out of the numbers. So you know, what you're looking at are not real reflections of what's going on. But anything is good, anything is better. But the fact is, we have tremendous unemployment in this country.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you feel the economy revving up at all?

TRUMP: I feel some good things, but it's very fragile. If oil prices go up -- and they're going to continue to go up, in my opinion, because we have nobody really fighting it -- but if oil goes up, if gasoline goes to $5 or $6, which I think it will, a gallon, I think that the economy is very, very fragile.

VAN SUSTEREN: If there's no war in Iran, no threat of war in Iran so that the speculators are calm and everything's fine there, will the price of gas still likely climb as high as $5?

TRUMP: Well, I think so because OPEC is doing it. OPEC is sitting around their table and they're setting up the high gasoline prices and oil prices. So I think so. Somebody has to have a very, very serious and strong talk with OPEC because they're laughing all the way to the bank. I mean, OPEC is doing numbers on us really like very few people have ever been able to do before. So I think so.

I don't think whether it's Iran or not. And hopefully, there won't be a problem with Iran, there won't be a war with Iran because I would think that we can negotiate a phenomenal deal right now. They do not hold the cards.

So hopefully, through being intelligent, there's not going to be a war. A war would certainly throw things into a bad situation.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Republicans want increased domestic production. That wouldn't change the volume of oil available now. It's not going to immediately affect the oil prices. But tell me, if you were president -- and you say that no one's dealing with OPEC -- tell me exactly what you would do. Do you pick up the phone and call somebody? What would you do about OPEC to get them to make sure that production is high so that we don't have prices rising?

TRUMP: Well, you have to speak to them. They wouldn't be there if it weren't for us. And you have to be rough with them and you have to say, Folks, it's time...


TRUMP: ... it's enough...


TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you how. You start drilling your own oil. That's really how. We have so much oil and we have so much natural gas, we have so much under our own feet that we don't even need OPEC, in theory, in a very short period of time.

You know, you just said that, Well, it won't have an effect. Well, it will soon have an effect when we start drilling. And we have to be able to drill. We have to be able to get our environmental impact statements approved quickly because they're just not getting approved. People are not getting environmental permits to do the drilling, and we have to make it possible.

Even the Canadian pipeline -- I mean, the pipeline is wonderful and we should have it, 100 percent we should have it. But even getting oil from Canada -- we have everything right under our own feet! So the greatest way to deal with OPEC is just to start drilling.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, if we -- if you had to make a phone call, though, to OPEC, or had to do something in the short run, tell me the conversation.

TRUMP: I would tell them to start releasing whatever we need to release because the supply and demand is ridiculous. You know, just so you understand, we have -- there is so much. We have -- there is so much product, as we would call it. There's so much oil -- the ships at sea, they don't know where to dump it. And yet it's artificially set and it's artificially set by OPEC.

Speculators are bad, but they don't have the impact that OPEC has. So you've got to get on -- when I say "phone," you've got to do phone or its equivalent. Let's get them over here. And you say, Fellows, it's over. It's not going to continue.

Now, I can't believe that Obama would go into the presidency without - - this next election because he could absolutely lose it despite George Will, with his moronic statement. And he could absolutely lose it, without question, if oil prices go up. So I can't believe that Obama isn't speaking to OPEC right now.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you obviously caught my attention, George Will's "moronic statement." I'm familiar with it. What moronic statement?

TRUMP: Well, he made a statement that he doesn't think the Republicans are going to be winning the presidency and they should focus on Congress. They should focus on Senate and congressional races. And I think it's, you know, just ridiculous.

Actually, some of the polls I see have Mitt Romney leading. So for him to make that statement -- of course, you know, he is -- he is not a great one. There's no question about that. This is not the smartest -- this is not the smartest guy out there. There's no question about it.

I've watched this for years. I've watched predictions he's made for years, many, many wrong predictions, and a very negative force for the Republican Party, in my opinion.

VAN SUSTEREN: Something makes me think you don't like George Will.

TRUMP: No, it's not a question of don't like. I don't like somebody that says focus -- you're not going to win the presidency. I mean, obviously, I think the Republicans have a very good chance, especially when they get their act together and get one candidate. And I think the one candidate, obviously, should be Mitt Romney.

But at some point, they're going to have to get together and have a candidate because they keep fighting each other. They're not fighting Obama. Obama is very, very vulnerable, and oil is going to make him more vulnerable.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is he vulnerable, though, if the -- if the job numbers continue to look better, if the gas prices don't soar, and if the unemployment level, you know, trend downward? I mean, not as quickly as any of us would like it, but doesn't that make his position more secure than less secure?

TRUMP: Absolutely. It makes him more secure. It's not easy to beat an incumbent president. It's not easy to beat somebody that's been there. And if the numbers start getting better and if the fuel and the oil and gasoline prices aren't going to be going up -- which I think they probably will -- but if they're not and if the economy starts getting better, there's no question it's a much tougher race. And he would be hard to beat.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have the sense, you personally, that President Obama is making decisions as a good leader right now, or is his eye on making a political decision to get reelected?

TRUMP: Well, it just seems that so much of what he does is for political reasons. And I'm not blaming him for that. But it would just seem, whether it's class warfare, whether it's many, many other things -- you could name many things. But it just seems that much of what he does is politics.

I mean, he's out every night campaigning, you know, and doing fundraisers, and you know, using Air Force One to fly into cities and tying up traffic all over the place and costing billions of dollars, probably, when you add it all up, if you add up the whole thing, and not paying for it.

I think it's very unfair. I see it in New York. At the most crowded time, congested time of the year, right around Christmas, the tree lighting ceremony, he flies into New York. The city was a disaster, a disaster for an entire evening. An entire day, you couldn't move. It was gridlock. And there were a lot of angry people.

So I would say a lot of what he does has to do with politics. I would say almost everything that he does has to do with politics.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know you're supporting Governor Romney. You've endorsed him, helped him out in Michigan, made those robo-calls, helped him out in Ohio. I'm curious, if he asked you who would you recommend to be the dream vice president candidate, in your mined, if he gets the nomination?

TRUMP: Well, I'm a big fan of Chris Christie. He's a friend of mine. He's doing a great job as governor of New Jersey. I think that you have a wonderful senator from Florida, who would do a fabulous job. I think he'd be great. I think carrying Florida is very important, and the Republicans have a good chance of carrying Florida.

So I think between the two of them, I think you have two good ones. And you have others. You have many very talented people in the Republican Party.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Donald, where are you? Usually, I come up to your office and talk to you in your office. You're not up in New York tonight. Where are you?

TRUMP: I'm at -- with Tiger Woods, watching him play well and a lot of people play well at Doral Country Club, which I just bought. And they're having the great tournament. They're having the Cadillac Classic. Cadillac is the sponsor, and a great sponsor.

And I just bought the Doral, which is a tremendous piece of property, 800 acres right in Miami, right smack in the middle of Miami. And I guess the way I look at it, with a $16 -- it'll soon be $16 trillion worth of debt, the best thing you can own is real estate.

And so I'm very happy with that. And we're having a lot of fun. And they have a tournament going on right now, a big one.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you doing a lot of hiring?

TRUMP: I am, actually. I'm doing hiring here. We're rebuilding the entire place. It's going to be fantastic.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, good. Well, that's good news for American workers looking for a job. They're all going to flock now to your new country club. Donald, thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, Greta.