It's good to have Donald Trump back in politics. We all know that the habitual noncandidate will ultimately decide -- like he did in 1988, 2000, 2004 and 2008 -- not to run for president. In the meantime, his ideas for fixing America are incredibly entertaining.
For anyone shocked by Trump's rants against OPEC and his proposal to take over Iraqi oil fields, here's a little historical trivia: He's said stuff like this for decades. Here's are some of his best quotes from the late 1980s to 2011:
Present-day Trump: Iraqi oil fields and gas prices
Trump has a number of lines that keep showing up in interview after interview. Each quote is a tiny gift. Open it up and it just makes you smile. Here are a few classics, which Trump has since repeated, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos.
- How to deal with OPEC: Oh, it's so easy George. It's so easy. It's all about the messenger. They wouldn't even be there if it wasn't for us. If it weren't for us, they wouldn't be there. These 12 guys sit around a table and they say, "Let's just screw the United States." And frankly, the rest of the world. Look. I'm going to look 'em in the eye and say, Fellas, you've had your fun. Your fun is over.
- About those Iraqi oil fields: George, let me explain something to you. We go into Iraq. We have spent thus far, $1.5 trillion. We could have rebuilt half of the United States. $1.5 trillion. And we're going to then leave. So, in the old days, you know when you had a war, to the victor belong the spoils. You go in. You win the war and you take it.
Trump on finding a bad-ass negotiator
In an 2009 interview with Greta Van Susteren, "The Donald" rips into OPEC and says the oil cartel is "absolutely draining and sucking the blood out of the country." When Susteren follows up and asks what he would do about oil prices and OPEC, Trump lays out his master plan.
Well, the first thing I'd do is get my biggest, smartest person, my toughest, smartest person, and have them negotiating, and I would try and divide OPEC because what they do -- any time anybody strikes oil, they invite them into OPEC. If you have a store and I have a store and we set prices, we go to jail. OPEC is totally setting the price of oil and destroying many countries because of it!Trump's oil prediction and tanker rumors
In an interview with CNBC, Trump blames the recession on major oil producing countries (aka OPEC) and accuses large oil companies of "doing a major number" on everyone. He also airs one rumor.
Frankly, I hear there are tankers all over the world that are loaded up to the gills with oil.Trump, in a 2008 interview on CNBC about what to do about oil companies
I would also tax the oil companies into oblivion... I would tax the hell out of the oil companies.Trump blamed the oil crisis on Saddam Hussein in a 1990 interview with Newsday and said it compounded problems of his troubled Taj Mahal Casino Hotel, the casino industry and the Trump Shuttle.
Nobody projected that oil prices would go through the roof because of some madman in the Middle East. This just adds to and makes the recession worse.Trump's noncandidacy begins
As Trump announced that he was "unequivocally, under no circumstances" running for president in 1988, the real estate mogul tossed in a little foreign policy advice.
Don't we at least want to take a little bit more of an offensive? Iran has literally destroyed three administrations. Why couldn't we go in there and take some of their oil fields near the coast? I'm tired of nice people running this country. I want some tough, smart cookies representing me when they're dealing with the Gorbachevs and Khomeinis of the world.Photos from Flickr user Gage Skidmore, CC 2.0