TUCSON, Arizona — Newt Gingrich is apparently an oil market whisperer, at least according to Rick Perry. The Texas governor and former presidential candidate, who is now backing Gingrich, told reporters in the spin room after last night’s GOP debate that the former speaker can bring down oil prices by merely talking about wanting more domestic oil drilling:
PERRY: As a matter of fact, perception is everything in this world we live in, and if the perception is Newt Gingrich could be the next president of the United States, that will have a worldwide effect, I will suggest to you, on the price of oil. And people who watch these markets and people who deal with these markets understand, that when you see the type of approach that he’s talking about — opening up federal lands and waters, opening up that pipeline from Canada, clearly giving incentives to drill in America for domestic energy, and then an all of the above policy, whether it’s wind or nuclear or whatever it might be — that will have a dampening effect on the cost of oil in particular and the other energy prices as well.
Oil prices are actually unusually high right now, so either Gingrich’s abilities are less powerful than Perry suggests or not many people perceive that he could be the next president. Of course, domestic oil production is already up under President Obama, and oil prices are set in a global market, meaning increased domestic production has negligible impact, so Perry’s argument is a bit far-fetched, to say the least.
But Gingrich has relied on this kind of voodoo policy making before. He often says in stump speeches that the economy will begin to recover the night he is elected president, months before he has a chance to be inaugurated and implement any new policies.