MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
Republicans who may challenge the president in next year's election see an opportunity there, as NPR's Jeff Brady reports.
JEFF BRADY: Last week, the Conservative Principles PAC Conference was held in Des Moines. Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann began her speech talking about energy.
MICHELE BACHMANN: Unidentified Group: Yeah.
BRADY: Here's Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour at that same conference.
HALEY BARBOUR: We need more oil. We need more gas. We need more coal. We need more nuclear. We need more American energy. And that...
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)
BRADY: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also has been making appearances on the potential candidate speaking circuit. Here he was last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
NEWT GINGRICH: What you have from the Obama administration is a war against American energy. They just can't help themselves. Even in the State of the Union, at a time when we're facing rising oil prices, what does the president want to do? He wants to raise taxes on oil and gas.
BRADY: There is another potential candidate who would like to say to President Obama...
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE APPRENTICE")
DONALD TRUMP: You're fired.
BRADY: Donald Trump was on Fox News a couple of weeks back commenting on stiff new safety and environmental rules the Obama administration put in place after the Deepwater Horizon accident.
TRUMP: I think it's beyond anything I've ever seen, that we go slow on drilling. And there are always going to be problems. You're going to have an oil spill. You're going to have this. You clean it up, and you'll fix it up, and it'll be fine.
BRADY: Jeff Brady, NPR News.
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