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CNBC anchor implies US must support dictators to keep cheap oil flowing

By David Edwards and Stephen Webster
Friday, January 28, 2011 9:40 EDT
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CNBC contributor Erin Burnett said Friday that oil prices would skyrocket if countries in the Middle East broke out from under the rule of brutal dictators.

Appearing on a Friday broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Burnett said that the ongoing revolution in Egypt could threaten US interests in the region due to Egypt’s history as an ally on matters pertaining to Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.

She added that as one of the most developed economies in the Middle East, it was surprising to see many of the society’s wealthiest individuals supporting regime change. Tens of thousands of protesters across the country have taken to the streets the last few days, demanding President Mubarak resign.

“One more thing,” Burnett remarked. “If this spreads, the United States could take a huge hit because democracy in a place like Saudi Arabia, you’ve talked about who might come in power, what that means for oil prices. They’re going to go stratospheric.”

“There’s no doubt about it,’ MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said. “No doubt about it!”

While the White House has been unusually quiet on the situation in Egypt, President Barack Obama said yesterday that Egypt’s leaders must be more “responsive” to their people.

Vice President Joe Biden, during an appearance Thursday night on PBS, also claimed that President Mubarak was not a dictator and should not step down.

Mubarak has been in power for over three decades.

This video is from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast Jan. 28, 2011.


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