Pitchfork Pat`s Foreign Policy
Jude Wanniski
November 23, 1999


If your CATO speech Monday is an indication of how far you are willing to depart from the Political Establishment in the realm of foreign policy, I can begin to see how you can cause more trouble to the two major parties than they now suspect. There was little in it that I could quarrel with -- as I have had the same view of the bankruptcy of our foreign policy since the Cold War ended. You may note that on this site yesterday, I praised George W. Bush for his presentation on Meet the Press, especially as he dealt with foreign policy. Where I found his positions did not add up, in his approach to Moscow, you were at your best. There is no other candidate in the field making the argument that we have been treating the Russians like dirt -- and instead of expanding NATO's reach, we should be bringing home our troops, more than a half century after WWII. I'd forgotten that President Eisenhower urged Kennedy to do this when he turned over the reins in 1961. You also were excellent on ABC's Sunday's Sam and Cokie show, seeming more presidential, less belligerent (transcript follows). I'll link to the speech and then our website fans and browsers will have both to read. I encourage all to see for themselves what a fresh approach to the world they will find. I still have a few quibbles with China, but even there I see you inching your way in the right direction. At the very least, Patrick, you are going to give Bush-Gore-Bradley-Forbes-McCain a measure of heartburn with this distinctive message -- which I think will go down extremely well with the electorate.

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ABC - This Week - Transcript
Sunday, November 21, 1999


COKIE ROBERTS: Well, new problems for the Hillary Clinton campaign this morning. A New York newspaper has a majority of New Yorkers saying she should not run for the United States Senate. We'll be talking to her spokesman later in the broadcast. Also, an update on Egypt Air flight 990.

But this week, George W. Bush came out swinging against the isolationist wing of the Republican Party, or what he calls isolationism. Joining us now is Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan.

Thank you very much...

Mr. PAT BUCHANAN (Reform Presidential Candidate): Hi, Cokie, how are you?

ROBERTS: Nice to have you here.

Mr. BUCHANAN: Good to see you.

ROBERTS: And questioning, as always, George Will. Mr. Buy--Mr. Buchanan, you have joined a different party in part because of the--the internationalism of the Republican Party. Was this a direct attack on you?

Mr. BUCHANAN: Well, clearly, when he [George W. Bush] mentioned the "proud tower" of isolationism and protectionism," it's aimed at me. I was surprised he used the title of the book "Proud Tower" by Barbara Tuchman, which documents the absurdities of the interventionists and the militarists who got us into World War I over something in the Balkans. But clearly it's an attack on my ideas, or what he perceived to be my ideas, and as I noticed in a Washington Post editorial, he very much lines himself up with Clinton and Gore. And that is exactly what this campaign is all about: Are we going to have a new, not isolationist but independent, foreign policy that keeps America out of wars like Kosovo, that are none of our business, or are we going to go around the world behaving like an empire?

ROBERTS: Well, you say he lines himself up with Clinton and Gore. But...

Mr. BUCHANAN: The Washington Post said that.

ROBERTS: All right, but for instance, on China policy he tried to--to show a difference, and here's what he said--le--let--let's take a look at what he had to say about China.

Governor GEORGE W. BUSH: China is a competitor, not a strategic partner. We must deal with China without ill will, but without illusions.

ROBERTS: Now, the Clinton administration has called China a strategic partner?

Mr. BUCHANAN: All right, well here's the incoherence in Mr. Bush's position: The most powerful, persuasive, peaceful weapon we have to affect change in the Chinese Communist regime is whether we grant or deny them access to a market of $ 8 trillion, and 270 million consumers. Mr. Clinton went over there and caved in and gave it away for nothing. Mr. Bush agrees he gave it away for nothing. Can someone tell me exactly how he's going to influence Chinese behavior, put them in check, when he's given away, with nothing in return, the best weapon we've got?

GEORGE WILL reporting: I can tell you how they think that, and then you comment on that.


WILL: Their catechism is that democracies are peaceful, democracy depends on development, development depends on trade and free flow of capital...

Mr. BUCHANAN: Mm-hmm.

WILL: ...information, contracts, promise-keeping...

Mr. BUCHANAN: Mm-hmm.

WILL: ...the rule of law, th--the cultural capitalism subverts tyranny.

Mr. BUCHANAN: Mm-hmm.

WILL: This is an attempt to subvert the Chinese regime in broad daylight. Now, what's the matter with that theory?

Mr. BUCHANAN: Well, why don't they do the same with Cuba? Why don't they subvert Milosevic by lifting these immoral, wicked sanctions, which are basically imposing enormous suffering on children for the crime of not rising up and overthrowing Milosevic? Now, George, there's something to be said for engagement as undermining a totalitarian regime. It certainly helped in Eastern Europe. But in my judgment we have tried this approach, and it's in the last 10 years that China seems to be moving in the other direction. So I don't argue for a cold war or a hot war, what I argue for is realism. The president should hold the China portfolio. The best card we've got is access to our market. What we should say is, 'We'll give you access to our markets, but we want the following on Christians, we want this on Taiwan, we want this on missiles, and frankly we want you to get rid of all your tariffs on American goods and we'll get rid of our tariffs on your goods,' etc.

WILL: Are there other nations that are too tyrannical for us to trade with?

Mr. BUCHANAN: It's not--my problem with sanctions--look, they--they're tyrants, Castro and--and Saddam Hussein and Milosevic. My problem with these san--with the sanctions, if--in--if that's what you're referring to is, even in Iraq we hear tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of children who are suffering and dying. Now they can't overthrow Saddam Hussein. Why are we doing this? So what I think--it is almost an un-Christian weapon in terms of the prescriptions for a just war to use sanctions that hurt children. Now, in terms of--of China, I do believe that our trade relations should be handled by the president, not by some international trading organization.

WILL: Let me ask you a question about your former party and your current party?


WILL: You served, loyally, Richard Nixon through...

Mr. BUCHANAN: Mm-hmm.

WILL: ...Shanghai communique...

Mr. BUCHANAN: Right.

WILL: ...the EPA and the explosion of the regulatory state under Nixon, the Philadelphia plan beginning racial preferences, wage and price controls...

Mr. BUCHANAN: Mm-hmm.

WILL: ...arms control. Now George W. Bush is intolerable?

Mr. BUCHANAN: No, my--I served Richard Nixon because I started at 30 years old. He was like a father to me, I dissented on all those issues...

WILL: That's it. That's the whole Nixon presidency?

Mr. BUCHANAN: Well, that, and even the whole thing in China, I dissented on China. They almost left me there, George. I was on that trip. But my disagreement with Mr. Bush is this: I think, George, we have a monopoly of power by a single establishment which masquerades now as two parties. They have the same trade policy, the same foreign policy, the same immigration policy, they both agree on the same huge federal budget, except Republicans would like a little more for the Department of Education. Americans need a choice.

WILL: No. They surely wouldn't have the same Supreme Court appointments.

Let me ask you about abortion, which until...


WILL: ...recently was your main theme. You said, announcing your candidacy as a Republican in March, 'As long as Pat Buchanan is fighting in the arena, there will be at least one major party that stands without apology for the rights of the unborn.' Now, the Reform Party is indifferent, if not hostile, to the Right-to-Life movement. You have said you would not insist as the Reform Party nominee having it in the platform, although you'd have died in the last ditch to prevent a change in the Republican platform. And...

Mr. BUCHANAN: I did die in the last ditch to keep it in the Republican platform, and the candidate of that party, Mr. Dole, got up and said, 'We didn't read the platform.'

WILL: Now shouldn't...

Mr. BUCHANAN: George, I've written my last platform. What we need is a man who will carry this idea of pro-life in his heart and into the presidency. If I'm the Reform Party nominee, the most pro-life candidate in that race, the only one committed to a pro-life Supreme Court, solidly will be the Reform Party nominee.

WILL: But suppose, as the polls indicate, your principal effect is to help elect the Democratic nominee...

Mr. BUCHANAN: Mm-hmm.

WILL: ...whose Supreme Court appointees would certainly be inclined to affirm Roe vs. Wade?

Mr. BUCHANAN: Well, there's no doubt that when I considered this, it would have been no--there would have been no ambivalence about this decision if there were not the possibility that what I was doing might retard rather than advance the things I believe in. We could not get a commitment from Mr. Bush. Ms. Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, I believe, only got three Republicans opposing her, even though she's the strongest, I guess, pro-choice on abortion Supreme Court nominee. Republicans are responsible for seven out of nine of those nominees. Again, Mr. Bush would not commit. So we had to take a measure of risk, and we did.

ROBERTS: All right, let me ask you about that now. You've got the Reform Party you're now going to run. What--what do you do? Donald Trump is now talking about getting in. He says he's willing to spend $ 100 million...

Mr. BUCHANAN: Mm-hmm.

ROBERTS: ...to get the Reform Party nomination. How do you--how do you fight $ 100 million?

Mr. BUCHANAN: There's a lot of guys that told me they've drawn the four aces, too. Let's see them.

WILL: He's got the money.

ROBERTS: But he's got the money.

Mr. BUCHANAN: He's got the mon--listen, you know, James Burnham said, George, "If there is no solution there is no problem." If somebody's going to--I mean, I've run against two fellows in the Republican Party who have a hundred million. If Mr. Trump is going to come in with a hundred million and buy it, and he's going to buy the Reform Party, and they're all bought, there's nothing I can do about it. So I don't let that worry me. I've been to many, many conventions, probably 10 state conventions, I've talked to half the Reform Party state chairmen, I haven't seen this fellow's tracks anywhere. Now, maybe he's moving with great stealth, but I haven't seen it.

ROBERTS: D--d--do you have any sense at this point--I mean, you've run and run and run now, and now you've left the Republican Party. They say it's because you were only getting two, three, five percent in the...

Mr. BUCHANAN: Mm-hmm.

ROBERTS: ...Republican primary. Since you--you've been around this track, and that it--this is some sudden...

Mr. BUCHANAN: Well, I, you know, I think...

ROBERTS: ..."Don Quixote" campaign?

Mr. BUCHANAN: ...I was not going to win the Republican nomination. The conservative base was too split, we didn't have the excitement, they know my game plan--the Alaska-Louisiana gambit, if you will--so I was not going to win that. I do believe this: There is a tremendous hunger out in America for real choice. I mean, Mr. Ventura, whom I disagree with, showed that in that governor's election. I think we're going to get to March and there's only going to be three candidates. I'm going to be third, and I'm going to be way, way, way behind. But the country's going to be fed up with Gore, they're not going to want him. I think they're going to see Mr. Bush may not have the depth. And when we go through eight months, I think the opportunity will be there, if I can make a dramatic difference in terms of the agenda and vision we offer America...

ROBERTS: Do you--do you think that...

Mr. BUCHANAN: ...that they may come in our direction.

ROBERTS: ...do you think he does not have the depth?

Mr. BUCHANAN: I don't think he's exhibited the depth. I mean, that was a nice speech, but I'll tell, you there were more platitudes per paragraph in there since any speech I've ever seen since Warren Gamaliel Harding. I mean, what do they call those? "An army of pompous phrases marching across the landscape in search of an idea." I mean, and these things were just fed to him. Now, I'd be interesting to see how he's doing on that other show today.

WILL: If you get to the nomination and the other two are, indeed, nominated, and you get to the fall, what happens--what do you do, if, as in 1996, the people conducting the presidential debates say, "Ross Perot, the nominee of the Reform Party, is not competitive enough to merit conclusion." If you're left out of the debates, how serious is that to you?

Mr. BUCHANAN: Well, it'd be very serious. But if I'm not--if I'm a credible candidate, and I would think if you got over, let's say 14, 15 percent, which is 15 million Americans want you to be president, and then the two parties conspire to deny the American people a hearing of this different agenda and different point of view, the two parties will also have a problem, and we will aggravate it to the degree that I can.

WILL: Really quickly, just to...


WILL: ...do--do Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton have anything to contribute to our politics in your movement?

Mr. BUCHANAN: Well, I think--let me say about Farrakhan, there was--there was much good that the black Muslims did in terms of taking people out of prisons and--and the dregs of society and turning them into strong men who-- who dealt with their lives well, and--and who behaved and became law-abiding. On the other hand, there was a very--there's a very negative component to that which has prevented his assimilation, I think, into any kind of mainstream politics.

ROBERTS: Just briefly, Mr. Buchanan, now, you asked how Governor Bush was doing on that other program. He is saying, I am told in my ear, that the Republican Party needs to have a more positive face, that the--the happier parts of the party don't get out there.

Mr. BUCHANAN: Well, look, let--let's face it, there are wonderful things about America, but we also have a culture which is poisoned and polluted and disgusting in a lot of ways. There's a lot of things that need to be cleaned up, a lot to celebrate. But we're not--I mean, the idea of running this campaign with a happy face, I really don't think corresponds with the nature of our society and country. We ought to be deadly serious about where we're going in the world, where we're going in this country.

ROBERTS: OK, thank you very much. Thanks for being here.

Mr. BUCHANAN: Thank you.