Pat Buchanan, the presidential nominee of one faction of the warring Reform Party, accepted his nomination in Long Beach, Calif., tonight. Read a transcript of his remarks here.
Thank you: And I accept your nomination for president of the United States, and pledge you a fight you can be proud of the rest of your lives.
For years, my friends, we have all heard that familiar taunt: “Don’t worry about them; they have nowhere else to go.”
Well, guess what? We have somewhere else to go. At long last, we have a home of our own. As for those homeless conservatives, who were locked up in the basement at the big Bush Family Reunion in Philadelphia, all I can say is: “Folks, come on over; there is plenty of room in Reform.”
Say, did any of you watch that convention? How did you stand the excitement? One Republican governor defended it this way: “We used to have red-meat conventions, but they frightened people away. So, we’re all vegetarians now.” Well, welcome to the last red-meat convention in America.
First, I don’t disagree with the Republicans who say we have much to be thankful for here in America. In science, technology and medicine, we excel as no other people in history. I know that. I was at Cape Canaveral when Apollo 11 lifted off on its way to the moon. I am alive today because of a heart valve that did not exist when I was in high school. I was at Ronald Reagan’s side in Reykjavik in that critical summit of the Cold War when that great and good man refused to give up a missile defense for his country. Because of Ronald Reagan, our world is safer and freer than the world we grew up in, and America today is as dominant as Rome in her day.
But beneath our surface prosperity, there is deep anxiety, a foreboding within our people that was ignored at the festival in Philadelphia. It revolves around these questions: Where are we going? How are we Americans using all this wealth, power, and freedom? Are we still God’s country? What about the forgotten Americans of Philadelphia?
I mean America’s unborn children, another million of whom will die this year without ever seeing the light of day. For these lost innocents, there was barely a word of compassion from the party of compassionate conservatism.
Well, Republicans may be running away from life, but as long as there is life left in me, I will never run away — because their cause is my cause, and their cause is God’s cause.
Now, let us speak of some of the other forgotten Americans at Philadelphia. I began my campaign, 18 months ago, in a tiny steel town in West Virginia called Weirton. Even though the U.S. economy was booming and U.S. companies were crying out for steel, Weirton steel was laying off workers, and Weirton was dying. Why? Because cheap steel was being dumped into the United States from Russia, Korea, Brazil, and Indonesia so those bankrupt regimes could raise the cash to pay off the international banks. The workers of Weirton and their families were being betrayed by Bill Clinton and sacrificed to the gods of the global economy. I told those steel workers we would stand with them; and in one of the prouder moments of my life, that union endorsed me and joined our cause. Just the other day, working together, the Buchanan Brigades, the Reform Party, and the union folks of Weirton, achieved ballot access in the Mountaineer State of West Virginia.