Transcript of Pat Buchanan's Acceptance Speech

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.

Pat Buchanan:

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.

Let me tonight lay out the great issues where our new Reform Party stands apart from both Beltway parties.

Last year, at the close of Clinton’s war, I was given a small party by Serb-Americans who wanted to thank me for opposing the war. They told me of a woman who had desperately wanted to be there, but was not, because she had to go back to Serbia to bury her parents, who had been killed in the American bombing. Mr. Bush said his only complaint about that war on Serbia was that we did not fight it “ferociously enough.” Mr. Bush, tell that to that Serb-American woman who lost her mother and father.

Why did we do this? Why did we bomb this little country for 78 days when it never threatened or attacked the United States?

Yes, there was a nasty guerrilla war going on in Kosovo, with terrorist attacks on Serb soldiers by the KLA, and ugly reprisals. But in one year, there had been 2000 casualties on all sides. Yet, look at the disaster we wrought, after Clinton launched his war. Thousands dead, a million Albanians driven out of their homes; now, a quarter million Serbs ethnically cleansed in KLA counter-terror. Serbia is smashed. Kosovo is destroyed. Russia has been driven into the arms of China; and American troops are tied down in a Balkan peninsula that has nothing to do with the vital interests of the United States.

My friends, I count myself a patriot. I love this country. But what in God’s name are we doing? Milosevic is a thug and a tyrant. But that is not his country we destroyed. That is their country; and the Serb people have always been friends of the United States.

Saddam Hussein is another wicked tyrant who has launched aggressive war and murdered his own people. But who has killed more innocent Iraqis? Saddam Hussein, or U.S. sanctions? When Madeleine Albright was told on a television show that a U.N. study had found that 500,000 Iraqi children may have died because of our 10 years of sanctions, Albright said: “We believe it was worth it.” Worth it? When did the greatest nation on Earth start waging war on children?

After Mr. Clinton launched one of his drive-by shootings with cruise missiles, Ms. Albright was asked to justify it. “If we have to use force,” she said, “it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see farther into the future.”

Talk about the arrogance of power. George III could not have said it better. Friends, I am ashamed to say it, but we have begun to behave like the haughty British empire our fathers rose up against and threw out of this country. That, then, is what our party, our campaign, and our cause are all about. We are Americans who say with our fathers: To hell with empire; we want our country back.

Yet, both Beltway parties today conspire to kill our beloved republic. Both colluded to create the WTO. Both voted $18 billion more for the IMF to make the world safe for Goldman Sachs. Last year, a new U.N. international war crimes tribunal was established with the power to arrest and prosecute our soldiers. This year, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan thundered that we Americans do not pay our fair share of foreign aid. Last fall, the most trusted man in America, Walter Cronkite, said Americans must have the courage to surrender their national sovereignty to a world government. Let me tell you where the Reform Party stands.

We believe “independence forever.” We will reclaim every lost ounce of American sovereignty. We will lead this country out of the WTO, out of the IMF, and I will personally tell Kofi Annan: Your U.N. lease has run out; you will be moving out of the United States, and if you are not gone by year’s end, I will send you 10,000 Marines to help you pack your bags.

Friends, I am called many names. Isolationist is one of the sweeter ones. But the truth is: We are not isolationists. We do not want to isolate America from the world. We Americans come from all countries and continents, and want to trade with and travel with all countries, and have commercial, cultural, and diplomatic contact with every nation on earth. But we will no longer squander the blood of our soldiers fighting other countries’ wars or the wealth of our people paying other countries’ bills. The Cold War is over; it is time to bring America’s troops home to the United States where they belong — and end foreign aid. And when I step out on that inaugural stand to take the oath — when my hand goes up, their New World Order comes crashing down.

Bill Clinton understands this issue of sovereignty. Al Gore, he understands it. George W., he doesn’t understand it; but, don’t worry, he is still being home-schooled by Condoleeza Rice. We are the one party with a chance to win that is sworn to fight world government abroad — and big government at home.

Yet, look at the record of this Congress that has the nerve to call itself conservative. In two years, not one federal agency has been abolished, not one program ended. Federal spending is rising at the fastest rate since “Tip” O’Neill was speaker of the House. Both parties are so steeped in pork they have to be checked every six months for trichinosis.

Here are a couple of items from our $2 trillion federal budget: $500,000 for a study of swine waste management, $1.75 million to study the handling and distribution of manure. Do these guys have enough sense to cross the street? Apparently not, because this year Congress voted $1 million for a study in Utah on — you guessed it — how to cross the street. My friends, it is time to pick up the pitchforks and go down and clean out the pigpen. If you want real reform, vote Reform.

Back in 1991, I challenged a president named Bush because he broke a pledge not to raise taxes. He said he had to do it to balance the budget. Bill Clinton raised taxes again, he said, to balance the budget. Well, the budget is balanced; and it is time to repeal both the Clinton tax hike and the Bush tax hike and give the surpluses back to the people — because that money does not belong to the politicians; it belongs to the people; and I will give it all back. Here is how:

We will eliminate all death taxes and end the government’s role as federal grave robber of the American family. We will end the marriage penalty and cut income taxes for all Americans. And we will impose a 10 percent tariff on imports, and use the money to end all taxes on small businesses. And we will chop down the IRS until it is so small all the IRS agents will fit into the building that is being vacated by the National Endowment for the Arts.

As for Communist China, we will no longer accept one-sided trade deals, where we buy 40 percent of their exports and they buy 1 percent of ours. And I will tell them: Fellas, either you stop this persecution of Christians, and these threats to our friends on Taiwan, and rattling missiles at the United States, or you fellows have sold your last pair of chopsticks in any mall in the United States of America.

Let me speak now about the great issue of civil rights. I knew the old leaders of that movement, and while I did not always agree with their tactics, I respected them. But today’s agenda has nothing to do with civil rights, and everything to do with special privileges. No discrimination means to me: no discrimination; not against anyone because of color or creed; not in favor of anyone because of color or creed. And when we get to the White House, all discrimination ends: No more racial profiling and no more racial preferences. Men and women will be advanced by the standards we use to choose our American Olympic team: merit, character, ability, and excellence alone.

Up at Philadelphia, did you hear Mr. McCain denounce those who want to reform our immigration laws by saying that walls are for cowards? Well, let me tell the senator a story about a woman who lives in his own home state. Her name Is Teresa Murray. She is 82, has arthritis, and lives in Douglas, on the border. When I visited her ranch last winter, she was confined to her home. Around her small house is a chain-link fence. On top of that fence sits rolled razor wire. Every door and window of her home had bars on it, and Ms. Murray’s two guard dogs are dead, killed by thugs who threw meat over the fence with cut glass in it. She sleeps with a gun on her bed table because she has been burglarized 30 times. Senator McCain, go down to Douglas and tell Teresa Murray that fences are for cowards.

Teresa Murray is an American woman living out her life in a maximum security prison in her own home in her own country — because of the real cowardice, the cowardice of politicians who refuse to do their duty and defend the borders of the United States. I am tired of reading about U.S. troops defending the borders of Kosovo, Kuwait, and Korea. I don’t live in Kosovo, Kuwait or Korea; I live in the United States of America. And when I become president, all U.S. troops will come home from Kosovo, Kuwait and Korea; and I will put them on the borders of Arizona, Texas and California; and we will start putting America first.

But we will never restore a republic unless we replace the “commissars” of the U.S. Supreme Court, those unelected judges, appointed for life, who answer to no one, and who have begun to erect a judicial dictatorship in America.

In New Hampshire, judges created chaos in the public schools by throwing out a financing system that worked for generations. In Arizona, a federal judge told the people they cannot make English the language for state business. In California, Proposition 187, to cut off welfare to illegal aliens, supported in a landslide, was thrown out by one judge. Last year, the state of Ohio was told to sandblast its motto, “With God, all things are possible,” off state buildings—because those are words of Jesus Christ; and His words do not belong on state buildings in Bill Clinton’s America.

Mr. Bush holds up his hands and he has no litmus test for the Supreme Court.

Well, I do. When Supreme Court vacancies open up, only constitutionalists who respect the inalienable right of life of all Americans and our religious heritage will be nominated — and no liberal judicial activists need apply.

Let me turn now to the signature issue of the Bush campaign: education. Mr. Bush is so enthusiastic about it, he gets carried away. He told a baffled audience in Florence, South Carolina, and I quote directly: “Rarely has the question asked: Is our children learning?” Is our children learning?

Well, our children is certainly not learning in Texas, governor. Like Mr. Gore, Mr. Bush believes the solution to the education crisis lies in expanding the power of the Department of Education. We believe differently: We believe the Department of Education is the problem; and the solution to the education crisis is to get God and the Ten Commandments and discipline back into the public schools, and the federal bureaucrats and federal judges out, and to shut down the Department of Education, and let the building sit there as a monument to the failure and folly of big government. If you want reform, vote Reform.

The Democratic Party will never reform education because it is held hostage by the teachers’ unions. Republicans will never shut down the IMF, because if they did, the corporate lobbyists would cut off their room, board, tuition, beer and gas money. Neither Beltway party will drain this political swamp, because to them it is not a swamp; it is a protected wetland, their natural habitat. They swim in it, feed in it, spawn in it and are as happy there as Brer Rabbit was in his briar patch.

The Reform Party can reform American politics, because no one has a hook in us. And I give you my word: We will outlaw the glorified bribery they call “soft money” and put term limits on every member of Congress and federal judge. If eight years was enough for George Washington and Ronald Reagan, it is long enough for Teddy Kennedy and Barney Frank.

Friends, let me tell you about the man who stands before you tonight. Forty years ago, when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, I read a line by Justice Holmes. A man, he said, must share the action and passion of his time, at peril of being judged not to have lived. So I have, and it has been a wonderful life.

I was a few feet away from Martin Luther King when he gave his “I have a dream” address at the Lincoln Memorial. I was in Philadelphia, Mississippi, before they pulled the bodies of those civil rights workers out of that earthen dam. I was in the Conrad Hilton Hotel in 1968 when the Democratic Party came apart in the streets of Chicago. I was with Nixon in China, and Reagan at Reykjavik. I have served in three White Houses and seen presidents in their finest hours, and their darkest hours — Nixon in Watergate, Reagan in Iran-Contra. I have something to give to my country, and that brings me to recall a moment in my life.

It was 1964, and I had gone up to see my oldest brother, Bill, at the Maryknoll seminary in Ossining, New York. In the prime of his youth, he had joined this mission order. I asked him why he did it. He told me: God has been good to our family and we have to give something back. My brother Bill is gone now; but his words haunt me still: God has been good to our family, and we have to give something back. That is why we are here: to create something new and good and alive, and give something back to this country, that has been so good to all of us.

The road to Long Beach has been long and hard, harder at times than we thought it would be. In this room are men and women who have worked from dawn to dark and beyond, in malls, gas stations, and country stores, in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, West Virginia, to get a million signatures to get us on the ballot. It is a tribute to your dedication and loyalty that we have not missed a single state. This fall, we shall go into battle in all 50 states.

“But why are you doing this?” people ask me. I will tell you. Because there has to be one party that has not sold its soul for soft money. There has to be one party that will stand up for our sovereignty and stand by our workers who are being sacrificed on the altar of the global economy. There has to be one party that will defend America’s history, heritage and heroes against the Visigoths and Vandals of multiculturalism. There has to be one party willing to drive the money-changers out of the temples of our civilization.

What are we fighting for? To save our country from being sold down the river into some godless New World Order, and to hand down to our children a nation as good and as great as the one our parents gave to us — forever independent, forever free. Thats what this Gideon’s Army is fighting for; and we will fight on and on and on and on — until God Himself calls us home.