Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Reform Party Presidential Nomination Acceptance SpeechPatrick J. Buchanan
August 12, 2000
[bagpipe band plays Mr. Buchanan in, medley: traditional Irish song (title unknown), "From the Halls of Montezuma," "When the Saints Go Marching In"]
[crowd: "Win, Pat, win! Win, Pat, win!"]
Thank you <laughs>. Thank you. Let's have a nice welcome for the lady who's gonna succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton: Shelly Buchanan! [applause, cheers]
Thank you. Thank you, and I proudly accept your nomination for President of the United States, and pledge you a fight we can be proud of all of our lives. [cheers]
You know, for years, friends, I have heard and many of you have heard that tauntin our various parties, "Don't worry about those people, they have nowhere else to go." Well, guess what? We've got somewhere else to go, we've got a home of our own! [cheers]
And as for those poor, maltreated, homeless conservatives up there at the big Bush family reunion in Philadelphia, we say to those poor, pathetic souls, Come on over, fellas, there's [lots] of room in Reform! [cheers] <laughs> Wait. Did any of you watch that convention up there? [crowd: "No!"] Those who did, how did you stand the excitement? [laughter] <laughs>
You know, one Republican, one Republican governor said, "I know it's boring," but he explained it this way. He said, quote, "We used to have red meat conventions, but they frightened people away. So we're all vegetarians now." [laughter] <laughs> I want to tell that governor, Welcome to the last red meat convention in America! [cheers]
Let me say, first let me say, that that convention did focus on positive things, and there is much that is right with America, much we can be very, very thankful for. I know that first hand. You know, in science, technology, and medicine, we Americans excel as no other people before us in history. I was at Cape Canaveral in 1969, when Apollo 11 lifted off on its way to the moon. I was there. I am alive today, thank the Lord, and thanks to a heart valve, a mechanical heart valve that didn't even exist, when I was in high school. I was at Ronald Reagan's side, in that critical summit in Reykjavik, when that great and good man refused to give up the missile defense of his country. [applause] And our world -- And our world is safer and freer than the world I grew up in and most of you grew up in, because of that great and good man, Ronald Reagan. And America today -- [applause]
And America today is indeed, as was, is dominant, as was Rome in her day. But beneath our surface prosperity there is a deep anxiety among our people, a foreboding that something was ignored in Philadelphia. And that something revolves around several questions: Quo vadis, America? Where are we going, America? How are we using all this wealth and power and freedom we now possess. Are we still God's country?
What about the forgotten Americans of Philadelphia? And I mean first and foremost the unborn children, another million of whom will perish this year-- [cries, cheers, applause] another million of whom will perish this year without seeing the light of day.
Of 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 from the unborn, because their cause is my cause, and their cause is God's cause. [cheers]
Now, now let me speak, now let me speak of some of those other forgotten Americans in Philadelphia. Eighteen months ago it was, that Shelly and I began our campaign, by flying up to Pittsburgh, and driving through the Mon Valley, where my Mom grew up, over to a tiny town in West Virginia called Weirton. [cheers] Folks from there, are here tonight.
In that tiny town, which is totally dependent upon Weirton Steel, which used to have twenty-three thousand workers, and now is down to four thousand. In that tiny town, where it makes some of the most efficiently made steel in the world, that town was under threat and that steel mill was under threat, because of steel being dumped into the United States, illegally, under cost, by Russia, and Brazil, and Indonesia, and Japan, and Korea, because those regimes, bankrupt as they were, they needed cash to pay back the debt to the international banks that were squeezing them. And Mr. Clinton went along with that.
Those families and those workers in that mill in Weirton-- I went in there, and this fella cames away from this furnace, came away from this furnace, and he pulled off his hat, and he hugged me, and he took off his watch, and he gave it to me. I said, I can't take this watch. He said, "You take it. Thank God you're here." What has happened to our country, when we walk away from people like this? What has happened to our country? [applause]
You know, in one of the prouder moments of my life, the independent steel workers union of Weirton endorsed our candidacy, and working together, the steel workers, the Buchanan Brigades, the Reform Party, we've got us on the ballot in the mountaineer state of West Virginia. [cheers, applause]
Now, let me tonight lay out some of the other great issues, where our new Reform Party stands apart from both beltway parties.
Last year at the end of Bill Clinton's Balkan war, I was given a small party by some Serb Americans who wanted to say thanks, for my having opposed that war. And they told me of a woman who wanted to be there that night, but she wasn't coming out, because both her parents had been killed in the bombing of Belgrade.
Mr. Bush says, his only objection to Mr. Clinton's war, was that it was not fought ferociously enough. [boos] I wonder if he could send that message to that lady, that Serb woman who lost her Mom and Dad. Now, why did we do this? Why did we bomb this little country for seventy-eight days, when it had never threatened or attacked the United States of America?
Yes, there was an ugly guerrilla war going on in Kosovo, where troops of the KLA, guerrillas, were engaging in terrorist attack on Serb soldiers, and Serb police, and there were ugly and nasty reprisals. But in the one year, there had only been two thousand dead in this entire war. And as wars go around the world, that wasn't even in the top ten, or the top twenty.
Yet look at the disaster we wrought. After Clinton launched his war, thousands died, the Albanians were driven out of their homes, a million of them. Now a quarter million Serbs have been 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 the Balkan peninsula, where there is nothing to do with the vital national interests of the United States.
My friends, [applause, whistles] My friends, I count myself, 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. [applause]
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 UN sanctions?
When Madeleine Albright was told on a television show that a UN study had found that perhaps five hundred thousand Iraqi children may have died, because of our ten years of sanctions, she responded, quote, "We believe it was worth it." [boos] Worth it. When did the greatest republic on earth start waging war on children?
After Mr. Clinton launched one of his drive-by shootings with cruise missiles, to get the latest scandal off the front pages [laughter, boos], Mrs. Albright said, Miss Albright justified it this way, quote, "If we have to use force it is because we are America, we are the indispensable nation, we stand tall, we see farther into the future." [boos] Talk about the arrogance of power. George the Third could not have said it better. [applause]
Friends, Friends, I am ashamed, I am ashamed to say it, but we have begun to behave, they have in Washington, like the haughty British Empire our founding fathers rose up against and threw out of this country. This then-- [applause, cheers] This then is what our party, our cause, and our campaign are all about.
We are Americans, who say with our founding fathers, To hell with empire, we want our country back! [cheers, long applause] Yet today, both of these beltway parties conspire to kill our beloved republic. Both colluded to create that monstrosity the WTO. [boos, disapproval] Both voted eighteen billion dollars for the IMF, to make the world safe for Goldman Sachs. [boos, disapproval]
Last year, last year a UN international war crimes tribunal was established with the power and authority, and authority to arrest American soldiers and prosecute them, without our permission. [boos] This year UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, he thundered that you Americans do not pay your fair share of foreign aid. [boos]
And last fall, Walter Cronkite, the most trusted man in America [boos] He said Americans must have the courage to surrender their sovereignty [audience members: "Never!"] to a world government. [cries, boos, shouts] World government. [more cries, boos, shouts] That is both of those parties.
Let me tell you what this party believes in. We believe in independence forever. [cheers] We will, we will, and we will reclaim every lost ounce of American sovereignty. [cheers, shouts, applause]
I will lead the United States out of the WTO, [cheers, applause] out of the IMF, [cheers] and I will tell Mr. Kofi Annan up at the UN this: Your UN lease, sir, has run out, and you will be moving out of the United States, [cheers, shouts, applause] and if you are not gone [continuing cheers] <laughs> and sir [continuing cheers] and s-- <laughs> [continuing cheers] And sir, and Mr. An--Mr. Kofi, I want to be polite, but if you are not gone by year's end, we will send a few thousand U.S. marines to help you pack. [cheers, whistles, shouts, applause]
Friends, I am called, as you know, many names. [laughs] "Isolationist" is one of the sweeter ones. [laughs] <laughs> But the truth is, we Reformers are not isolationists. We do not want to isolate America from the world.
We Americans come from all countries and continents, and we want to travel with and trade with all homelands we come from, all countries of the world. We want commercial, cultural, and diplomatic contact with every nation on earth. However, we will no longer squander the blood of our soldiers fighting other countries' wars, or the wealth of our people, paying other countries' bills. [cheers, whistles, applause]
The cold war, the cold war that was the cause of my whole life, the cause of my whole life, from the time I went into journalism, until 1989, that great day when the wall came down, that cold war is, bless the Lord, over. And I believe it is time to bring American troops home. [cheers, applause]
And when I step out, and when I step out on that inaugural stand to take the oath of office as President, when my right hand goes up, their New World Order comes down. [cheers, applause, whistles] Now [continuing cheers] <laughs>
Now [continuing cheers] Now, Bill Clinton, he understands this issue of sovereignty. Al Gore, he understands it. "Dubya," he doesn't understand it. [laughter] But don't worry, Dubya's being home-schooled in foreign policy by Ms. Condalisa Rice. [laughs, shouts] But we are the only party in American with a chance to win, that is sworn to fight world government abroad, and big government in Washington, D.C. [cheers, applause, whistles]
Now, [continuing cheers] Now let's have a look, let's have a look at the record of this so-called Republican Congress that has the nerve to call itself conservative. [boos] In the last two years, not one federal agency has been abolished, not one federal program ended, federal spending is rising at the fastest rate today as it has since Tip O'Neill was the Speaker of the House, and I knew Tip O'Neill, and he was a spender. [laughs] That's how fast it's rising.
Both these parties are so steeped in pork, they are so steeped in pork back in Washington, D.C., that they have to be checked every six months for trichinosis. [cheers, applause, laughter]
Now, <laughs> Now, here are a couple items, here are a couple of items from our near two trillion dollar federal budget, proposed by Republicans and signed by Mr. Clinton. Five hundred thousand dollars for a study of swine waste management. One-point-seven-five million to study the handling and distribution of the manure. What is going on up there? [boos, laughter]
Do these guys have enough sense to cross the street? [laughter] Apparently not, because this is the truth, this year Congress voted one million for a study in Utah on how to cross the street. [laughter, shouts]
Friends, it is time to pick up the pitchforks and go down and clean out the pigpen. [cheers] <laughs> You know [continuing cheers] If you want real reform, then vote Reform!
You know, back in 1991 I challenged a President named Bush, because he broke his pledge not to raise taxes. And Mr. Bush said, I had to do it, to balance the budget. Three years later Mr. Clinton raised taxes and he said, I had to do it, to balance the budget. Well, now the budget is balanced, and we have a surplus, and it is time to repeal the Clinton tax hike, and the Bush tax hike. [cheers, applause, whistles] And to give that surplus back to the American people because it does not belong to the politicians, it belongs to the people and we will give it back, and I will tell you how.
We will eliminate all death taxes and end the federal government's role as grave robber of the American family. [cheers, applause] We will end the marriage penalty and cut income taxes for all Americans. [cheers, applause] And we will impose a ten percent tariff on all imports and use the money to end taxes on small businesses in America. [cheers]
And when we Reformers get there, we will chop down that IRS so badly, [cheers, applause] the whole thing, the whole thing will fit into the building being vacated by the National Endowment for the Arts. [cheers, applause, whistles, shouts]
As for [continuing cheers] As for communist China, unlike those two parties of appeasement, on Capitol Hill, we will not accept one-sided trade deals with Beijing, where we buy forty percent of their exports, and they buy one percent of ours. [boos]
And I will tell them, fellas, call in that Chinese ambassador and say, your friend Mr. Clinton is gone now, sir, and I don't want your money, I understand you're all tapped out, and I don't want your money for any campaigns, but I'm gonna tell you something, if you don't stop persecuting Christians, [cheers, shouts, applause] and if you don't stop threatening our friends on Taiwan, [cheers] and if you don't stop pointing missiles at our country, [cheers] you fellas have sold your last pair of chopsticks in any mall in the United States of America! [cheers, applause, whistles]
Yes, [continuing cheers] Yes, [continuing cheers] Yes, we are politically incorrect here. [continuing cheers, applause, whistles]
Now let me speak now about one of the great issues of our time, civil rights.
You know, I go back a long way, I knew the old leaders of the civil rights movement: Roy Wilkins, Dr. King, Dr. Abernethy. I knew 'em when I was a very young man. I didn't always agree with them, and I didn't always agree with their tactics, but I respected them. But today's agenda has nothing to do with civil rights, and everything to do with special privilege. Now, to me, no discrimination means no discrimination, not against anyone on the basis of race, color, creed, heritage, but no preferential treatment for anyone based on race, color, creed or heritage. [cheers, applause, whistles]
And so, [continuing] And so, when we get to the White House, all discrimination ends. [continuing] No more racial profiling, and no more racial preferences. Men and women, [cheers, applause, whistles] men and women in a Buchanan administration will be advanced by the standards we use to choose our American Olympic team: merit, character, ability, and excellence. [cheers, applause] And you know when I say those words merit, character, excellence, and ability, somehow Ezola Foster comes to mind. [cheers, applause] <laughs> Ezola, [continuing cheers, crowd: "Ezola! Ezola!"] Ezola, as your Dad would say, you go girl! <laughs> [cheers, applause, whistles]
Yes, sir. You know, up at Philadelphia, I was at the beach listening to the convention with my wife Shelly, and I heard Senator McCain, and he got up and he began to denounce those who want to reform our immigration laws, and he said, and I quote, "Walls are for cowards." [boos]
Let me tell the Senator a story about a woman who lives in his own home state of Arizona. Her name is Theresa Murray. Senator, she is eighty-two years old, she has arthritis, and she lives in Douglas, right on that border. When Shelly and I went up to her ranch, last winter, she was confined to her tiny home, and around her home was a chain link fence. And on top of the chain link fence, are rolls of coiled razor wire, as you see on prisons around the country.
Every door and window of that little home had bars on it. And Mrs. Murray's two pet dogs were killed by thugs who threw meat over the fence with cut glass in it. This lady sleeps with a gun on her bed table, at eighty-two, because she's been burglarized thirty times. Senator McCain, go down to Douglas, and tell Theresa Murray that fences are for cowards. This is an American woman [applause, cheers] Theresa 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. [cheers, applause]
Now, [continuing cheers] Now I, I read a lot of newspapers. Every day I read about American soldiers defending Kosovo, and the borders of Kuwait, and the borders of Korea. But you know, I don't live in Kosovo, Korea, or Kuwait, and neither does Theresa Murray.
We live in the United States. [applause, whistles] And when I become President, we will bring home all of those troops from Kosovo, Kuwait, and Korea, and I will put them on the border of Arizona, Texas, and California, and we will start putting America first! [cheers, applause, shouts, whistles] But, [crowd: "Bring them home! Bring them home!"] Bring them home. Bring them home. Bring them home. Bring them home. Bring them home. They're gettin' the message out there!
But friends, we will never restore the constitutional 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. [applause, whistles]
In New Hampshire, in New Hampshire, one judge and a panel of judges have created chaos in the public schools by overthrowing a financing system that had existed for years. In Arizona, one federal judge told the people they cannot make English the official language for state business. [boos, shouts] In California, in California, Proposition 187, simply to cut off welfare benefits to people who break the law, and break into our country, won by a landslide but was overturned by one federal judge. [boos, shouts]
Last year, last year the state of Ohio was told to sandblast its motto, "With God all things are possible," off state buildings [shouts, boos] because those, why?, because those are the words of Jesus Christ. [continuing reaction] And his words apparently do not belong on state buildings in Bill Clinton's America. [boos]
Now, Mr. Bush holds up his hands and says, I have no litmus test for the Supreme Court. Well, Mr. Bush, I do. [cheers, applause, whistles] And when, [continuing cheers] And when Supreme Court, and when Supreme Court vacancies open up in a Buchanan White House, only constitutionalists, who respect the right to life of all Americans, and our religious heritage, will be nominated, and no liberal judicial activists need apply! [cheers, whistles, applause]
Now, [continuing cheers] Let me turn, let me turn now to the signature issue of the Bush campaign for president, education. Mr. Bush is so enthusiastic about education, he sometimes gets carried away.
For example, he told a baffled audience in Florence, South Carolina, and I quote him directly, quote, "Rarely has the question asked, is our children learning." [laughter] Is our children learning? Well, our children is certainly not learning in Texas, governor. [laughter, applause, cheers] <laughs>
Now like, like Mr. Gore, Mr. Bush believes the solution to the education crisis lies in empowering and expanding the U.S. Department of Education, but we believe differently. We believe the Department of Education is the problem. [cheers] And that the solution, and the solution lies in getting God and the Ten Commandments and discipline back into the public schools, and the federal bureaucrats and federal judges out of the public schools, and shutting down the Department of Education. [cheers, aplause, whistles]
I'll say it again, I'll say it again, if you want real reform, [PB and crowd: "Vote Reform!"]
You know, the Democratic Party will never, will never reform education because it is held hostage by government unions which will dominate its convention. Republicans will never shut down that IMF, because if they did all those lobbyists on K Street, that Pat Choate writes about, would cut off the Republicans' room, board, tuition, gas money, and beer money. [laughter, applause]
Neither beltway party, neither beltway party's gonna to drain this political swamp, because to them it's not a swamp, it's a protected wetland. [laughter] It's their natural habitat. They swim in it, they feed in it, and they are as happy there as Brer Rabbit in the briar patch. [reaction, cheers] <laughs> Only, only the Reform Party can reform politics in America, because nobody's got a hook in us! [cheers]
And I give you, I give you my word, we will outlaw the glorified bribery called soft money and put term limits on every member of Congress and every federal judge. [cheers, applause] You know, [continuing cheers] You know, if eight years, if eight years was long enough for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan, it may even be long enough for Teddy Kennedy and Barney Frank! [cheers, applause, whistles]
Before I close tonight, I want to say a word to Ross Perot. Ross is the founding father of this party. [applause, whistles] Without you, Ross--Ross, without you, there would be no Reform Party. [applause] You and I, Ross, you and I stood together, in the battles of NAFTA, GATT, and against the WTO. Now we have won this nomination fair and square. Almost all of your folks have joined our folks. Ross, let's go out and do battle together. [cheers, whistles] Ross, Ross Perot, Ross Perot created this party, and we're giving it a chance to grow and live. We've earned that chance, Ross. Come on out and give us a hand. [cheers]
Friends, friends, let me tell you about the man who stands before you tonight. Forty years ago I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, which had taken some pretty interesting detours at that time. [laughter] <laughs> I read a line by Justice Holmes. A man, the Justice had written, must share the action and the passion of his time, at peril of being judged not to have lived. And so I have, and it has been a wonderful life for me.
You know, I was a few feet away from Doctor Martin Luther King, when he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in Lincoln Memorial. I was there with my brother. I was in Philadelphia, Mississippi, before they pulled the bodies of those civil rights workers out of that earthen dam in 1964. I was in the Conrad Hilton Hotel in 1968, at the Democratic convention when the Democratic Party came apart in the streets of Chicago. I was there. I was with Nixon in China. I was with Reagan at Reykjavik. I've had the honor of serving in three White Houses. I've seen Presidents in their finest hours, and seen them also, in their darkest hours--Nixon through eighteen months of Watergate, Reagan through Iran-Contra. I have something to give to my country, and that brings me to recall a moment in my life.
It was 1964, after I had driven up from Philadelphia, Mississippi. I drove up to Ossining, New York, to see my oldest brother, Bill, who was at the Marinole Seminary in Ossining.
In the prime of his youth, he had joined this mission order, to be sent abroad as a missionary, to teach his faith to people in far off lands. And I asked him why he did it. He told me, God has been good to our family, and we have to give him 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. And that is why we are here, to create something new, and good, and alive, and give something back to this wonderful country, that has been so good to us.
This road to Long Beach has been long and hard, harder at times than I thought it would be. In this room are men and women and young people, who worked from dawn to dusk, and beyond, at 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 yet missed a single one. And this fall, I hope and pray, we'll make it all.
But why are you doing this, people ask me. Why are you doing this, Pat? I'll tell you. Because there has to be one party that has not sold its soul for soft money. [applause] There has to be one party that will stand up for our sovereignty and stand up for our workers, and stand by those folks being sacrificed on the altar of the global economy. [applause] There has to be one party that will defend America's history and heritage and heroes, against the Visigoths and Vandals of multiculturalism. [applause] There has to be one party willing to drive the money changers out of the temples of our civilization. [cheers, applause]
What are we fighting for? [continuing applause] 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 and their children a nation as good and as great as the one our parents gave us, forever independent, and forever free. [applause]
That is what this Gideon's army is fighting for, and we will fight on, and on, and on, and gone, until God himself calls us home. [cheers, applause, whistles]
Thank you, and God bless you. [continuing cheers] <laughs> Thank you! Thank you! [to wife: Well, I think it was great.]
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. [crowd: "Win, Pat, win! Win, Pat, win!", candidates wave to audience, confetti, music, fireworks: "I am a Real American" (actual title unknown), "He's an American Man" (actual title unknown)]