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Special Event

Pat Buchanan Names Ezola Foster as His Running Mate

Aired August 11, 2000 - 2:01 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: California belongs to the Democrats this week and to Reform Party candidates, Pat Buchanan among them.

Gary Tuchman is at the Reform Party convention in Long Beach, where we understand, Gary, Buchanan is about to name a running mate.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One of the best-kept secrets in political this year, Pat Buchanan has just announced who will run with him on his ticket from the Reform Party. Her name is Ezola Foster. She is a Los Angeles educator, author and family-values activist.

Both of them are speaking right now.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

PAT BUCHANAN (REF), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... argue for her positions and policies from "LARRY KING" to "Nightline" to CBS to NBC. Even, I believe, to "CROSSFIRE." Would that be true?

(LAUGHTER)

I have known her, well, she is -- let me give her political background first. She was a Democrat when she came to L.A. for 17 years. She ran as a Democrat against Maxine Waters as a state rep. She also ran as a Republican against Maxine Waters.

Both ways?

EZOLA FOSTER (REF), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No.

BUCHANAN: OK. She ran as a Republican against Maxine Waters.

We did not prevail on that one, did we?

FOSTER: No, we didn't.

BUCHANAN: All right.

FOSTER: We will this time.

BUCHANAN: Right.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, let me tell you the qualities that attracted me to Ezola as a candidate and as a person.

The first is loyalty. I first met Ezola I believe back in 1993 when we held a conference on cultural conflict and traditional values in Washington, D.C., and Ezola stole the show. In 1996, she supported our campaign. She was the co-chair of my campaign. In 1999, she became a co-chair of my campaign again. And when I left to go to the Reform Party, she came with me.

(APPLAUSE)

And she came to the Reform Party.

You know, Richard Nixon once told me, Pat -- and this was after we had done very, very well in the election in 1966 -- not to count your friends when you're on top of the world, but to count your friends when the world is on top of you.

And I believe that Ezola Foster has been the kind of friend who has been with me through every tough hardship and conflict we have had in these last seven years.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me talk about her character and her moral courage. She has stood up for flag and family, God and country, her whole life. She is a life-long Christian. She believes in the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. She also believes strongly that America's borders need to be defended.

(APPLAUSE)

She was and remains an unapologetic leader of the political movement in California for Proposition 187, because, as she has said...

(APPLAUSE)

... it is black Americans, and especially many of those in California, who are the ones who have to go -- ferocious competition for jobs in factories, and 7-11's and things, from huge numbers of illegal aliens coming in and being forced to compete with them. It's not those of us who are commentators and journalists.

She's been a pro-life Christian, as I've said, her whole life.

And her major foreign policy concern, and she's been talking about and arguing about it, is the full restoration of America's national sovereignty.

(APPLAUSE)

Her's is an American story, and it's a life story, I think, that should make all of us proud to be Americans.

She is an inspiration, I think, and an example to all Americans. And it's Chuck, let me talk about her husband a little bit. He was -- I talked with him the other night, and we were inside a restaurant having dinner a few feet away from Tom Squitieri, and I went up and said hello to Squitieri. And he said, "Do you have any idea who your vice president's going to be?" I didn't tell Tom, if you look in there, you'll see her.

But I was talking that night to Chuck, and he said he was very proud of Isolde, he said their boy Troy, who had grown up in South Central, had gone to Columbia Law School, he had clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski, the famous judge in the western, what's it, Ninth Circuit?

FOSTER: Ninth Circuit.

BUCHANAN: Famous judge in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and he mentioned matter-of-factly that a lot of Chuck's friends he grew up with in South Central, Troy's friends, are dead now, or they're in prison now. And so I think this family is an example to all Americans.

Now let me say one thing about our campaign. And before I mention the role I've got in mind for her, let me talk -- I think this lady will be a tremendous benefit to our cause and our campaign and our movement.

I've often, and perhaps the metaphor is inapposite, thought of our campaign as the French Foreign Legion of American politics.

We don't care what party you came from, where you've been or who you're running away from. If you want to join us and look out for America first, American sovereignty, traditional values, faith and family and country, come with us, you're welcome in our party.

(APPLAUSE)

Before I let her say a few words and I stop filibustering up here, I want to say that her White House role will be chairman of the Domestic Policy Council, such as we had organized it in Ronald Reagan's White House.

She will be the principal advocate in the administration for education and for the restoration of values in education. And she will go out and explain to the American people why we don't need a Department of Education.

(APPLAUSE)

In this campaign, she will be our ambassador to America about what our party is all about, and she will contradict all the myths and nonsense about what this new party is about. It is open. We welcome everybody. And we welcome folks, even those poor homeless, destitute conservatives up there in Philadelphia who were locked in the basement. They can come in here, too.

(APPLAUSE) And so let me introduce to you the first black lady ever to run on a major party ticket in the United States of American, Ezola Foster.

(APPLAUSE)

FOSTER: Thank you.

My experience in the public school system was in what both the other two parties claim are failing schools. I've worked in these failing schools both in predominantly black-enrolled schools, predominantly Latino, Hispanic. I tell you, they are having enough problems with names of their groups as we have been with ours in the past.

But for all children, the schools are failing, not because there's not enough money, but because there's too much government involvement. And that is how we reform our schools, by giving them back to the parents and the local communities to control.

We hear about the welfare system. I am so glad, when I was growing up poor, no one told me I was at risk of becoming a success. And that is what's being told to so-called minority children; that they're impoverished, that they're at risk, that they're disadvantaged. And after being told that, here we go with programs to build up their self-esteem. How in the world do you build up a self- esteem that you've torn down?

(APPLAUSE)

Folks, being poor only means you're pockets are empty, not your brains. Poor children can learn like any other group of children, if they're taught properly.

(APPLAUSE)

Many Americans are disillusioned with policies coming out of both parties over the past 34 years. And it is time for us to talk to the American people. The American people who want to see our troops protecting American borders and not overseas in other border disputes.

(APPLAUSE)

TUCHMAN: Her name is Ezola Foster: not the household name, but the name of the person Pat Buchanan has picked to run as his running mate on the Reform Party ticket.

She has been a teacher, an administrator in the Los Angeles unified school district. She lost an election as a Republican candidate for the California State Assembly. She was a Republican for 17 years, a Democratic for 18 years, and for the last four years she's been an independent.

She actually was a Democrat first, then a Republican, then an independent. And now, she'll become a member of the Reform Party.

She is married with three children. She grew up one of five children raised by a single mother.

It was a confident Pat Buchanan who said that Ezola foster as vice president of the United States would be head of his domestic policy council, in charge of educational issues. But Pat Buchanan doesn't only face an uphill battle facing Democrats and Republicans -- namely, Al Gore and George W. Bush -- but he faces a battle with another Reform candidate, because there are two conventions taking place in Long Beach, California this week, two Reform conventions. The party has split. John Hagelin is the other candidate.

It appears that by the time this convention is over this weekend, the Reform Party will nominate two different presidential candidates: Pat Buchanan, the guy behind me, and John Hagelin. The nomination is going to happen today. Hagelin is going to pick his vice presidential nominee some time later today. And by the end of this weekend, it appears there'll be a war going among the Reform Party.

$12.6 million goes to the Reform Party presidential candidate as part of federal matching funds. There will also be a fight over that money.

But once again, Pat Buchanan has picked his vice presidential running mate. Her name is Ezola Foster.

Back to you, Lou.

WATERS: All right, Gary Tuchman in Long Beach at the Reform Party convention. That story far from over, and we'll continue to follow it, of course.

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