Buchanan, other Republicans hope for 'two-man' race with Bush
By Bob Franken/CNN
July 7, 1999
Web posted at: 6:07 p.m. EDT (2207 GMT)
DES MOINES, Iowa (July 7) -- The audiences are tiny but Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan plugs along, still trying to position himself as the best alternative to party front-runner Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
"I talked to some of my friends and they said, 'Keep the pitchfork out Pat,'" Buchanan said.
Now on his third run for the GOP nomination, the conservative commentator is still running hard on a so-called "America First" message.
Today's topic was one of his favorites: illegal immigration.
His target: alleged Mexican serial killer, Rafael Resendez-Ramirez. "A prime example now, it seems to me, is this Ramirez, Resendez-Ramirez fella, the railroad killer," Buchanan said.
Buchanan insists he's the only candidate willing to sound the alarm: "I think a lot of politicians are intimidated because, if they speak out against illegal immigration and they speak out against the crimes that are being committed, suddenly they'll be considered insensitive or they say, 'we might lose the Hispanic vote.'"
Could Buchanan, reporters asked, be talking about Bush who is known to be courting Hispanics?
"Governor Bush's border is the one this Ramirez" crossed into the United States, said Buchanan. "The border of Texas is the border of the United States. And I would like to see Governor Bush, quite frankly, join me."
There's no doubt that Bush is the leader of the Republican pack. The rest are in the party's "EBW" wing -- which stands for "Everyone But W."
And while Bush travels with a huge entourage, the others give new meaning to the term "lonely runner."
It takes just one van for Dan Quayle and his campaign crew to travel Iowa. The former vice president is out searching for attention. Working the small crowds at lunchtime in small town, Iowa, it's daily duty for Quayle, who is scrambling to even stay in the race.
" I'm looking for votes. I'm campaigning, I know, but every vote counts," Quayle says.
Everyone of these "other" presidential candidates has the same hope.
"If I can get it down to a two-man race, I can beat him," Buchanan said.
That may be the best they can hope for as they try to scramble to the front of the pack of candidates who are all way behind Bush.