Pat Buchanan insists controversial book not pro-Hitler
GOP chorus bidding Buchanan adios continues to grow
September 26, 1999
Web posted at: 7:23 p.m. EDT (2323 GMT)
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, September 26) -- Presidential contender Pat Buchanan continued to defend his controversial new book Sunday against charges that it shows him to be sympathetic to Adolph Hitler during World War II.
"We had every right, and we were more than right ... just and moral to smash (Germany and Japan)," Buchanan said on CNN's "Late Edition." "It was a noble cause. There's nothing in that book that says otherwise."
But the chorus of prominent Republicans who believe their party will be better off if Buchanan jumps to the Reform Party continued to rise Sunday, with a key Senate Republican saying the conservative commentator should simply be ignored.
"I think that we're paying much too much attention to Pat Buchanan," said Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania on "Fox News Sunday." "I think if we ignored Pat Buchanan and didn't give him the tremendous national exposure, it would be in the interest of everyone."
And Bill Bennett, a Republican activist who served as education secretary and drug czar during the Reagan and Bush administrations, said he would advise the GOP front-runner, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, to more explicitly distance himself from Buchanan's views.
"I think what (Bush) should say is, 'Look, we welcome his followers, but this is a party that has views. We do not believe that America should stand by while some totalitarian regime slaughters millions or hundreds of millions of people. We do not believe that we should have restrictions on trade that will finally hurt America,'" Bennett said on CBS's "Face The Nation."
Trump's money may make Buchanan reconsider Reform
Buchanan, who unsuccessfully sought the GOP presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996, is seriously considering abandoning his bid for the Republican nomination and instead seeking the Reform Party's nomination.
He says he'll make a decision in October. But Buchanan indicated Sunday that the possible Reform candidacy of billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump may make him reconsider a bid for the party's nomination.
"Clearly, if someone puts $100 million on the Reform Party nomination and I see that coming, it will be awfully hard for me to go ask folks to contribute their $10, $15, $25 to put me on the road and try to win it," he said. "That would be taken into consideration. Whether it would be decisive, I can't say."
Trump's candidacy is reportedly being encouraged by the Reform Party's top elected official, Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who is opposed to a Buchanan candidacy.
Buchanan: U.S. repeating mistakes of 1940s
In his book, "A Republic, Not an Empire," Buchanan maintains that Germany was not a military threat to the United States after 1940. He also wrote that guarantees by Western governments to defend Poland helped start World War II.
Buchanan said the book, which has ignited a fierce controversy, was meant to be "boring, scholarly work on foreign policy" to sound the alarm about the possible consequences of U.S. intervention around the world. He said the perception that he is soft on Hitler "is rooted in malice and ignorance and not in a single line in that book."
"What I say was a horrendous mistake was Neville Chamberlain's policy of handing war guarantees to Poland he had no intention of keeping. That led directly to the Hitler-Stalin pact, to the annihilation of Poland, the overrunning of Western Europe, the death of the British Empire," Buchanan said on "Fox News Sunday."
"Now, the reason I wrote that is we are making those war guarantees right now to Poland," he said. "Here is a defeated, divided, demoralized ... Russia sitting there, and we are pushing them with our NATO expansion right into the arms of China, which bears tremendous resentment toward the West and the United States."
On "Late Edition," Buchanan said the Washington establishment believes "in going around the world searching for monsters to destroy, involving ourselves in all these places, and the war in Kosovo is a particular example. I thought it was an unconstitutional, undeclared war."
"The Republican Party at the national level ... is simply beholden to the transnational corporations and the globalists and all the folks here who will move into foreign policy, and they will get us into more wars than Clinton did," he said.
Several of his rivals for the GOP nomination, including Sen. John McCain, Elizabeth Dole and Steve Forbes, have been critical of Buchanan's interpretation of history. McCain went the furthest, saying Republicans should welcome Buchanan's departure from the party.
But Bush has said he hopes Buchanan stays in the GOP fold, rather than siphoning off conservative votes. Asked about Bush's comments during his Fox interview, Buchanan said, "I thought it was gracious, and I thought it was smart."
Written by Richard Shumate.