Speech at 1996 Texas GOP Convention

by Patrick J. Buchanan – June 22, 1996

[During floor proceedings on Saturday, pro-life state delegates were successful in winning 86 of the States 123 delegates going on to the GOP national convention. Pat Buchanan is addressing the approximately 16,000 attending.]

[Applause]

Good to see you!

[Shows thumbs up & laughs]

Good to see you!

[Laughs more as applause gets louder]

Listen! With that kind of reception, I think I’m going to demand a re-count in the Texas Primary!

[More applause]

And don’t you worry about Pat going, just keep your pitchforks sharp, we’re going all the way to San Diego!

[applause]

You know, I talked briefly with my friend Tom Paukin [possible misspell] who I’ve known since he was a Vietnam Vet and a young leader in the Conservative movement, he said, “Pat, are you really going to hit Clinton today?” I said, “I can’t do it Tom, I don’t want to hit a man who’s on active duty!”

[laughter & applause]

You know, people have asked me, “Pat, why do you stay in this campaign?” and I want to talk seriously for a moment, “Why do you stay in and go all the way to San Diego, as a candidate?” and my answer is this: The nomination battle for the Presidency is about more than who gets the nomination. It’s also about the heart & soul of a party. And we know this nomination battle has been won, and we of course do not challenge that verdict, Senator Dole is the nominee of our party. But let me say this, in the primaries, there were other verdicts, and one of those verdicts was, that we shall remain the Pro-Life party of Ronald Wilson Reagan.

[standing applause]

You know, three million Republicans, Independents, Perot voters, Democrats voted for Pat Buchanan in the primaries. Many of them did so because they believed in me, and I signed a pledge, it’s called The Pro-Life Pledge of Support, “I pledge my support for the 1996 re-adoption of the principle pro-life plank in the previous Republican national platforms.” Now my friends, that plank was put into our party in Detroit in 1980. It was reaffirmed in Dallas in ’84, reaffirmed in New Orleans in ’88, reaffirmed in Houston in 1992, and if the people in the convention [here] in San Antonio will reaffirm it today, I will lead that battle to keep it in our platform in San Diego in 1996.

[Applause]

You know, our party has a great and glorious history. In 1860 we were the party of Mr. Lincoln that extended human rights to a whole segment of Americans who had been denied citizenship and human rights. From 1860 to 1932, there were 13 Republican presidents and only 2 Democratic presidents; and in those years, we were the articulators of an economic nationalism that put our own country first, and it built America. From an agricultural and rural nation into the greatest industrial nation the world had ever seen, with the highest standard of living the world had ever seen. In the last 12 years, from 1980 to 1992, our party had the proud honor of leading America to victory in the cold war under the leadership of Ronald Wilson Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush…and both of them deserve credit for that victory!

[applause]

So, now we’ve entered a new era, my friends, the era of the tough anti-communism that took us to victory in the past, that was the conservatism of my generation. But America needs a new conservatism of the heart, a conservatism of the heart provides a voice for the voiceless, not only for the innocent pre-born, but for the elderly, the men and women that brought us through the depression, and World War II.

[applause]

You know, what are these wonderful Americans to think when they see on ballot after ballot and state after state, resolutions to provide for euthanasia, or assisted suicide for the elderly and infirm? It’s not our America! We’ve got to provide a voice for them and we’ve got to provide a voice for the working men and women of this country, Hispanic-American, Asian, White, Black-Americans, Union and Non-Union whose jobs are being sold out in trade deals for the benefit of multi-national corporations without any loyalty to their country or any allegiance to their workers!

[applause]

You know Bob Dole is right, he said America is choking on a lot of these trade deals because Bill Clinton is not enforcing them. Look what happened as a consequence of NAFTA: We were promised a trade surplus, we got a 18 billion dollar trade deficit, 360,000 lost jobs this year, illegal immigration is soaring, narcotics are pouring into this country, [all] as a consequence of that trade deal. And Bill Clinton put together a 50 billion dollar bailout, for the Mexican government of Carlos Salinas, and his brother Raul! Raul got away with 100 million dollars! Carlos, whom we were told was a great leader, is now in Cuba! He took off to Cuba! Bill Clinton wanted Carlos to be head of the World Trade Organization! I mean, didn’t he look at his FBI report? He looked at everybody else’s!

[laughter & applause]

You know, there’s other reasons why we’ve gotta oppose these trade deals, because they are costing us something more precious than money itself. They are gradually surrendering the national sovereignty of the United States of America to institutions of what they call the New World Order. Let me give you an example: You know, people ask me, “What do you mean, Pat, when you talk about sovereignty?” and I said, “I mean what those men stood for at Lexington, and stood for at Concord bridge, against the greatest army in the world. Terrified, they stood up, and were cut down.” I said, “I mean it is what Travis stood for and what Crockett stood for when they were up there at the Alamo.”

[applause]

And what that simply means is, that in this land, (these men were saying, when they stood up and fought and died), in this land and in this country, we will be sovereign under the sovereignty of God alone and no one else.

[applause]

And yet we see Mr. Al Gore, while at a meeting of the World Trade Organization, when we lost 16 brave young Americans in Iraq. He issued a formal statement, saying, “We can be proud those young Americans died in the service of the United Nations!”

[crowd boos]

Well that’s why I am going to San Diego, to have it written in our platform, that never again will young Americans be sent into battle except under American officers and to fight under an American flag!

[standing applause and cheering]

I want to talk to you briefly…

[ more standing applause & cheering]

Let me talk to you now…

[ more standing applause & cheering]

Don’t worry, Pat is going!

[laughs while applause]

Don’t be an extremist!

[crowd laughs]

Let me talk to you now, about a Texan, a patriot, a Christian, and a soldier named Michael New.

[applause and cheering]

Let me tell you the story, a story about this young 23 year old man, American, joined the service of his country, was sent to Germany, performed admirably in his service, was decorated, and then Bill Clinton ordered him into Macedonia and told him: “Michael New, you have to wear UN insignia, you’ve got to put on a UN helmet and you got to take orders from UN officers, and you got to take an oath, an oath as a UN peacekeeper.” Now, Michael New looked at that oath, and that oath said, ” Our loyalty to this United Nations unit is above any other oath, or loyalty we have ever taken.”

[crowd boos]

So Michael New said “I can’t take that oath, because I am a soldier in the Army of the United States, and my oath is to the Constitution of the United States.”

[continued applause]

So his commander in chief, Bill Clinton, had this young Texas patriot court-martialled, stripped of his rank, and discharged from the service of his country!

[crowd boos]

But it’s not Michael New that ought to be discharged from the service of his country! It is Bill Clinton who’s going to be discharged from the service of his country!

[applause & cheering]

And I tell ya’,

[more cheering]

you know, and when we get that President in there, to replace Bill Clinton, I think he’s going to pardon Michael New, but I am not sure about Bill & Hillary!

[continued cheering & applause]

I think they’ve got to answer some questions to their respective Grand Jury’s down there in Arkansas!

[chuckles while applause]

Like how, for example, did those fingerprints get on those documents, in the second floor of the White House, that Hillary never touched?

[chuckles while applause]

And I told them not to let Gordon Liddy in there!

[laughter]

You know, my friends, four years ago I gave a speech in Houston, that I didn’t think was going to be long remembered. One of the reasons I didn’t, was because they told me, when I asked them when I was going to speak, they said “You’ll be speaking right after Alan Keyes”, (and I said, “Oh , no!”), and they said, “right before Ronald Reagan!” How would you like that assignment?

Well they remembered what I said there, at Houston, the press did, because we put one right down the smokestack…right down the smokestack! What did we say? I said there was a cultural war going on in this country for the soul of America, and that war is about who we are, what we believe, and what we stand for as people. And I said, “we are engaged in a battle this fall, in that great cultural struggle in America, in which our party is on one side and Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are on the other side.” And I said, “If you elect Clinton & Clinton, you’ll get women in combat, you’ll get gays in the military, you’ll get abortion on demand, you’ll get a government that listens to the militants, and the gay rights community, but turns a deaf ear to the silent screams of the innocent unborn in America.

Since that day, 5 million unborn have been put to death in the abortion mills in the United States. Bill Clinton said he wanted abortions “safe, legal and rare”. Name one thing this man has done to make abortions rare in America!

So this cultural struggle, and this struggle for the soul of our country is going to continue, and we are going to repair the mistake America made in 1992, we’re going to repair it in 1996 in this country.

[applause]

Our party is approaching a crossroads, I believe, as our society and country are approaching a great crossroads. I believe our party that did so many great things, and fought and won the Cold War…

Now we need a new party, a new party struggling to be born, and it is the party, I think, that can be the party of America’s future. But to do that we not only gotta know who it is [that] we’re against, we know that, but we’ve got to know what it is that we’re for.

Our country faces some terrible trials ahead, and people ask us, “How do we decide on this or that issue?” And I tell them, “Well, we’re heading into the future. We’ve got two great bulwark documents of the past to guide us, one of those is The Constitution of the United States and the other is The Bible, the Old and New Testament.”

[cheers and applause]

In there…

[more cheers & applause]

In there, my friends, we have the truths to guide men’s lives, the truths that make men free, and the truth that’s crushed to earth, is gonna rise again. So, y’all do the right thing here, in this great convention, my friends, remember, this is God’s country. That’s what we want to repair and make it again. God’s eyes are on us, and equally important, my friends, the eyes of Texas are upon you. God Bless you all!

[standing ovation]