Rally Speech in Santa Barbara, CA

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by Patrick J. Buchanan – March 24, 1996

No other campaign this year has had the kind of fire and energy and enthusiasm I see in this room today. Even after a number of defeats you’ve come out in tremendous numbers to give us the kind of encouragement and heart we need.

I’ll tell you my friends, I know, you are here not only for a campaign but for a cause. That cause is not going to be denied, and one of those causes … I am going all the way to San Diego to stand up for the right to life.

A number of these people are standing here behind me. But that’s not the only cause.

This campaign is not just about a man, it’s about a number of causes. It’s about changes we believe need to be made.

This August in San Diego, we’re going there to take back our economy so we can after that take back our country. When we go there we’re going to tell those folks that we were right and they were wrong, there will be no more NAFTAs and no more sell-outs of the American workers.

Let me talk about that NAFTA deal, because as you know, a few years ago the whole status quo said it was a great deal for America. And therefore all the ex-Presidents, the ex-Secretary of State, beginning with my old colleague Henry Kissinger, (you know Henry — when I worked at the White House and Henry had a German accent and his got thicker every single year.)

The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the whole establishment was behind NAFTA. They told us it would be a great deal for America. Who stood against it? Four people: Pat Buchanan, Ross Perot, Ralph Nader and Jesse Jackson. The Wall Street Journal called it “The Halloween Coalition”.

My friends, who was proven right about NAFTA?

They promised us America’s trade surplus would grow in Mexico. We don’t have a trade surplus anymore, we’ve got a $15 billion trade deficit with Mexico, which translates into 300,000 lost American jobs last year alone.

They told us that the illegal immigration would go down. Let me tell you something folks, it has doubled since NAFTA. In 1994 they were apprehending one million people along the border, we’re now apprehending and arresting two million per year along the southern border of California.

They told us illegal narcotics would stop coming into the United States. They’re pouring in from Mexico.

In addition to that, they told us this government was a good government with which we were engaged. But the truth is, what we said was true–it was a corrupt government in Mexico. And within a number of months, what happened? Mexico came to Washington and said, “We don’t have enough money to pay back your New York banks, and we’re going to need $50 billion in loans and loan guarantees.”

So Bob Dole, I regret to say, joined with Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich to put together a $50 billion bailout to the Mexican government so they could pay off some New York banks. So they took that money, sent it to Mexico–they took those banks off the hook–guess who they put on? You and me. You and me and your children and grand-children will eventually pay off that fifty billion and all the interest all through the years.

That’s why I say we’re going to go to San Diego and we’re going to tell them “No more NAFTA and no more $50 billion bailouts to socialist regimes anywhere on earth.”

About this issue of illegal immigration. What does it take to get our government and our leaders to address this issue? Four and five years ago I was down there on that border telling them to do something, PLEASE DO something. And they called us a lot of names. But I’ll tell you this, we’re going to San Diego and I’m going to ask my party this question: “Why is it that we can send an army halfway around the world to defend the borders of Kuwait and the border of Saudi Arabia and the border of South Korea, but we can’t even defend the border of California, Arizona and Texas?”

[Audience cheers]

We’re going to go to that convention. We’re going to go to that convention and we’re going to tell that convention we want … a security fence all along the transit points and if the illegal aliens come into the country we’re going to have Proposition 187 for the United States of America.

[Big cheers]

And we’re not taking “no” for an answer. I know some federal judge down here, right after sixty percent of California’s voters passed it, he got up and said “You can’t have it because I tell you you can’t have it.” … I would put term limits on every single Federal judge in the United States. That can be done by simple legislation.

In our Constitution, the Federal courts below the Supreme Court are creations of the Congress. So Congress can impose term limits on the Federal judges and Congress can also give the voters of Californai the same right as you have with your own Supreme Court justices like the late Rose Bird, where you can take these Federal judges, put their name on a ballot, recall, and fire them.

The idea of this campaign is very simple. We should get back to the idea that we are a self-governing people. It’s the the idea of the Founding Fathers. They did not believe that Americans should be dictated to by people in black robes who are misinterpreting the Constitution and imposing their own views on society. That’s not the idea of the Founding Fathers.

And there’s another reason why I oppose this NAFTA deal. I think it’s wrong to force American workers into dog-eat-dog competition with people who have to work for a-dollar-an-hour or twenty-five cents-an-hour in China.

It is wrong … and that is why I believe we need our party to represent a new conservatism–a new conservatism of the heart. A conservatism that provides a voice for the voiceless, like the unborn. A conservatism that represents ….those who are not represented.

[protesters yelling]

Are we picking up a little dissent over here?

[“Yeah!” followed by Pat’s inimitable chuckle]

And I’ll tell you another reason we’ve got to stand up against these trade deals. Too many now entail the surrender of the national sovereignty of the United States of America. Too many of them!

Too many of them involve the surrender of the freedom of action and the liberty and the sovereignty for which our Founding Fathers stood and fought and died in places like Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill and Saratoga and Yorktown. You know when our Founding Fathers rose up more than 200 years ago, they stood up 3 million strong, against the greatest empire the world had ever seen since Rome–the British Empire. They stood up against the greatest army on earth–the British army.

Farmers, merchants, kids–stood up against one of the finest armies the world had ever seen. And what were they fighting for and dying for there? What were they giving up their lives for and their fortunes and sacred honor?

Why did they accept–three million–blockade, invasion, war, the burning and looting of their cities, the harrasment of their people? So that you and I in this country might forever more be free and independent and sovereign in our own land.

Yet look what is happening in those trade treaties. Forget for a minute the trade deals done for the benefit of these trans-national corporations who have no loyalty to their workers and no allegiance to our country. Look what we are giving up.

In that GATT agreement which they rammed through in a lame-duck session of Congress with the collaboration of Republican leaders and Bill Clinton, there is established a world trade organization. It’s a UN Supreme Court of world trade where America gets one vote! One vote out of 120!

We’ve never done that before. We always insisted upon veto power …. We have no veto power in the World Trade Organization. And the first decision of the World Trade Organization was to tell America to change their environmental laws because Venezuela and Brasil don’t like it!

What would the Founding Fathers have said if they’d been given an order like that? Three little words: lock and load!


When American orders come down from Geneva to this country telling us what we can and can’t do, I genuinely believe in my heart that American patriots will rise up and say “Who did this to us? Who sold out our sovereignty to this institution? Who are they across the seas to tell us whether we can have tarrifs or don’t have tarrifs? These are decisions–whether we agree or disagree–to be taken by Americans alone!”

Look how far we’re going, my friends, down this road. We’ve lost our 16 Americans in Iraq, shot down in two helicopters by our own planes by mistake. They brought the bodies of those young men and women who’s base is Dover Air Force Base. The Vice President of the United States, in a written statement, said the parents of these young Americans can be proud they died in the service of the UNITED NATIONS.

[Roars, boos from audience.]

Give me your hands and hearts on Tuesday friends, give me your votes on Tuesday and I will guarantee it is written in the Republican platform that never again will young Americans be sent into battle except under American officers under an American flag!


Our country is going the wrong way and our party has got to wake up and stop it.

You all know who Michael New is? Let me tell you about it for those who do not. Michael New is only 23 years old. He’s a specialist medic. He’s a Christion, he was home-schooled and he joined the Army of the United States of America to serve and defend you and me.

In addition to defending you and me, Michael New swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States. Then Michael New was ordered by his Commander-In-Chief six months ago to go into Macedonia and become a UN peace-keeper. Not only that he was told to stick the UN insignia on his uniform, stick on a UN helmet, take orders from UN officers and become a UN peace-keeper.

And this young man looked at his oath to the Constitution of the United States, and his oath as a UN peace-keeper where it says his allegiance to the UN is superior to his allegiance to any country and he said, “I will not take that oath.” I will not take that oath!


What happened to him? His Commander-In-Chief, Mr. Clinton, had him court-martialed, … convicted and stripped of his rank, and he’s to be dishonorably discharged from the service of his country.


But it is not Michael New who ought to be discharged from service to his country. I know it’s a long shot, but if I get there into that White House in January, I will pardon Michael New…

[Cheers, “Go,Pat, go”.]

…but I’m not sure about Bill and Hillary. I think maybe they’ve got a few more depositions to give. ….

My friends, you know I know people say when you talk about this New World Order, aren’t you just going around the bend? There is no threat to American sovereignty. America is mighty and free and nobody will give America orders. And I’m telling you we are going down the road, slowly, that the Europeans have travelled far down already. They are on the verge of surrendering control of immigration, their defense, their money–everything!–to a European Union, and disappearing as countries, virtually into a central state in Europe. And that is what is taking place world-wide.

It is very small now, but the embryonic outlines of it can be seen. We’ve got the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, the World Court, the World Trade Organization. Watch!

The liberals in Washington and others, the powerful voices in the national media on every occasion will support the steady expansion and power and control and resources of these institutions. It is going on, it is continuing.

And you know when I tell this story people say, “What does it mean to you?” I tell the story of a party I had at my house before I ran for President. And a guy … one of the men who supported me in 1992 and was back again to help out, he came up to me, I was talking to him and we were chuckling about something and I noticed a bracelet on his wrist. It was one of those M.I.A.-P.O.W. bracelets.

I said “Let me see that, would you?” And when he showed it to me, I was completely stunned because the name on the bracelet was “Captain Robert Versase” [sp]. Only I had known him forty years ago as “Rocky” Versase. I’d gone to high school with this fellow, and here is this wrist bracelet forty years later, Missing-In-Action, P.O.W.

And I told my friend I said, “You know I’m stunned that you have Rocky’s name on there and I’d like to tell you something. Rocky’s not Missing-In-Action, he’s not a P.O.W. Rocky Vercase was executed by the Viet Cong in 1965 in the Mekong Delta where his Green Beret unit was captured, they tried to indoctrinate him, he resisted, some other P.O.W’s escaped, and someone in Saigon executed Viet Cong, and they took Rocky out into the forest into the delta and then they executed him. And I know that’s true because I read it on the AP wire, the Viet Cong claimed they did it. They had killed an American war criminal, they said, and I read about it in St. Louis many years ago, almost 30 years ago. And so the fellow gave me that bracelet.

I said I want to give it to my brother because he was actually in Rocky’s class. Rocky was a year older than I was. And so I thought of that on Saturday night in [a campaign stop]… when I read, and Shelley showed it to me in “The Wall Street Journal” a little item. It said the World Bank, who’s loans are guaranteed and backed-up by American taxpayers like you and me, had just granted a $265 million dollar loan to the communist regime in Hanoi.

Now what does that mean? That means quite simply, that Rocky Vercase’s 80-year-old mom, who is still trying to get his remains back, is guaranteeing loans to the people who murdered her hero son. Now that is why I say, if ever I get into that Oval office, the minute I stand up there in the capitol and raise my hand and take that oath of office of the President of the United States, at that moment, their New World Order comes crashing down.

[Cheers, applause].

People ask us “What do you want?” I say it’s really not so wild a dream. All we want is the restoration of a constitutional republic that the Founding Fathers established in this country. They didn’t have in mind some gigantic federal bureaucracy with all this power and control consuming 25% of our gross national product, regulating our lives, our businesses.

They had in mind a federal government that would [abide by] the tenth amendment. It was small, it had limited powers, it took care of national events and defended our borders. They maintained the army and issued national currency. And all the rest of the rights and responsibilities, they said, belonged to the States, respectively, and the people.

How did this monstrous thing grow up? How did it grow up and how did we let it happen? Look at how enourmous it has become!

Look at the Department of Education. It has grown to 35 million. But I must say Republicans have contributed to that growth. You know, just last week after Bob Dole won in the upper mid-west–we did very well in Michigan but he won in the upper mid-west a lot of delegates–he went back and put in 2.7 billion more for the Department of Education, 50 million more for head start for this year.

This is why we’ve got to stay in this race, my friends. We’re commited to down-sizing this federal government, and we’ve got to start with those departments that are most intrusive. Why is it that we have a federal Department of Education dictating how we should educate primary and secondary children in America from Washington D.C.? Why?

And I say to you, I give you my word, one day within six months, no more Goals 2000, … no more Department of Education, we will shut it down and give it back to California and back to the people.

[Cheers, applause]

We do not need some character back in Washington, D.C. in sandals and beads telling you how to educate American children! The way way these bureaucrats …

I’ll tell you some other things. I don’t know why us Republicans don’t act on it. You know that National Endowment for the Arts? That wonderful old agency? It gives all these grants to these artists who give you dirty and blasphemous art, insulting our beliefs, insulting our faith? Republicans have done nothing about it. They have not done anything about it. ….

One day if we get there Shelley and I will come sauntering down from the White House on a Spring day–with my secret service escort in tow–we will stroll on over to the National Endowment for the Arts, and I will tell the federal Marshalls, “Shut it down, padlock it, and fumigate the building!”


Well my friends, this has been great and a good campaign. We’ve kept it on issues and ideas. We’ve had some fun in this campaign, … and I’ll tell you no matter how it comes out, there’s no doubt about who’s setting the agenda for America.

Did you see that Time magazine cover several weeks ago, or even a few months ago? Had my big mug on it. They called me “hell-raiser” in that one. The other ones are “bully boy” and “fear monger”. But this one said “hell raiser”. …. This campaign is setting the agenda for America. We have put the issues on the table, and all America is discussing it, all America is debating my friends, and they’re all beginning to sound a little bit like Pat Buchanan. … [I can’t make out a phrase here.] Every four years it seems they all sound like Pat Buchanan. He’s the only one that sounds like Pat Buchanan all the time.

Have you heard about Dole lately? He went up to criticize the corporations for firing them workers–with profits going up, and getting huge bonuses–and ol’ Bob … said, “I believe we ought to fight corporate greed.” The problem is, he’s standing right beside the corporate jet “The Chiquita Bananas Airways”, that flew him up …

Lately Bob Dole was talking about how bad the movies were getting. Thing is, Bob hadn’t seen a movie in thirty years. … Used to carry a parrot around with us. We called it the Bobster. We taught the parrot to say “fight corporate greed”. Parrot say, “Fight corporate greed”. About then he was told he had to put the parrot away because it wasn’t made int the U.S.A.

It’s not only Bob Dole, it’s Bill Clinton, … I’m not kidding … did you see his State of the Union address? A talk show host said, “I couldn’t believe that address. I think Pat Buchanan wrote it.” … The guy who tried to take over our entire health care system, he stood there and said, “The era of big government is over”. The guy … in California, “we’ve got to do something about immigration” all of a sudden. He’s even talking about “I’ve always believed in a balanced budget.” I tell ya, this Clinton fella is shameless, he’s all over the lot, … he’s taking this conservative postition, that liberal position, that moderate position, a friend of mine in Louisianna said that fellow’s like a blind dog in a meat market.

[Big laughs]

You know how Bill when he’s speaking he sometimes gets that tear in his eye? Starts biting that lower lip? … Says “I feel your pain”? Please, you give me that nomination, we will put him in the cross fire, he will feel the pain! Thank you all very much!

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