Perot to snub Reform Party convention if Buchanan picked as nominee
DALLAS (CNN) -- Former presidential candidate Ross Perot is expected to
stay away from this year's Reform Party convention if Pat Buchanan is chosen as the party's nominee, according to a Reform Party source.
In addition, Perot's political strategist Russ Verney told CNN Wednesday he is considering urging the convention to pick no presidential nominee, rather than pick Buchanan.
The party will hold its convention August 10 - 13 in Long Beach, California.
Verney predicted that if Buchanan gets enough delegates to win the
nomination, there could be such a split in the party that it would "be a re-run of Nashville."
Last year's party meeting in Nashville turned into a shouting match
between supporters of then-party chairman Jack Gargan and those who wanted Gargan ousted.
Tempers grew so heated that additional police officers were called in to
make sure fighting didn't erupt.
Officially, Perot's expected absence from the convention would be because of a tight travel schedule this summer, according to Verney. No final decision has been made on whether Perot will attend.
Buchanan was courted as a possible candidate by former Reform Party
Chairman and Vice Presidential nominee Pat Choate. But in recent weeks,
Buchanan's campaigning on social issues and statements that he is molding the party in his image have angered some long-time Reform Party members.
Buchanan is one of only two potential presidential candidates with a
chance of winning the Reform Party nomination. The other is Natural Law Party leader John Hagelin.
Despite an effort to draft Perot for a third run at the presidency, the
Dallas billionaire has declined to even speak publicly about politics this year.
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000