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Buchanan Accepts The Inevitable, Backs Dole

[Buchanan accepts the inevitable]

SAN DIEGO (AllPolitics, Aug. 12) -- At long last, conservative firebrand Pat Buchanan this morning ended his insurgent campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and endorsed all-but-certain nominee Bob Dole.

CNN's Robert Novak said Buchanan has personally written a statement, saying the right-leaning GOP platform "was a triumph of our campaign, a vindication of our decision not to quit the race."

"If our party will run on these issues, we can win on these issues," Buchanan said in his statement. "The only realistic chance we have in 1996 to implement the agenda for which we campaigned for 18 months is to keep Congress Republican and replace Clinton/Gore with a Republican administration.

"Therefore, I endorse the Republican ticket of Dole/Kemp and will work for a national Republican victory," Buchanan said.

Novak said in an interivew that Buchanan was strong about the need to replace Clinton, but less strong about the Dole/Kemp ticket. Nevertheless, Novak said: "He is 100 percent on board."

Buchanan does not have a speaking slot at the convention, but he does have a private box and plans to attend tonight's entire session, including the speech by retired Gen. Colin Powell.

Buchanan was torn in two direction by his supporters, the "peasants with pitchforks" he embraced during the spring primaries. Some of them wanted him to mount a third-party challenge, while many Buchanan delegates to the GOP convention wanted him to stay within the party's ranks.

On Sunday, at a rally and tribute in nearby Escondido, Buchanan called for a truce within the party in the interest of defeating Clinton in November, but stopped short of endorsing Dole.

Even if he fell far short of capturing the nomination, Buchanan declared an ideological victory of sorts at the rally.

"Our rivals may be the ones waving from the podium, but it is our ideas that now reflect the grass roots of this party, our ideas that now are fixed firmly within the Republican platform," he declared.


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