The “New York Magazine’s” Jonathan Chaffe compared Donald Trump to Pat Buchanan. I’d take that as a compliment. Whenever readers—my editor @ WND, too—have mentioned that I remind them of Pat Buchanan, it flatters. Chaffe, however, meant to insult Trump. He also insults the intelligence. (What’s new? That’s the definition of a liberal; an insult to the intelligence.) Chaffe tweeted: “Trump isn’t Cain or Bachmann redux, he’s Pat Buchanan redux and that’s bad.”
An insult to the intelligence because, while Trump is smart and certainly smarter than most of the political class, which is to be expected; Trump is no intellectual. Buchanan is most certainly an intellectual.
SMERCONISH: Donald Trump has run a campaign like nothing we have seen before, or have we? Well, he’s often been compared to flash in the pan frontrunners like Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann, maybe the real comparison should be to conservative lightning rod Pat Buchanan in 1992 and 1996. That’s what “New York Magazine’s” Jonathan Chaffe believes.
He tweeted “Trump isn’t Cain or Bachmann redux, he’s Pat Buchanan redux and that’s bad.” Perhaps the most obvious parallel to Trump is style like Buchanan’s red meat speech at the 1992 GOP convention. Listen to the way that he described that year’s democratic convention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAT BUCHANAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIOS DIRECTOR: We’re 20,000 liberals and radicals came dressed up as moderates and centrists in the greatest single exhibition of cross-dressing in American political history!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: That was Pat Buchanan 23 years ago. It’s funny, I remember exactly where I was when I watched that speech. And he joins me now. Hey, Patrick, thank you so much for being here. Is Trump taking a page out of your playbook?
BUCHANAN: I think he certainly is an outsider, an insurgent the way I was in 1992 and 1996, Michael. And he’s also taken up the issue of illegal immigration and unfair trade deals that robbed this country of factories and jobs and investment. And he is really riding those issues extremely well. The difference is, Donald Trump is far, far ahead of where I was.
SMERCONISH: How so?
BUCHANAN: Well, in the polls he’s running two to one ahead of the former frontrunners in the Republican party. The polls never had me that far ahead nationally. In 1992 I did well against President Bush but we never had the kind of massive enormous crowds that Donald Trump is getting or the enormous coverage he’s receiving or the poll numbers he’s got right now. Look, Donald Trump as of right now I think is pretty much the favorite for the Republican nomination in 2016.
SMERCONISH: I want to show you something that Jeb Bush said this week because the terminology that’s being used in the immigration debate become a touch point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Did you use the term anchor baby yesterday on the yesterday?
JEB BUSH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No I didn’t. I don’t.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You don’t regret it?
BUSH: Do you have a better term?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I’m asking you.
BUSH: You give me a better term and I’ll use. Don’t yell at me behind my ear, though.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Sorry about that.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: The language, anchor baby is that bombastic?
BUSH: No, it isn’t. Give me another word.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Patrick, what’s the proper word choice?
BUCHANAN: Well, the word choice is anchor baby. What you mean by that is people come into the country in San Diego, California places like that, something like 22 percent of the babies. The illegals come in. They have their baby born in the United States, achieves automatic citizenship and entitlement to all these benefits which eventually is going to bankrupt the country if we don’t stop it.
SMERCONISH: But it’s regarded as a slur by Hispranic for no other reason. Is it not losing electoral strategy?
BUCHANAN: Michael, political correctness is killing this country. I think there’s nothing demeaning about saying anchor baby because it anchors the family in the United States. It’s a child of an illegal alien who broke into this country and broke the law. Nothing wrong with the baby at all –
SMERCONISH: I don’t think they mean that it anchors the family.
BUCHANAN: It certainly does!
SMERCONISH: I think it means they dropped an anchor here just to have a baby. That’s the way people interpret it.
BUCHANAN: That’s not the way – look, that’s not the way I interpret it. Let me say this, Michael, what you’re doing, with due respect, is just why the people, excuse me, detest the media. He’s got a valid point. It’s a tremendous issue. People are upset by it and the media are saying, “why did you use those two words? Why didn’t you get another two words?” What is the matter with this country given the crises we are in? People are running around asking if the verbiage is politically right or not.
SMERCONISH: Pat, respectfully, we have known each a long time. This is no liberal hit job I’m doing on you. The “Wall Street Journal” on Friday, a lead editorial, born in the USA said, hey what happened to republicans? Didn’t they use to believe in exceptionalism? Yes, the 14th amendment is exceptional. Are they now ditching that?
BUCHANAN: Let me talk to that. First, “The Wall Street Journal” has been a horrible influence on the Republican Party on the issue of immigration. Secondly, you’ve got to get control of this, the borders in this country, deal with the policy and Donald Trump went out there, I think some parts of it are going to be tough to do but the part about stopping that, it isn’t in the 14th amendment.
SMERCONISH: Patrick, let me crunch numbers with you, because Mitt Romney’s pollster – Mitt Romney’s pollster has pointed out that to win 50.1 percent of the vote in this cycle, the Republican candidate, if the trends stay the same, is going to need 64 percent of the white vote. Well, the problem is that Romney and McCain got 59 percent and 55 percent respectfully.
There aren’t enough whites only to win a presidential race for the republican party if they don’t expand the tent, they will be a party of controlling the House but not the White House.
BUCHANAN: All right, look, let’s take Donald Trump. His appeal to Hispanics in America, even some African-Americans when Barack Obama is no longer on the ballot, is going to be whether he can deal with an economy which just saw a 500-point drop in the Dow on the last day of this week. These are the issues. He’s up against Bernie Sanders and there’s the possibility given Hillary’s trouble, you don’t think Donald Trump couldn’t beat Bernie Sanders?
Given Hillary’s problems, look at him now. I mean when a judge tells the FBI to start looking at her server and see if she’s telling the truth, the lady is in real trouble, she’s getting lawyered up. If she cracks and something happens to her and dies and losses her security clearance who steps in for the democratic party?
SMERCONISH: Patrick, Joe Biden, probably, right?
BUCHANAN: If he steps in and shoves Hillary aside, how do you think American women will react to Joe Biden?
SMERCONISH: Patrick, I want to play for you something that happened on my radio show on Friday. A truck driver from Texas called and here’s a piece of our conversation. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Here’s why he’ll win, people, the wages are stagnant. One of the reasons why the wages are stagnant is because of illegal immigration. Big companies are going to pay lowwe wages for people that are not even citizens and they get away with it. The immigrants years ago, when they came in to this country they built their roads, their schools, their churches, their houses. They built the subways, they built the railroads and they obeyed the laws, they assimilated they learned the English language and they paid their taxes. Today, the immigrants come over here and as me “what have you got for me?”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: I thought that was the epitome of the Trump supporter, maybe the Buchanan supporter of all, the guy who believes that his wages are stagnant because of illegal immigration overlooking the impact of globalization and technological changes.
BUCHANAN: Look, you have 41.3 million people who have come into this country in the last I think 30 to 40 years who are immigrants now legal and illegal. Most of them are unskilled, many of them have no skills or semi-skilled or some of them skilled, don’t tell me that doesn’t depress wages of American workers.
Secondly, the trade deals that Donald Trump is hitting, what do you think about the first decade of the 21st century, 55,000 factories disappeared in the United States and six million manufacturing jobs. What we predicted has come to pass. One thing – look, I’m not saying Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States, but I do think there’s a possibility he can. What is driving that is the anger of the American people and what has been done to them, what they have failed to do in the capital city.
SMERCONISH: But Pat, what I’m suggesting to you that that gentleman who was nice enough to call my radio program, his anger is misplaced. It’s not the 11 million who are here illegally who are depressing his wages. It’s all of these other factors that are at work.
BUCHANAN: You’re telling me that 40 million people from countries all over the world, third world countries, haven’t had anything to do with that? Are you telling me the export of our factories through these lousy trade deals –
SMERCONISH: I’m saying Tom Freeman has it right when he says the world is flat and the dynamics have changed. Here’s a final thought, here’s what makes me uncomfortable about this conversation and some of the things that my friend, Pat Buchanan, is saying.
These are the same things that could have been said about my Slovak ancestors in the 1920s by the WASPs.
BUCHANAN: Look, your Slovak ancestors, my Irish and German, Scott- Irish ancestors, they came here and after they all got here by 1925, Michael, we had a time-out of 40 years so we could assimilate and Americanize all the kids and grandkids of those people. So that by the Kennedy and Eisenhower years, we were one united America.
What we are becoming is what Theodore Roosevelt warned us about, said it would be the end of the country if we become a (polyglot) boardinghouse for the world. I don’t want that, I don’t think Donald Trump wants that, and I hope Michael Smerconish doesn’t want that.
SMERCONISH: The next time you come here, don’t hold back. Let us know what Pat Buchanan really thinks about the issue, OK?
BUCHANAN: I’m getting older. That’s why I’m so reticent.
SMERCONISH: Thank you, Pat.
BUCHANAN: Thank you, my friend.
Buchanan in conversation with historian Tom Woods: