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tv   QA with Pat Buchanan  CSPAN  July 2, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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>> this week on q&a, patrick columnist and political commentator patrick buchanan. he served as a speechwriter and advisor to president nixon and joins us to discuss his book, nixon's white house wars. brian: pat buchanan, in the acknowledgment of your new book on your time with richard nixon, you write, this memoir and the history of the nixon presidency is actually the last to be written a confidant who served in the white house from his first two final day over four decades ago. how many others are left? mr. buchanan: i'm sure it there are some, like a joint chief and others, who have not written memoirs yet, but i'm not sure they are going to.
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in terms of written memoir, this is probably the last of someone who was right there and it knew it from the beginning. brian: what did you put in this book that you never talked about before? mr. buchanan: the origins of the agnew speech, the memos on that. there were a number of notes in my files of that i dug out. there is a description of how i almost defected on the china trip, i was so unhappy with it. there is also the end of it, where you put in that quote by john osborne, he said he had seen shelley and me on inauguration day in 19 69 and then he saw how it all ended, he was an old liberal curmudgeon and it breaks your heart. all of this is fresh and new. most of the memorandum had never
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been published. what that is about is, what it was like as a young conservative in the next and white house trying to do battle for your police and the opposition -- battle for your police and -- battle for your beliefs and the opposition you faced. brian: you mentioned agnew. we have a clip here. what led up to it? mr. buchanan: toward the end of his first year, the massive demonstrations with the mobilizations were being held on monument grounds and it was quite clear time and newsweek were saying richard nixon's presidency is in danger of being woken. a liberal columnist wrote that, the breaking of a president.
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i wrote the president a memo saying, you have to stand up. when we have to keep those kids over there fighting and dying in bit not. nixon gave his famous great silent majority speech in 1969, smashing triumph. 70% of the country backed him and stood within, but that night after the speech finished, the networks trashed it. most americans got their news from the world from these three networks and nixon was angry and haldeman told me to write letters and telegrams. he said this was a time to take on the network directly at a high level. the way to do it is a speech by the vice president of the united states, which i would write. he came back with a memo that photo is in the book, where he
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has seen, go ahead. that meet the president of the united states has seen your memo, go ahead and start writing your speech. so for a few days i was in touch with the vice president and i went through three drafts, not a great number, and i was called over to the oval office and there sat the president with his glasses on, which he never wore, coat and tie, sitting there at the desk, editing my phrases. then he murmured, this will tear the scab off those bastards. and i broke out laughing and he broke out laughing. agnew went out to deliver that speech in des moines and i got word where i worked, abc was going to go live with it.
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and i was nervous so i went to the university club and they called me from the pool and said, pat, nbc and cbs are going live with it. i said this is it are going to be a great success or a career-ender. the whole country stood with us in the sentiment about the networks and about television. that night, i drove out to andrews air force base at about 3:00 a.m. and got the board air force two. agnew invited me down to cape canaveral. he comes on the plane late and says, gangbusters. it was just a phenomenal moment. agnew's attacks on the network in des moines. which i wrote with the vice president.
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that i think was the real making of the president. not 19 to create so much, but the real making of the president if you can believe it, at the end of that year, richard nixon was at 60% approval and 19% disapproval. astonishing. here was a fella who, seven years before, was the biggest loser in american college -- american politics. brian: let's see a little bit of that speech in des moines. >> every american has a right to disagree with the president of the united states and expressed probably that discriminate. but the president of the united states has a right to communicate directly with the people who elected him. [applause] and the people of this country have the right to make up their own minds and form their own
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opinions about a presidential address. without having a president's words and thoughts are derived through the prejudices of hostile critics before they can be digested. brian: i remember that happened around dinner hour or 6:00 or 7:00 at night. mr. buchanan: around 7:30 at night. that's correct. what he was talking about there wasn't the fundamental point and it exists today. the president of the united states, in those days, a number of people had custody of how and what would be seeing of the president of the united states and how it would be presented because they control all three networks. i was a 12 people would make this decision and if so, in effect, the direct communication between resident and the people -- president and the people, they would present it as they saw fit and what excerpts they
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saw fit, and we almost couldn't live with this. and the president was constantly on the phone and things and calling for letters to the editors and telegrams. this is nonsense. you were seen by 50 million people, the network commenting on it was seen by 50 million people and we cannot turn this around with letters to the editor. so we elevated that issue and it exists to this day and i think that was the first strike. brian: why did they decide to carry it live? because they would never do that in those days. mr. buchanan: we put in phrases at the end, whether what i would say is heard by the american people doesn't depend on you and doesn't depend on me. they decide what they hear and don't care. that's exactly right. as i recall, we had a quote from frank reynolds of abc, who had written this horrible thing
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during the campaign of 1968, saying nixon is retaining his ability to hit his people with a meat ax. we had clothes and things like that, which were a challenge in the defiance of them and then in effect, goaded them into putting it out there. they put it on the air because they thought agnew was being trashed as an individual buddhist who had no sensitivity and did not understand the first amendment. they thought the public would say, my goodness, these nixon people want to censor the news and restrict the first amendment. but the american people loved it. it was the making of vice president agnew, who for that, in 1968 was regarded the press as some think of a buffoon.
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brian: you write a lot about the book, what impact did it have on you when you found out he was taking cash money in envelopes? mr. buchanan: he had a press conference and there were reports and rumors he was being investigated like george bell, a friend of mine, a u.s. attorney. i went up and watched agnew make a defined statement and ron zigler seemed to undercut agnew. i said, why are we not standing by the vice president? he said, come on over. i went into his office, the chief of staff corner office that haldeman had and he said, we are taking in envelopes from the basement. i was shattered by this. agnew was a good friend of mine.
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we were buddies. he had real courage. he was just a terrific fella. he had a lot of fun. you can play tricks on the guy and he enjoyed it. i was really agonized and disappointed with that. i remember writing him a note. brian: did you ever talk to him after that? mr. buchanan: i did not talk to him about what happened and why, but in aid used to, whenever agnew came to town, he would call a number of his close friends -- bryce harlow would be there and the schulz from his shop, everybody would have a couple drinks and talk about the great days. he was fun to travel with. brian: there are many things you touch on. before i do that, i what to ask you that i have never heard you do. i want to talk about your brothers and sisters.
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you have eight of them. you mentioned a couple, henry, and we know they buchanan, how many of them are still alive and what do they fit in the family and what do they do? mr. buchanan: my two oldest others, bill died when i was 45, my brother hank died a few years ago. i am the oldest now of nine. and my brother who served in vietnam, he has six kids, he's a dentist and living out in maryland, montgomery county. below him in age is, my sister kathleen, who worked for bill kristol for a while and then worked in a vice presidents shop, vice president quayle, and she's got three kids now and has lost a kid. below her is my brother jack, john edward decanted, who coaches basketball and is a
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business executive in kensington. brian: maryland, right out here. mr. buchanan: maryland. then there is bae, general macarthur who ran my campaign. she was high on romney and she became a mormon. she's high on romney in 2012 and when that was over, she was disillusioned and got out of politics. she is in real estate and doing well. she lives out in oakton, a little beyond tysons corner. then there is my brother brian who went down to bedford when he got out of medical school. he was a doctor in bedford. just down near roanoke, lynchburg, sort of up in the hills. it's got that famous role or two memorial where all those guys from bedford come to shore on omaha beach were wiped out.
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then there is my brother tom, a managing partner at winston strong. he lives on gerald ford drive, near admissible high school where john mccain went to high school. he's getting along well. that's where they are and what they are doing. but we all grew up in washington dc. my mother used to work as a nurse at providence hospital. born and raised in the blessed sacrament parish. the canon family field is the name of the football field. once georgetown on the five-year plan of it -- five-year plan. mr. buchanan: when i got aboard the plane with agnew, somebody got aboard after me and i looked over at it was the head of loyola college or university at
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the time and it was instant recognition. he had expelled me from georgetown university after an altercation with the police when i was a senior in october 1959. this was done up by jack anderson's deputy when i was in the white house writing speeches about how these kids, we need to crack down on student disorders. he calls me up and says, pat, i want to read you something here. you were arrested and this is what you are charged with. what do you have to say for yourself for fighting with the police? i said, well i was ahead on points until they brought out the sticks. [laughter] one of my better lines when you have no defense. brian: mom and dad, what were they like? mr. buchanan: my father was an autocrat, very autocratic.
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as i mentioned from the beginning and an earlier book, his three political heroes were mccarthy, general macarthur, and francisco franco. in spain, he was a very devout catholic. he went to gonzaga before i did. he came out of a broken family, his father had left him, the jesuits came by and got him when he graduated the holy trinity. they brought him down to conduct a -- to gonzaga and he raises nine kids. these towns use all that trouble was visiting, i used to go up there after the war. my mom was one of eight kids and all four of my younger brothers fought in the vietnam operations. my cousins were telling my sister there is nothing out here except trump science.
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-- trump signs. and that's how he won the election in pennsylvania. i have been up there at the steel mill in west virginia. that's where he won the election. brian: there's a quote from richard nixon in your book that says, i have never seen an extremist like you come up with a sense of humor. something like that. where did he say that? mr. buchanan: i challenge george h.w. bush, 10 weeks before the new hampshire primary in 1972 and my sister and i went up to challenge the president of the united states in the new after primary. when i got up there, the polls showed bush at 65-70%, the buchanan at 16%, and even duke at 6% in the polls.
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we ran a tough campaign against bush, state of their constantly, and he closed the gaps at 50 or some odd points at 15 points. 51-37 or something like that. it was a tremendous moral victory and the press played it up huge. we went to georgia and did almost as well, then we had super tuesday and there were eight primaries. i got wiped out in every single one. so nixon was in new jersey and i lost 10 in a row. i called nixon in new jersey, and i said mr. president, 10 for 10, not bad, eh? [laughter] he says, buchanan, you are the only extremist i note with a sense of humor. come on up, bring shelley and bring your secret service detail. it was a pleasant visit i had with him. that was two years before he died.
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just before he died, i called him in new jersey and said, we have not talked. he would come down, washington hotel was on this -- it's over toward georgetown. brian: washington circle, right. mr. buchanan: exactly. he would come down there and he was really so alert. was up, who's up, who's down. for the first time i met him. he was so interested his whole life and politics, personalities, issues. he was consumed by this. i thought of it from january 6 -- in from when i met him to the january 1966 oregon primary, i was there for 3-5 hours a day in his office. then it became ziglar and al
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haig. but the old man needed to have the talking constantly exploring this issue, what do you think? calling you back in, and it's a feature -- my wife was with the vice president when he was vice president, when nixon was vice president, but i don't know -- i've noticed that was a characteristic of him. brian: you were sitting across the desk from him. you had a three-hour interview chat with him before he hired you in 1966. how old were you? mr. buchanan: i had just turned 27. brian: what was that like? mr. buchanan: it was not a heart interviewed for me because he was asking about issues and i was an editorial, six weeks out of journalism school.
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the editorial editor said, you can write editorials until we hire a replacement. i was working so hard that they kept me and move the other editorial out. we had to editorial writers at the globe democrat. so i was writing immediately on every issue local, statewide, things i was initially unaware of, for policy, domestic, everything. i was doing this for three and a half years and writing other pieces, as well. when it nixon would ask me about various things in this three-hour meeting, i was on it. sed the oral exam with flying
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colors. he said after the three hours, i would like to hire you for one year. here is the reason. i want you to help write the column i have to write once a month, get this mail pile down, to press work, do the other things. wait outside my office. he said one year because i am going to campaign for the republicans in 1966. if we do not get back some of these massive losses from the goldwater campaign, the nomination in 1968 is not going to be worth anything. he predicted we would win 40 seats and a house and the returns came in, we won 47 in the house. this was november, 1966, and we were on our way to the white house. brian: when did you see him at his angriest moment for you? and how did he react when he was angry? mr. buchanan: you know, he never yelled at me. if he got angry, he would yell generically at the wall or sort of, why can't i get some people
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to do these things? but again, i cannot recall him really enraged at me or maybe, i don't know why, in the book i don't have great recollections of him being enraged but i will say this. i worked for reagan and i remember reagan coming into the cabinet room and i don't know why, he looked at me and said, he exploded. he exploded when he came out of that meeting with gorbachev. reagan came out, waiting around -- waving around. reagan had a healthy temper. when i got home, teri dolan, we were laughing and celebrating the fact we did not get the deal that rakovic got.
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president nixon kept it inside himself and brooded. the voice was very low, do this, do this, do that. and go after them. he let these things get to them in a way i do not think president reagan did. there is a certain healthy thing of an anger and getting it out of the system. and that's the difference between the two. brian: during the nixon administration and watergate, they all went to prison, they testified, you testified.
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we have a little piece of video from your testimony. you say you had your brother sit behind you. why? mr. buchanan: i had watched all the others of their and they all had these lawyers beside them. and as soon as you have a lawyer, he's got a problem, he must have done something. i did not believe i had done anything wrong, that i did need somebody, just to be with you. so i called my brother on the day i was going to testify and i said, can you go over to watergate where i live with shelley? we will go to the white house to get breakfast and then go to the committee hearing room and he came up and i said, i do not need you to sit at the table with me, but i want you to sit behind me. in the book, i think i have a picture and it's got my brother behind me there and when they would take a break, he would go back in his room with me and we would come back out to the hearing, in and out.
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you wanted your brother there. i did not need a lawyer. brian: i'm not sure if it's your brother behind you in the videos we have, but tell us if you know who this person is. >> the president had conducted an administration for four years that won the support of millions of democrats. the president's stance the issues of defense and welfare and taxes and government and integration and busing were closer to what the american people wanted to those of the opponents. because of the quality and character of our candidate, if one looks back over the political history of this country, there is only one other man other than richard nixon who has been his party's nominee for president or vice president five times. that is franklin roosevelt. brian: in those days, you cannot put a camera in front of you. that's not your brother. mr. buchanan: no, that's not my brother. there's a picture in the book.
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he was right there. i could hear him laughing at times. brian: did you ever think in this process that you would go to prison? mr. buchanan: no, i had never hired a lawyer. i was called over by the special prosecutor. it was a vindictive, hostile crowd. to be honest, sam did not understand politics. there were some phrases he was reading to me. one of them was ed muskie. i said, it's time to go down to the kennels and let the dogs loose. he says, can you explain this to me? i said, gary hart said if the next people underestimate us, we will do what humphrey did and
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killed them. i don't think he had physical violence in mind, but the exaggerated metaphor is a staple of american politics. but it came out very well. was five and a half hours, when buchanan got back to the elp, it was like the field after lindbergh landed. it was a great day in a way because it boosted the morale of the whole white house staff, which was very down and the good news was, networks decided after i had testified or five hours, they are no longer carrying life tasman.
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brian: here you are on your way to china. i do not think you stop in hawaii yet. you are on air force one with the president and i want to ask you eventually with your trip. watch this. >> the first part, too. the more adjusting part is the evaluation, quite fascinating. mr. buchanan: that's great footage. i don't recall ever seeing that. brian: what was in your mind as you are making the trip? mr. buchanan: i sent nixon a memo telling him i thought he was taking a real risk with this trip and then i sent a second memo that said, i think you need to take me along. i will give you cover because conservatives look to me to represent their interests. bill russert said buchanan was the ambassador to the writer. when i was going there, the decision had been made and nixon announced it in july.
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now we were in february before the new hampshire primary. it is going to be an interesting trip and an important trend. by then i was recon siled to the idea they were going to go to the president, not me. i thought it was risky. and so we got there. initially, i was doing fine until i read the communique. i had not been allowed to participate in the write of the communique. i think kissinger had done it. woods, we and rose were appalled. she had been with them at 18 years. was family to the nixons. a great lady, loyal, courageous went through every one of those crisises and then some.
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brian: so you're on the way back to china. mr. buchanan: we're on our way to china. i thought it was a sellout of taiwan. frankly done a shallow piece of work, concession all three it. and it embarrassed me. it almost made me ashamed. so he came back to discuss it. i said look here, chi knees opened with -- chinese opened with a revolution. we started with an examination of conscious. they say japan is militaryistic. the part on taiwan we basically accept their position. and so i said, you know, it's a sellout. it was badly written. you should have had me in there. they could have stated our side. they state our side. then you went forward. and he came back and he started -- henry started ragging me the conservative -- you and the conservative friends they hadn't supported you in the middle east
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and we had. so i just got up and put my face that far from his. and you know, b.s. in the vernacular and sat down. and if i -- when i looked over there it was ben scocroft joining away. i don't think anybody agreed me but i think he enjoyed the encounter. brian: did you say you were going to resign? mr. buchanan: i was taught that the worst diplomatic disaster was rialta where he signed the freedom of those countries to the soviet union and stalin and it was a horror show. it was a horrendous betrayal. i said to myself, if i had been feert something that's going to do the same thing to the people of taiwan whom we supported.
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we always supported the nationalists. nd so i felt ashamed and disgusted. i decided to resign. i told my parents. sent word to florida that i was going to come down and resign. and thankfully halederman answered against it. and rose wood said don't do. i think the president was quite prepared -- initially he wanted to tell me not to do it but finally said if he's going to go, he's going to go. i remember it reminded me of my walked ick waylan who out after nixon's inauguration -- nixon's nomination. he was a great writer and a friend of mine. he walked out of mission bay and sent a let tore the president to shelly picked one up and rose woods we were resigning and i
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ran into nixon and said we've got to get him back. nixon said, if that's the way he feels let him go, very cold about it. better that he go now than in the middle of the campaign and really have an explosion. he said if i wanted to go that badly, maybe i can go to the campaign or somewhere else. but i should go. >> why didn't you go? >> you know, i decided by the weekend, you know, i made my case to the president to halderman to kissinger. everybody in the building knows how i feel. and i want nixon to be reer -- re-elected. i'm not going to have a big press conference, i'm just going to slip out. a friend of mine did, left the administration. bill gaven, wonderful guy. worked for usia. went over to work for jim buckley after that. >> this is from your book on page 175. henry lost it. minutes later, salary was back
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in my often. i can't take this, she said, i just watched dr. kissinger throw tall pages across the room and there's a two-star general crawling around and picking them up." mr. buchanan: that's my secretary salley. i just got an e flail her talking about all those days after she had read the book. what sh was -- what this was was after the cambodian speech and the huge explosion that took place -- we had -- nixon sent the troops into cambodia for 60 days and 30 kilometers and he wanted a papeer, a long paper on what we had accomplished with that. and the n.s.c. produced a paper of some 6,000 words. so nixon told me and halderman told me through nixon he wants
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you to re-write it. henry as was his custom would hold off his material long enough so that you couldn't re-write it, get it in. he held it often. it was 6,000. it was given to me in the afternoon in san clemente. and sally and i rewrote that. and i rewrote the 6,000 words. it was about 8:00 in the morning that i got them all done ant sent them down. sally said send them down to kissinger's office and that's what she told me going right across the room. xon as halderman writes he loves the bullet points of all he weapons captured by vietnamese and really made the case -- it made the case with the documents and facts and information made it well instead meandering se
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things. and nixon said i want all the papers done like this in this form after this. he said it was terrific. so i felt very good about it. after reading halderman's memoirs -- brian: you've got lots of memoirs. this is patrick j. beau can's nan revenge. he's waited all these years to public all these memos to say he was right. mr. buchanan: i was stunned by the chinese trip. but i have held those for a long time in my fimes and everything. and they really represent what i believed in. there's a threat of consistency certainly on political strategy all the way up through. it worked. the idea to put the goldwater people together with the nixon center of the party and goodbye to rockefeller and them and then
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once you get this blocked go after the northern catholics. folks that were raised just like me. and nixon raised his catholic ote from 22% to 25%. the southern protestants they called theer advantage gel calings where they denounce southern strategy. all these natural alliances on politics, issues and the southern conservatives and put these four blocks together and as a right -- it's going to split the country a bit but we're going wind up with the larger half which we did. i mean, can you imagine? anybody thinking in 1962 after nixon's last press conference he ould win a 49-state landslide? and then it all came apart. as i said we rolled the rock all the way up the mountain and it rolled back down on top of us. brian: when did you first personally think there was a
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recording system? and when did you first learn ant the recording system -- about the recording system and on the phone? mr. buchanan: i don't believe i thought there was a recording system. i first learned about it when alexander butterfield testified. that was in july of 1973. he came up and testified that there was a recording system in the oval office. and i reflected on that and i knew the times -- the president had called me late at night and he had had conversations where we were joking about various people and he was sort of letting his hair down. i wrote him a memo saying, i think you ought to -- dean had testified, you're going to have to keep the dean tapes, the five conversations of dean. i didn't think they were going to be that damaging to us and keep the tape with the bresniv and the stuff you need you really should tape. take the rest of it and burn it.
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and shut down the special prosecutors before this thing grows into a monster. i didn't know it at the time, but nixon had called in higg and spread bizard and entertained the idea that they should burn the tapes. they said it would be obstruction of justice. i didn't recommend burning subpoenaed tape. there was exedge active privilege existed. rid simply god got -- got of it. and president nixon said if he had burned the tapes as i had urged him to do that he would have survived and i think that's right. >> hear's some video from -- and peter jennings was a young anchor on nbc. just a little bit on may 9th, 1970. it's the buses circling the white house that you write about
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in your book. >> they stream through every street of washington heading south, burper to bumper, to guard the immediate area near the white house. the demonstrators came through the morning. the intent was serious. the mood was peaceful and the day was hot. brian: why the buss? and how many were there? and whose idea was it? mr. buchanan: this is the cambodia speech where i had worked with the president where we invaded cambodia. it was a tremendous shot to clean out the sanctuaries in cambodia where they were attacking americans in south vietnam. and there was an explosion on the campuses. out at kent state came out sunday. they burned the rotc building. monday there was a huge demonstration and the guard fired live ammunition and killed
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four students. that exploded to campuses in the country. and virtually -- i mean, there were hundreds and hundreds of campuses that simply shut down. this was early may. and nixon was tremendously shaken by this buzz he had made this statement that a woman -- nixon came out of the pentagon after day one -- i think it was may one right after the speech. and a woman said it was either her son or husband, i want to thank you mr. president for what you're doing to help my husband stay alive over there. and nixon said there are great young people over there. and you should see them. on the other hand there are these bums blowing up campuses and the terms "bums" was taken by the president to mean all the demonstrators and then the four students and this just exploded. the crowds came into d.c., coming into d.c. and nixon -- nixon had a press conference
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there. i mean, he had a press conference friday night. and then he went out that night. and i remember the phrase "search lights on the lawn." around 3:00 or 4:00 he went out on the lamb with manolo, the man who worked for him even in new york. and he took him over to the lincoln memorial and there were students wandering around. here comes the president at 4:00 or 5:00. xon tried to start a conversation. some of them said he was talking football. others say -- and so nixon sent around to his speech writers a memo of what he tried to communicate, what he had tried to say. but that was the worst period nd i call it the get sem ni of situation.i of the to me they were semipanicked from moynahan.
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you have to cake control of the uards and you have to put u.s. officers army in charge. but there was no doubt that nixon was affected by this. many in the staff -- bill sapphire denoin -- denounced the speech. although kissinger complimented the president before he delivered it. i've got a line in there, i'm not sure if it was that demonstration where i told somebody i i said i was in the first floor in my office, i went down to get a pack of cigarettes an ran into the 82nd airborne. but i went down there when all these kids -- these paratroopers they were sitting around, i would say about 10 years younger than me. and they're demonstrate tors, they're lucky they didn't get on those buses and gone through the white house. they would have met -- they would have met some real force.
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brian: how many more book doss you think you'll write? mr. buchanan: people have asked me to write another book. you know, i'm just not sure. i'm not sure. i don't know exact -- once i got this done, i thought about a slim book with reagan. i just don't -- you know, as a man said, i've said what i came to say. brian: so you've done everything you wanted to do? mr. buchanan: well, yeah, i feel very fortunate to even be around. brian: you had open heart surgery at one point? mr. buchanan: sure, it was right after the california primary in 1992. the guy said why are you staying in the -- the doctor told me i had to go into open heart surgery after the primaries that you couldn't last -- this was the surgery that made me so nervous that gave me the post war speech to think that i even had the energy to do it.
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brian: what was wrong with the heart? >> it started to deteriorate. the doctor said it will get worse, worse, worse. and you get the valve in -- just as it makes the turn. brian: you mentioned bill sapphire earlier and i want to show folks bill sapphire just talking about the writing. and the new york times hired him to be a columnist. i want to put him in context with your brand of conservatism. >> the top layer is patriot. and beneath that, there's the mild paranoia. , and beneath that, there's very good to people who work with him and thoughtful and not at all abusive. underneath that, a hard liner.
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brian: he was a word smith and wrote speeches and did his column in the "new york times." were the two of you on the political spectrum? mr. buchanan: bill sapphire was regarded when he came aboard -- but he had been with nixon in 1960. bill was one of the people -- four or five people in new york, he said you've got to go see bill sapphire and come down here and see sandy quinn and these people who are loyalists who were considered people that he talked to and they ought to come to know me. my read own sapphire that he was basically a new york -- new york liberal republican. very comfortable with rockefeller, lindsay and nixon. he worked for nixon was loyal to him personally. he was a word smith and a writer. he was on the other side on arguments. i was basically very close to being a solid goldwater conservative. ray price and sapphire were
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regarded as moderate liberal -- liberal republicans. i remember when bill sapphire was hired at the end of nixon's first term partly due to the agnu speech. all these liberal newspapers were biased and overwhelming. so they hired bill sapphire and saltburger. they said they needed a condition serve active -- conservative on the page. it was on the summary that bill had been fired. he wrote a note. sapphire a conservative? him.ody tell [laughter] we all had a great laugh. but bill went on to win a pulitzer prize. bill was the one that worked on the speech, the famous speech where wage and price controls -- going off the gold standard.
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it was a great opportunity and a great moment. brian: here's a moment that you also write about. this is at nixon's funeral in 1993. it's only about 20 seconds. >> he felt a tremendous sense of loss because he depended on pat. she was a very strong woman. she never did leave him or turn her back on him in any of the controversial things he was involved with him. he leaned on her and depended on her. brian: you worked closely with her in 1966. mr. buchanan: she was a great lady. brian: what did she do -- the two of you were working together. mr. buchanan: she would call herself mrs. ryan. she was in the same office with rose wood and me. i remember one of them called up and said i'd like to talk to
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vice president nixon. and she said, well, he's busy right now. i'm a personal friend of pat nixon. [laughter] and she smoked. and i was a chain smoker then. i said mrs. nixon you have a couple of marlboros? she was a very strong lady. she had a good sense of humor and she was -- she was -- she was a realist. i just liked her very much. i remember after i testified, the watergate testimony worked so well, the president said come over to the mansion. about 6:00, i was having a party in my office. i went over there and she comes running up. and she walzes me all around in the room after i testified. but she was a reserved, but she was a great lady.
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julie has written just a wonderful book about her. brian: what did you think of the media coverage of her and over your life time, when do you recognize that the media is being against someone in politics? what's the giveaway? mr. buchanan: how was she treated? brian: yes. mr. beau can than: she's sort of plastic pat. she stand there behind him. doesn't move. maintains the same posture or facial expression. and that wasn't her at all. when do you discover that the media -- when i first went to work for nixon, there was an early 1966 and sapphire says regularly he would say the press is the enni. remember that. i had gone to journalism school. worked at "the globe democrat"." and i just didn't believe they were the enemy. i knew nixon had gotten a
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horrible press for years. but i think even all of us, you ake ray price -- it was with "the herald" tribune." i think they all came to believe they really had it for nixon. who is the fellow who said you cannot be an intellectual and have voted for richard nixon. you just cannot be that. a conservative campaign. law and order, things like that but it was an internationalist not a globalist. in all of these things were not that different from kennedy's positions, jack kennedy. and kennedy was more conservative in terms of bear any burden and all the rest of it. yet, there was a hostility to nixon that i had never seen
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before and until we get to trump. of course, president trump . ghts differently trump just fights back daily. brian: i don't know if you remember this. this is october the 24th, 1999. see if you remember this. >> tomorrow, pat buchanan is announcing that he will be a candidate for the presidency on the reform vote. >> i just think it's ridiculous. i guess he's an anti-semite. he doesn't like the blacks. he doesn't like the gays. it's just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy. maybe he'll get 35% of the vote and it will be a really stanch whacko vote. i'm not sure it's right. it's just a whacko vote. i just can't imagine that anybody can take him seriously. brian: what do you think when you see that? >> that's when we announced.
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i felt we could beat trump with the nomination and i felt we could. brian: the reform party? mr. buchanan: and we got the nomination. i look at those and you find out those are really terms of endearment [laughter] i look at that and i do laugh. , a number ofy this years ago i got a call from donald trump. . he was very gracious. he said he regretted it. and was very gracious about it. and so -- you know, and i supported him almost 100%. supported a lot of his positions because he came out with those positions. voted for him in the virginia primary. i voted for him in the general election. and so i hope the president is a success. brian: who is more honest in the public light? donald trump or pat beau can man?
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mr. buchanan: it's what the nuns told me how to what. brian: when you said what you said, how often were you not telling the truth? and how often is he not telling the truth? mr. buchanan: i don't think trump -- i think trump says what he believes and tweets what he believes. brian: he believe you're a hitler follower. mr. buchanan: it's what he felt at the time. i think that was part hi motivated by the fact that if he the reform party nomination that he was out of the race and it might have looked like -- i don't know his motives. it the reform party would have would have gotten in and he wouldn't get in. brian: called you a whacko. mr. buchanan: i wish that would have been the worst i've ever been called. brian: have you always told the truth? >> i said what you do is -- i
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argue for a policy inside. and once the president decides you've got three choices, you go out and defend policy, the president stated. you keep your mouth shut or you get out. clearly i would explain policies like with nixon, i traveled with him to the middle east. we went through africa. an he was a critic of vietnam. he defended it everywhere he was because he saw himself, i think as almost an attorney for the governor -- government of the united states obligated to defend the policy and explain the policy. and it was really something to behold. he was great friend with rusk. and so i think -- you don't go out and tell a lie. but you do say here's why the president's doing this. this is why he thinks the china trip is good. you don't go out and think, jeez, i think this is going to
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blow up. [laughter] you have to. there are certain obligations you've got. in effect we're all attorneys. and we're giving it the best defense we can. i wrote the defense -- i've going to hanging on the wall the famous water-gate defense, in february 22, 1973. they are going in and out. and i said this doesn't sound right. but i got a note from president nixon. he told me, al told me you were a great devil's advocate. thanks for what you do above and beyond the call of duty. that's the job. it's not bad at ull. >> this book is called "nixon's white house war: divided america forever." our guest has been patrick j. buchanan. thank you very much. mr. buchanan: well, thank you.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] announcer: for free transcripts or to give us your comments q& t this program, visit us they are also available as podcasts. enjoyed this qou these. will also enjoy, john farrell talking about "richard nixon: the life." and our interview with evan thomas discussing his boo "being
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nixon: a mandy vided." you can search our entire video library at >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, the economic policy institutes darren cooper from george mason university mercades center discuss the pros an continues of raising the minimum wage. and a reporter for today reports on be sure to watch "washington journal," live on monday morning. join the discussion. unfoldsn, where history daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your
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cable or satellite provider. british prime minister theresa may answered questions from members of the house of commons with the first time last month general election. many questions focused on the investigation surrounding the building fire in west london that claimed the lives of more than 79 people. this is just under an hour. of the uk too. >> questions for the prime minister? >> thank you, mister speaker. the house will be aware that the prosecution service announced charging petitions and relations to hillsboro. i know from working with the families when i was home secretary this will be a day of miem


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