Romney 2016: Buchanan Says Why

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Rommney at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, on Aug. 30, 2012.

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Rommney at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, on Aug. 30, 2012.

Pat Buchanan, whom many will remember as one of the more extremist candidates to run for president in modern times, says mainstream America may be ready for Mitt Romney one more time.

“The establishment Republican Party is seeing that Chris Christie may not be able to do it, and that Jeb Bush does not look like he’s in fit running condition,” Buchanan said in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning.

“I think they’re looking to Romney because they’re looking for a candidate they think can move outside the red state base and move blue states, possibly,” he said on the show where he once served as a  political commentator.

Buchanan, who worked as an adviser, speechwriter and communications director for a few Republican presidents — Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan — says he sees something of his first boss in the Romney revival model.

“My view, though, is that though Romney is sort of the Nixon in the sense that he is a candidate who has lost two times, or three times, whatever, and he is considered a loser, however he is considered presidential material and I think a lot of people are looking at him because they think he’s the only guy who can go the distance.”

“There’s a lot of folks out there saying if one of the Tea Party folks wins, or one of the hard-line conservatives or libertarians say win we’re not going to win the election — he’s one of the few guys who can do it.[

Buchanan,who was a Tea Partier before there was one, a past and present commentator on this and other cable news networks, knows whereof he speaks when he speaks of political positions that have played to the Tea Party or libertarians yet not to the middle-ground voter critical to presidential elections. He ran for president in 1992, challenging the incumbent President George H.W. Bush with a platform of reining in immigration and opposition to abortion and gay rights.

He later rejoined party ranks and delivered a speech about the great cultural war at the 1992 Republican National Convention. The change that Bill and Hillary Clinton were advocating, he said, “is not the kind of change we can abide in a nation we still call God’s country.”

Buchanan ran again in 1996 and 2000, leaving the Republican Party for the Reform Party — and thanks to the infamous butterfly ballots in Palm Beach County, Florida, managed to claim some Democratic-rich condo precincts.

Buchanan’s experience running on the fringes of American politics may well have informed his current theory about Romney, the sort of candidate he would have been more likely to oppose, or even challenge, in the past. His theory also has a certain resonance in the title of his new book about Nixon: “The Greatest Comeback.”

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