The elites who run the Republican Party have lost the trust of the people after a quarter-century of pursuing Middle East wars and damaging trade policies, conservative commentator Pat Buchanan said Tuesday.
A former presidential candidate, who himself took on the bigwigs of the party, Buchanan said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the dominance of outsider candidates Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson demonstrate the failure of the elites.
“The Establishment has been discredited,” he said. “It is the elites of the country who are responsible, who have gotten us into all these wars, who have failed to secure America’s borders … Simple common sense is causing just hysterical reactions from the Establishment.”
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Buchanan cited House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as Exhibit A. Ryan blasted Trump’s recent proposal that the United States temporarily block entry by Muslims while the country reviews its visa and immigration procedures. He said the proposal violated American principles.
“He’s reading out of the liberal catechism,” Buchanan said.
He said the result could well be Trump strolling across the stage at the Republican National Convention next summer to accept the party’s nomination.
“They better line up a lot of grief counselors in Cleveland,” he said.
When he first ran for president in 1992, Buchanan sounded the alarm about the inevitable result of tearing down tariffs on products from developing countries. A level playing field would cause companies to move manufacturing from the United States, where workers earned $25 an hour, to places where firms could get away with paying $2 to $4 an hour.
“Twenty-five years later, the returns are in,” he said. “You lost 6 million jobs, manufacturing jobs, in the first decade of the 21st century, 55,000 factories.”
The only question is whether the Establishment will adopt new thinking, Buchanan said.
“They are incapable of doing that, in my judgment,” he said.
Buchanan pointed to a statement last week by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that there will be no vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal until after next year’s election. Buchanan said the only reason for that is to try to sneak it past a wary public.
“The party doesn’t want it,” he said. “The people don’t want it.”
Asked about speculation by Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes on whether Cruz will engage Trump at Tuesday’s GOP debate, Buchanan chuckled.
“Cruz’s strategy has worked exceedingly well,” he said. “Cruz is in the catbird seat. Why would he change a strategy that’s been working for him to follow the counsel of the Weekly Standard?”