Buchanan speaks to crowd of University law students

Reform Party presidential candidate Pat Buchanan visited the University’s Law School on Wednesday to discuss his reasons for leaving the Republican Party and his views on abortion and civil rights.
The 200-strong, primarily law- student audience listened for 20 minutes as Buchanan offered up his conservative views. Of particular interest was his stance on African-Americans.
“No group of black people anywhere on earth has won the same measure of individual freedom, achievement and personal wealth and income as have African-Americans,” he said.
Several members of the audience shook their heads in disbelief as Buchanan answered a question about what he would do to improve African-American life in the United States — nothing.
Asked about the high number of prisoners compared to other countries, he said violent criminals should be locked up for good.
Buchanan ripped into his former party, saying he left in part because of Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s stance on RU-486, the recently FDA-approved abortion pill. Bush said he would support the pill if approved.
Buchanan said his pro-life values, among other ideas, no longer fit into the Republican Party ideologies. He spoke about the need for third-party voices to combat the bipartisanship that infects the federal government.
Most experts don’t expect Buchanan to have much affect on the Nov. 7 election. While Green Party nominee Ralph Nader is expected to steal votes away from Democratic candidate Vice President Al Gore, Buchanan should have little to no effect on Bush’s campaign.
His candidacy does present problems for the major candidates because of the unusually tight polls in the normally Democratic stronghold of Minnesota.
Recent media polls show Buchanan receiving less than 2 percent of the state vote. Meanwhile, Nader holds 3 percent.
Buchanan is not the only Reform Party candidate who will appear on Minnesota’s ballot this fall. John Hagelin, who lost a legal battle with Buchanan for the party’s $12.6 million in federal funding, will also be an option.

— Compiled from staff and wire reports.