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Buchanan Urged To Go Independent

Sat., March 30, 1996

The majority of Pat Buchanan supporters called to a strategy meeting urged the conservative commentator to leave the Republican Party for an independent presidential run, but he was noncommittal, campaign and other sources said Friday.

Buchanan said very little at the Thursday session, intently listening to supporters called in from around the country to assess campaign strategy after a streak of 25 March presidential primary losses to Bob Dole, according to several sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Buchanan and top aides declined public comment on the session. Buchanan was said to be resting after three months of non-stop campaigning. As of Friday, he had no public events planned for the next week. After that, aides said it was Buchanan’s plan to campaign in several of the remaining GOP primary states, even though Dole has secured the nomination.

Three participants in the session said most of the state Buchanan campaign leaders in attendance spoke in favor of launching an independent campaign. Some said Buchanan should at least wait to see how he and his agenda are treated at the Republican National Convention.

Buchanan said he wanted to rest and would consider the suggestions, but otherwise spoke very little.

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