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Buchanan Would Pattern His White House Staff on Nixon, Reagan

January 13, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ If elected, Pat Buchanan says he’d hire a White House staff patterned on the best of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, singling out Nixon’s disgraced chief of staff as a master of structure.

Buchanan also said he would weigh an offer to be the No. 2 on a Republican ticket.

``I wouldn’t anticipate any offer, but if somebody came and said we’ve got to beat Clinton ... would you take it? Of course you’d consider it,″ he said in an interview on C-SPAN. ``Anyone who says `I’ll just rule that out’ is blowing smoke.″

Buchanan was asked how he’d change the White House apparatus if he became president.

``I’d bring in a chief of staff who was an executive type. I’d pattern my White House staff on the best of Richard Nixon and the best of Ronald Reagan,″ he said.

Buchanan, who worked as a speechwriter for Nixon, said H.R. Haldeman designed the best White House structure. ``Bob Haldeman was the chief of staff who did not go on television, did not do the negotiating with the Hill, he was the chief of staff to the president, ran the White House staff and made sure the president’s demands were met,″ Buchanan said. Nixon fired Haldeman as the Watergate crisis deepened.

If Bob Dole is nominated and elected, Buchanan said he believed he would serve one term, a ``capstone of his career,″ making the vice presidential selection very important.

He said Dole is treated as a nominee-in-waiting, yet ``he’s as weak a front-runner as anyone I’ve seen since Walter Mondale,″ the Democrat who lost in a landslide to Reagan in 1984.

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