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Buchanan, Dornan Attack Wilson and Court Conservative Republicans

March 25, 1995

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Presidential hopefuls Pat Buchanan and Bob Dornan courted conservative Republican activists Saturday and forcefully challenged Gov. Pete Wilson, who says he may also seek the GOP nomination.

Buchanan said if Wilson follows through on his promise to lead a fight to remove an anti-abortion plank from the Republican Party platform, he will ``have to walk right over me.″

Dornan, the Garden Grove congressman, said he would be ``a truth squad of one against Pete Wilson″ exposing the California governor’s liberal record.

While Buchanan and Dornan were attacking Wilson in his home state, the California governor was addressing newspaper executives in Arlington, Va. _ just across the river from Washington.

Buchanan, at the halfway point of a 12-day, nine-state announcement tour, described his candidacy as ``a continuation of a revolution that began in 1992″ in his unsuccessful race against then-President Bush for the Republican nomination.

He told a convention of the California Republican Assembly, a grassroots coalition of more than 100 local conservative political clubs, that he would stop illegal immigration and affirmative action programs and would never betray them by raising taxes.

Repeating themes from his campaign kickoff speech earlier in the week in New Hampshire, the former White House aide and television commentator said he is running against ``the social radicalism and the cultural radicalism of Bill Clinton.″

Buchanan made no reference to any of his rivals for the Republican nomination except Wilson, who entered the race with formation of an exploratory committee on Thursday.

He described Wilson as ``a leap-year conservative″ and compared his state tax increases to the federal tax hikes of Bush.

``I don’t care if it is our president, or our governor in Sacramento, it is wrong for Republicans to raise taxes,″ Buchanan said.

Without mentioning Wilson’s name, but clearly referring to him, Buchanan also challenged him on abortion.

``Any politician who will turn his back on the unborn will turn his back on you,″ Buchanan said.

While Buchanan was slightly indirect in his criticism of Wilson, Dornan attacked the California governor head-on in a separate keynote address to the CRA convention.

``Pete Wilson did not support Ronald Reagan. Pete Wilson gave us the biggest (state) tax increase in history. Pete Wilson is pro-abortion. Pete Wilson is for homosexual special rights,″ Dornan said. ``If I have to be a truth squad of one against Pete Wilson, I’m going to do it.″

Like Buchanan, Dornan laid out a staunchly conservative platform of ``faith, family and freedom″ with special emphasis on opposing abortion.

``Every abortion stops a beating heart. We can no longer go on killing 1 1/2 million babies in their mother’s wombs and expect God to bless this country,″ said Dornan.

Dornan, who plans to formally announce his candidacy on his 40th wedding anniversary on April 16, also criticized Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, another presidential hopeful who will address the same convention Sunday, for lobbying him to support Bush’s tax increases.

But Dornan had only praise for Buchanan and former Ambassador Alan Keyes, who is scheduled to announce his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination at the CRA convention on Sunday.