Trump Quotes Pat Buchanan In Immigration Tweet

Stephen Silver

President Trump's political rise more closely echoed that of Pat Buchanan's presidential candidates than is often acknowledged. Buchanan, the former Nixon and Reagan White House aide who ran for president in 1992, 1996, and 2000, had also built his campaigns around immigration restriction, had also used the slogan "America First," had opposed NAFTA and other free trade agreements, and had also proposed building a wall along the border with Mexico.

Buchanan even told the Daily Beast in 2016 that Trump had "stole my playbook" for his own campaign, in a piece written by his longtime McLaughlin Group co-panelist Eleanor Clift.

"The people who like the Donald remember America as it was and don't really like what it's become," Buchanan said at the time.

Trump, on Sunday, seemingly returned the favor by quoting a Buchanan column in praise of Trump's stance in the current government shutdown battle over border security funding.

Who's quoting who is sort of confusing, thanks to Trump's usual odd Twitter syntax, but Trump is quoting Buchanan's syndicated column, from his website, which, in turn, quotes Trump himself. Various accounts have stated that Trump was quoting directly from the white nationalist website VDare, but Buchanan's column was syndicated in various places, including that site.

"The Trump portrait of an unsustainable Border Crisis is dead on," Trump says, quoting Buchanan, before switching to a line from his own address last Tuesday. "In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with Criminal Records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes & 4000 violent killings. America's Southern.......Border is eventually going to be militarized and defended or the United States, as we have known it, is going to cease to exist...And Americans will not go gentle into that good night. Patrick Buchanan. The great people of our Country demand proper Border Security NOW!"

Buchanan, who had a long career as a television pundit after his White House stints, ran a primary challenge against President George H.W. Bush in 1992, and ran in the Republican primaries again in 1996, winning the New Hampshire primary, but ultimately losing the nomination to Bob Dole.

Buchanan left the Republican Party and ran as a Reform Party candidate in 2000, a campaign best known for the "butterfly ballot" causing many confused voters to accidentally vote for him. Ironically, Trump himself briefly considered running for president in 2000, also as a candidate in the now-defunct Reform Party.