Log Cabin Heralds Imminent Departure of Buchanan

Vindication Seen for Gay Republicans Seven Years After Infamous Anti-Gay Speech at '92 GOP Convention

October 14, 1999 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The nation's largest gay Republican organization applauded official confirmation today that television commentator Pat Buchanan will announce his departure from the Republican Party on October 25 at a news conference.

"This is vindication for all of us who stayed in the party and fought everything Pat Buchanan stands for," said Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "In 1992, it seemed to many that his intolerant and protectionist vision of America might win out inside our party. But the core values of individual rights, individual responsibility, less government and free markets have won out and the Party of Lincoln will be stronger without him and his extremist views."

"Buchanan's views have always been closer to those of George Wallace Democrats than to the core principles of the Republican Party," Tafel said. "In particular, the hatred and intolerance he has shown towards gays, Jews and racial minorities have been a cancer eating away at the Republican Party since 1992. By leaving on his own, he has spared us the surgery."

Tafel praised Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who is running for the 2000 GOP presidential nomination, for saying publicly that Buchanan's views do not belong in the Republican Party and welcoming his exit. Tafel joined McCain in arguing that Buchanan's departure will not hurt the GOP in 2000, but help the party with mainstream voters. "With far right extremists bolting the Republican Party, millions of mainstream Americans scared away in 1992 and 1996 will take a second look in 2000. Let's take up the fight for the American middle, and leave the fringes to people like Buchanan."

"The real losing strategy would be for Republicans to pander to Pat Buchanan and the people who share his views," Tafel said. "This is a defining moment for the Republican Party in the eyes of the average voter, much like the 1992 GOP convention. Back then, Buchanan got a prime time speaking slot. This time, he shouldn't let the door hit him on the way out. Furthermore, if he joins the Reform Party, he'll be joining a party that is pro-choice, libertarian on gay rights, anti-free trade and anti-big business. It's likely that blue-collar, pro-labor Democrats are much more likely to make up his core vote than Republicans." Log Cabin Republicans will host a Republican celebration event on October 25 in Washington, D.C. immediately following Buchanan's scheduled announcement.