Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Buchanan, Pat(rick Joseph) (1938– )
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US right-wing Republican activist and journalist. An outspoken, combative conservative, he challenged for the Republican Party's nomination for president in 1992 and 1996. He ran populist campaigns, critical of abortion, illegal immigration, and the big business elite and seeking support from the religious right and blue-collar workers, but failed to win more than 20% support. In 2000, he ran as a presidential nominee of the Reform Party and subsequently became a critic of President George W Bush. Although a TV and radio commentator, he often attacked the mass media.

Buchanan was special assistant and speechwriter to President Richard Nixon 1966–73, and was President Ronald Reagan's White House director of communications 1985–87. In 1993 he became chair of his own broadcasting company. An advocate of protectionism, the outlawing of abortion, an end to US participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions, and a moratorium on immigration, from 1992 he was chair of the American Cause protectionist group. He worked as a political commentator with the Cable News Network from 1982 and became chair of his own broadcasting company in 1993.

Born in Washington, DC, into a large Irish Catholic family, he was educated at Georgetown and Columbia universities, and worked as a journalist on the St Louis Globe-Democrat 1962–65 before taking a job in Nixon's law firm. When Nixon became president in 1969, it was Buchanan who prepared his daily briefing. Buchanan attacked the television networks, which he believed were under the control of antigovernment liberals and were too influential. In the book Conservative Voters, Liberal Victories (1975), Buchanan attacked the media for undermining public support for the Vietnam War. From 1978 to 1982 he introduced the commentary programme Confrontation on NBC radio. He was moderator of the TV show Capital Gang 1988–92 and editor of the newsletter PJB – From the Right 1990–91.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article Republican Party, 1968–2008
The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History

When former vice president Richard M. Nixon became the Republican Party nominee for president in 1968, the GOP was deeply divided between its modera

Full text Article Shultz, George Pratt
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US Republican politician, economics adviser to President Reagan 1980–82, and secretary of state 1982–89. Shultz taught as a labour economist at the U

See more from Credo