(Editor’s note: The following is the first of a three-part series featuring the insights of Patrick J. Buchanan. Today’s interview focuses on how the media is treating President Trump compared to Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.)
There may be no person better positioned to put the fledgling Trump presidency in historical perspective than Patrick J. Buchanan. Mr. Buchanan served as a senior adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan. He was an insurgent, populist – and a highly controversial presidential candidate — who gave sitting President, George H.W. Bush, a run for his money in 1992. Today, Pat is one of America’s most astute political commentators and Éminence grise around Washington. He has authored a dozen books, including his latest, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.
We asked Mr. Buchanan to join us on Liberty Nation Radio for a wide-angle view of Trump in the pantheon of presidents over the last half-century, the behavior of the media and his oft-repeated pledge to “drain the swamp” while dwelling in it.
LN: I want to ask you for some historical perspective on the Trump presidency. Let’s start with the question of how the unrelenting assault on all things Trump by the left and their cohorts in the elite media compares in your mind to what was done to Presidents Nixon and Reagan?
Mr. Buchanan: I think the hostility toward Trump is as great as it was toward Richard Nixon and the desire to bring him down is as great or greater. With Nixon of course, he had a tremendously successful first term, winning the 49 state landslide in 1972. But when he stumbled and fell, it was like a pack of wolves that had fallen upon some animal that had broken its leg or something, which was a pretty good analogy.
I think with Trump; it’s almost from day one that they seem to be out to get him. There’s a real feeling, I think, in the deep state and among the beltway media that he’s an interloper, that he’s an illegitimate president. That he somehow managed to manipulate the process to get himself elected president of the United States and any rumor or allegation about the Russians were behind it, they seize upon and propagate. I mean, the goal is to bring down Donald Trump.
LN: How about “draining the swamp,” the theme of the Trump campaign, particularly in the final days of their stunningly successful presidential campaign. Do you feel like Trump remains truly committed to this “draining of the swamp,” or has he, as some have asserted, started to become a captive of it?
Mr. Buchanan: Well, I think there’s no question that when Trump arrived in Washington and he came face to face with the entrenched elites — not only the Democratic Party and the media and the bureaucracy, and the liberal-dominated courts, and the left wing of the Democratic Party in Congress, but even parts of the establishment of his own party — he faced tremendous resistance, and he has not been able to staff up his government the way he should have, and it’s very tough to try and impose an agenda on this city, against which almost the entire city rebels.
So I think the point of your question is well-taken. Here and there, there have been accommodations in terms of what he pledged and promised and what he has said now he will accept. And I think it’s the only way he’s gonna get his agenda through. He is the indispensable man.
The indispensable man. Certainly, the supporters of President Trump agree with Buchanan on that score, regardless of what many believe are ginned-up scandals and self-inflicted wounds that have marked the first four and a half months of his administration.
In the second part of this series tomorrow, Pat Buchanan discusses whether President Trump’s unique position as an outsider is an asset or liability for his presidency, and what changes he would make if he were named Trump’s Chief of Staff.