The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Buchanan: The establishment can’t take the nomination away from the primary winner

On Tuesday’s episode of the “Laura Ingraham Show,” Pat Buchanan dismissed rumors that another candidate — such as Indiana Gov. Mitch DanielsLouisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — could be selected in a “smoke filled room” by a GOP leadership unhappy with Republican front-runners.

Buchanan, the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? and an active conservative since the 1960s, recalled that when a similar hijacking was attempted in the 1964 presidential election, it backfired on the so-called “establishment.” (RELATED: In search of the ‘Republican establishment’)

“What a joke,” he said. “Let me mention something — when I first went to work Richard Nixon, he’d been at the Cleveland governors’ conference, where [Republican moderates] George Romney, Nelson Rockefeller and Bill Scranton and Mr. Nixon were all conspiring on how to stop [conservative] Barry Goldwater” from getting the GOP nomination in 1964, Buchanan said. “And Nixon got a real lesson there and he told me when I came to work for in ’66 — he said, ‘Buchanan whenever you hear about the establishment getting together to stop x, put your money on x.’”

Buchanan explained some of the hurdles involved in taking a nomination away from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

“Now the idea if Newt Gingrich wins this and really starts rolling through primaries — that this can be taken away from him or from Mitt Romney if he wins it, is preposterous,” Buchanan said. “These delegates are all pledged to their guy. They go to the convention and if the two guys get there and the big establishment wants to throw them both out, they get together and form the ticket. It is absurd to think the so-called establishment can take anything away from the folks who have been out there really on the firing line.”

Buchanan did speculate what might happen if it were tried, however.

“Now these folks are out there fighting in the primaries, and some big establishment — some character are going to walk in and say, ‘We’re taking the nomination and conferring it on Mitch or the third Bush?’” Buchanan said. “You want to see a revolution, you would see it then. But they can’t do it.”

Follow Jeff on Twitter