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Buchanan: If Trump Goes the Goldman Sachs Route, ‘That Would Be Fatal’ for His Presidency

Michael Morris Craig Millward
By Michael Morris and Craig Millward | March 21, 2017 | 3:27 PM EDT

Patrick Buchanan (AP Photo/Eric Draper)

Discussing trade policy and the Trump administration with Laura Ingraham on her nationally syndicated radio show, former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan declared that if Trump goes the Goldman Sachs route of globalism, “that would be fatal” for his presidency.

“But I will say, if Trump abandons that, then things are going to continue the way they are, and you’re not going to restore American manufacturing,” Patrick Buchanan said of President Trump if he uses a more globalist approach to economics.

“Well, see, you know,” Buchanan continued later, “that would be, frankly, that would be fatal, I think, for the Trump presidency.”

Below is a transcript of Patrick Buchanan’s comments on Laura Ingraham’s radio program:

Buchanan: “It looked like it's the Goldman Sachs folks in the White House versus the Bannon/Miller opposition. But I was surprised at how candid it was, how open it was and people commenting on each other and who's up, who's down. Reince Priebus is now moving toward the Bannon camp. It's like pre-World War I or something.”

Ingraham: “Pat, it's the enemy of my enemy is suddenly my friend. So, it’s like, wait a second.”

Buchanan: “I think the political folks would want, definitely, I mean –  My view has always been, you know, while Ryan and those folks disagree with Trump on the populist agenda, they have a conservative agenda also in which both sides agree.

“So I think that would eventually move Reince, who I think is basically a Capitol Hill Republican, basically into the camp working together with the populists. You're going to need both agendas to win this thing.”

Ingraham: “Well, I – Here's what I'm concerned about. And I just, I promised, and Bannon asked us at that CPAC thing he did, keep us in check. Make sure to keep us honest, and I took him at his word when he said that.

“My concern here, Pat, is the issues that flipped all of those old rust-belt states and all those blue states red, were the issues you have been talking about for decades, I've been talking about for at least 15 years, which is trade, immigration, economic nationalism, and a more judicious and pragmatic foreign policy.

“And yet, I see in key positions in the Treasury Department, and some even in the Justice Department, we have Bush loyalists in these positions.”

Buchanan: “You know, I agree with you to this extent. If you look at the makeup and the composition of the cabinet and the rest of it, I don't deny these are able folks. But if the agenda is going to be implemented, it’s going to rely more and more heavily on Donald Trump himself, who presumably understands what got him here and believes these things. I mean, take the trade issue. I mean, it's quite simple. You're going to need some kind of border adjustment tax or tariff, 10, 20 percent when goods [are] coming in. You cut taxes on American corporations that are here in the United States.

“I mean, this is the way to restore the balance, get rid of the trade deficits. The president knows this. I think the other folks know this. And you gotta rely on him to do it.

“But I will say, look, if he decides to go with the, you know, the old Goldman Sachs route, globalists, then the game is over, and all the effort is in vain. But I’m basically betting on Donald Trump himself.”

Ingraham: “Yeah, it’s up to him. I mean, you can’t be enamored if someone, just because they made $250 million and they sold their Goldman stock, especially after he spent so much of the campaign and the primary season blasting the sweetheart deals that Goldman got and the influence that the corporatists had on U.S. policy over the years. I mean, that’s gonna not work for him.”

Buchanan: “Yeah, go back to NAFTA in 1994. That was fundamentally not only a trade deal with Mexico, which Mexico then devalued, it was a bailout of Goldman Sachs, which was up to its ears in Mexican debt.

“And so all these folks, I mean, they are interested in the globe. They are the Davos people. And you know, they much more are familiar with Davos than they are Des Moines or Dubuque. And these are the folks that really cost the Republican Party and cost the country and denuded it of its manufacturing.

“But I think Trump, and he has people in there who are not only the political-types but the other types, economic-types that are economic nationalists, and that battle is underway. But I will say, if Trump abandons that, then things are going to continue the way they are, and you’re not going to restore American manufacturing.”

Ingraham: “Right, and I think, again, that’s the end of Trump. I mean, that’s the end of economic nationalism, populism, all of it.

Buchanan: “Well, see, you know, that would be, frankly, that would be fatal, I think, for the Trump presidency. These issues are gonna come back again and again because they came up from the people, they came up from what’s happening in the country. And I don’t think the American people or the folks who voted for him are going to go away.

“I mean, just like in Europe, I mean, you see these, the rightwing groups are falling short, but the centrist parties are all moving to the right because the issues are driving and pulling them that way.”