Arlington, VA (CNSNews.com) - Speaking to an audience that was both skeptical and cheering, presidential hopeful Patrick Buchanan attempted to sell conservatives on the Reform Party at the 27th annual meeting of CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.
After recounting the history of the conservative movement from Barry Goldwater to Ronald Reagan to the present day, Buchanan told the assembled activists, "Since Ronald Reagan returned to California a dozen years ago his movement has been wandering in the desert with no 'evil empire', no Cold War to unite us. We have subdivided into quarrelsome factions."
Buchanan then accused what he called "the big government beltway Republicans" of "being fellow travelers and secret collaborators of William Jefferson Clinton."
In his speech Buchanan railed against alleged Republican complicity in what he called "the unconstitutional and illegal war on Serbia," and American membership in such groups as NAFTA, GATT and the World Trade Organization.
Then using a line from his announcement speech for the Reform Party nomination, Buchanan accused the two major political parties of "becoming two wings of the same bird of prey, two annexes of that same national establishment that means to rule in perpetuity."
Buchanan went on to call the two party system, "a fraud, a sham a delusion."
He also had harsh words for other presidential candidates, especially Republicans George W. Bush and Senator John McCain, calling them "timid" and promising that he and the Reform Party would fight to end the U.S. Department of Education, racial preferences, abortion and increasing American membership in international organizations.
Recalling the young conservatives who followed Barry Goldwater in the 1964 election, he said, "If we have the courage of that generation of young conservatives who heard Barry Goldwater and devoted their lives to the causes he and Ronald Reagan pursued - if we do that we can and shall prevail." He then invited the activists to "come follow us."