(CNSNews.com) - Reform Party Presidential hopeful Patrick J Buchanan has characterized Texas Governor George W Bush as a lightweight who is not ready to be the leader of the free world.
Buchanan made his comments during an appearance at the University of New Mexico. His visit to the state was one of the many he is making around the country in an effort to see and be seen by Reform Party members. The trip included a $100-a-person fund-raiser.
"I don't think he's got a clue," said the former columnist and television commentator. "He's an entertaining fella. He's a likable fella, but you look at him, and he just looks right through you."
Buchanan also promised he would be a factor in November. "This is not a two-way race between W and Albert," referring to Bush and Vice President Al Gore. "It's a three-way race with Pat Buchanan in it."
Buchanan also offered some comments about Gore and his policies, insisting the Democrat is committed to a "New World Order" that Buchanan insisted would hurt this nation's economy, military preparedness, and lead, to a series of bad trade treaties.
"If I ever take the oath of office...when my hand goes up, their New World Order comes crashing down," Buchanan said.
Addressing the Reform Party's platform that says little about social policy, including abortion and immigration - issues about which Buchanan has strong feelings - the candidate responded that he would not try to change the platform.
However, if nominated, Buchanan said he would issue what he called "a personal statement of my convictions and beliefs."
Buchanan said the statement would include his views on the Supreme Court.
If elected, Buchanan said he would "do what it takes" to stop illegal immigration and would also consider removing US troops now in Bosnia and Kosovo and placing them on American borders.