TOPICS > Politics

New Hampshire Fallout

February 21, 1996 at 12:00 AM EDT

KWAME HOLMAN: Pat Buchanan didn’t waste any time leaving New Hampshire last night after his primary victory. Sporting a wide grin, he held up the first edition of Wednesday’s “Manchester Union Leader,” then turned and boarded his jet for a late-night flight to South Carolina, site of the March 2nd primary. This morning, Buchanan held a brief news conference in Columbia and reiterated his commitment to what he called right-to-life issues.

PATRICK BUCHANAN, Republican Presidential Candidate: (South Carolina) Neither Senator Dole nor Lamar Alexander have made such commitments, and that’s why it is imperative that the right-to-life movement unite now. United, we win; divided, we cannot.

KWAME HOLMAN: This afternoon, Buchanan traveled on to North and South Dakota. Both states hold primaries next week.

PATRICK BUCHANAN: You heard that movie “Sleepless in Seattle?” I got a new one called “Clueless in Washington!” That whole establishment up there, they don’t know what’s going on out in America.

KWAME HOLMAN: New Hampshire’s second place finisher, Sen. Bob Dole, wife Elizabeth, and his top campaign aides left the state in a driving rainstorm this afternoon. Dole also planned campaign stops in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Colorado. But before leaving New Hampshire today, Dole held one more news conference and talked about his narrow loss to Pat Buchanan.

SEN. ROBERT DOLE, Republican Presidential Candidate: (New Hampshire) I’ve never given up easily in my life. And I’m not going to give up, obviously, now. This is a little bump in the road but not a very big bump. I keep counting those figures, now we’re fraction-adding them. It looks a little better if you put fractions in there. So we’re doing a lot of things to make it look like a dead heat. (laughter in crowd) And I think North Dakota will be a dead heat.

KWAME HOLMAN: Dole was asked what kind of effect Buchanan’s rise in popularity would have on the Republican Party?

SEN. ROBERT DOLE: Well, you know, if I thought that this was any indication he’d be the nominee, I’d be a little worried. But this is not. I mean, if this was–the fact that he won by a narrow margin in New Hampshire, the second real state in the process, with 26 to go in the next 30 days, I’d be nervous. Now, if we’re back here on the 5th of March and we’re holding a press conference say in Boston, and he’s swept New England and won all the others, then I’ll, I’ll be a little concerned. But this is just one, one stop on the way, one stop on the way. He’s gone to make his case, and he made it here fairly. We’ll see if he makes it in the Dakotas, and–but I wanted to leave this in a very positive–he won. Congratulations, Pat. We’ll see you at the next event. There are 26 of them this year, but if you win all those, uh, I’ll call you up. (laughter in room)

KWAME HOLMAN: As for Lamar Alexander, the third place finisher in New Hampshire, he’s short on money as he continues his campaign, but his problem this morning was the weather. Rain and fog delayed his flight out of New Hampshire, forcing him to scrap plans for an afternoon rally in Marietta, Georgia. The former Tennessee governor eventually was able to fly out in time to attend a rally this evening in South Carolina.

LAMAR ALEXANDER, Republican Presidential Candidate: (South Carolina) My goal has always been that as we came out of the New Hampshire primary, I would have a chance to be one of those who has a–have a chance to be one of those on the stage and the one of those who would be most likely to unite our party and to beat Bill Clinton. Pat Buchanan won the New Hampshire primary. Give him credit for that. Bob Dole lost, but I believe that coming out of yesterday, I am the real long-term winner, with the best chance to unite the Republican Party, defeat Buchananism, and beat Bill Clinton. Thank you.