Pat Buchanan: McClellan Memoir an 'Act of Disloyalty'

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," May 29, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BILL HEMMER, CO-HOST: Back to the story on McClellan. Well, White House officials say he is flat out wrong and Bush reporters are asking why now. Former staffers generally stay true to the president they served but no so here.

We have Pat Buchanan, an advisor to Richard Nixon, as well as a former presidential candidate himself, two times, I do believe, right?

Video: Watch Bill Hemmer's interview


HEMMER: Three times, I'd get it right. His new book is called "Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War." A great book, by the way, it is thick and it is rich.

First, on McClellan. How do you read what is happening here, Pat?

BUCHANAN: I think it is an act of disloyalty to the president of the United States. I think Mr. McClellan is clearly been badly used in the Valerie Plame affair. I think he feels his credibility, his most priceless asset, was used up and wasted by Karl Rove and others who misled him and through (ph) him. The reporters and the press, and the country was misled. So, I think, there is real bitterness there.

I do think, though, substantively, he's probably right. I've always believed that George Bush's real motive in going into Iraq — first, I think he did decide upon it early in 2002, to go to Iraq, when he went in in 2003, and I do believe the whole idea was an invasion in order to establish a democracy in Iraq as part of this utopian idea that we're going to democratize the Middle East, liberate Baghdad, Iran will see how well we have done. They will overthrow that regime. They'll be peace between the Palestinians.

The president of the United States was sold a bill of goods by his neoconservative advisors, I think. And you see it in all his speeches. He believes this theory, this theme. He comes back to it again and again.

I've analyzed eight of his key speeches and you can see it. He's a true believer. I think he used weapons of mass destruction. I think, maybe, he believed they had them. And he used that because that is a powerful argument.

HEMMER: Here's the thing that I can only analyze and that's what Ari Fleischer comes on and tells us about his experience because he was the boss of Scott McClellan. And what he tells us consistently is that McClellan never had an issue, and if he did, he never raised it, in fact.

BUCHANAN: I mean, I agree. Oh, I think that the criticism of McClellan is purely justified by the White House aides. My guess is they're telling the truth. They're saying they sit down there in Crawford with McClellan, he's perfectly happy with what's going on. I think this is something that Scott McClellan came to after he left the White House, and, frankly, my guess is that the publishers pushed him to hype his dissent in order to sell this book and he's doing pretty well. I know I'm out there trying to sell mine and I think it went right by it (ph) yesterday.

HEMMER: Listen, I want to give you your fair due. We've got breaking news in Texas. It's a book that's called "Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War." You talked a lot about Churchill making colossal blunders in this book — that led to the destruction of millions of people throughout the continent of Europe going back to the '30s and 1940's.

What is the message we carry from that today?

BUCHANAN: The message you carry from that was the worst mistake in British history was giving a war guarantee to a group of Polish colonels who had participated in the rape of Czechoslovakia and telling them the British Empire would go to war on their behalf if they defied Hitler over the matter of a tiny Baltic town called Danzig, and they held to it, on to it, when even the British statesman thought it should be returned.

Giving that war guarantee, the British declared war. They lost the empire. The winner of the war was Stalin. He got Poland. He got Eastern Europe. Britain lost it all.

HEMMER: Congratulations on the book.

BUCHANAN: Thank you very much, Bill.

HEMMER: I wish we have more time, OK? "The Unnecessary War," Pat Buchanan.

BUCHANAN: Thank you.

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