Bush, Buchanan supporters clash

February 09, 1992|By Knight-Ridder News Service

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Former President Ronald Reagan endorsed George Bush in a taped message last night, provoking a spirited intra-Republican Party ruckus night that required police officers to separate rival factions backing the candidacies of the president and Patrick Buchanan.

"No more lies," shouted the Buchanan supporters.

"Four more years!" chanted the Bush supporters.

As the groups surged toward each other on a crowded stairway in the hotel lobby, those carrying Bush and Buchanan signs found themselves in quarters so close that their respective signs pressed against one another.

"Bush is a liberal," chanted the Buchananites.

That is exactly what a high-powered group of GOP conservatives flown in for the evening said about Mr. Buchanan an hour before -- the adjective apparently being the worst insult one conservative can hurl at another.

"He is running as a liberal," said former White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu.

"There is one member of our team who isn't here tonight, and that is George Bush," Mr. Reagan said in his videotaped statement. "He's in Washington, wrestling with the liberals in Congress that are trying to block his agenda for your future. And, although now we face some hard times, I believe that the experienced leadership of George Bush is our best hope to build a stronger America."

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