WASHINGTON — White House communications chief Patrick J. Buchanan said today he will not run for President, ending weeks of speculation that he might enter the race as a champion of conservative causes.
"Having explored this matter for several weeks, I reluctantly yield to the argument that a Buchanan candidacy launched in the near future would fractionate--and embitter--not unite, the leadership and rank and file of the conservative cause," Buchanan said in a statement.
Buchanan, a one-time speech writer in the Nixon Administration, has been the White House's most outspoken defender of President Reagan, accusing Republicans of abandoning the President in the Iran- contra scandal to protect themselves politically.
Ruling out a presidential race, Buchanan said that many conservatives had urged him to run.
"Others--some of the oldest friends I have in politics--have said pointedly that a Buchanan campaign would be the Pickett's Charge of the American Right, that its only certain and predictable consequence would be to 'mortally wound' the campaign of Congressman Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.), whose service to the cause has earned him an unimpeded shot at the nomination," he added.