What was won?
The ability to continue the program.
Buchanan announced his departure from the Republican Party in October 1999, disparaging them (along with the Democrats) as a "beltway party." He sought the nomination of the Reform Party. Many reformers backed Iowa physicist John Hagelin, whose platform was based on Transcendental Meditation. Party founder Ross Perot did not endorse either candidate for the Reform Party's nomination. (In late October 2000, Perot publicly endorsed George W. Bush, but Perot's 1996 running-mate, Pat Choate, would go on to endorse Buchanan.)
Supporters of Hagelin charged the results of the party's open primary, which favored Buchanan by a wide margin, were "tainted." The Reform Party divisions led to dual conventions being held simultaneously in separate areas of the Long Beach Convention Center complex. Both conventions' delegates ignored the primary ballots and voted to nominate their presidential candidates from the floor, similar to the Democratic and Republican conventions. One convention nominated Buchanan while the other backed Hagelin, with each camp claiming to be the legitimate Reform Party.
Ultimately, when the Federal Elections Commission ruled Buchanan was to receive ballot status as the Reform candidate, as well as about $12.6 million in federal campaign funds secured by Perot's showing in the 1996 election, Buchanan won the nomination.
In his acceptance speech, Buchanan proposed
- US withdrawal from the United Nations and expelling the UN from New York,
- abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Housing and Urban Development,
- abolishing taxes on inheritance and capital gains,
- and abolishing affirmative action programs.
As his running mate, Buchanan chose African-American activist and retired teacher from Los Angeles, Ezola B. Foster.
Buchanan was supported in this election run by future Socialist Party USA presidential candidate Brian Moore, who said in 2008 he supported Buchanan in 2000 because "he was for fair trade over free trade. He had some progressive positions that I thought would be helpful to the common man."
On August 19, the New York Right to Life Party, in convention, chose Buchanan as their nominee, with 90 percent of the districts voting for him.
In a campaign speech at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, Buchanan attempted to rally his conservative base:
God and the Ten Commandments have all been expelled from the public schools. Christmas carols are out. Christmas holidays are out. The latest decision of the United States Supreme Court said that children in stadiums or young people in high school games are not to speak an inspirational moment for fear they may mention God's name, and offend an atheist in the grandstand …
We may not succeed, but I believe we need a new fighting conservative traditionalist party in America. I believe, and I hope that one day we can take America back. That is why we are building this Gideon's army and heading for Armageddon, to do battle for the Lord. …
In the 2000 presidential election, Buchanan finished fourth with 449,895 votes, 0.4% of the popular vote. (Hagelin garnered 0.1 percent as the Natural Law candidate.)