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Buchanan hails Utah's Official English initiative


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Reform Party presidential candidate Pat Buchanan has endorsed Utah's Official English initiative and he urged Utah residents to vote for him to send a message to the Republicans.

``A vote for me would be a lesson that the people of Utah want a true conservative president, one who will stand up to the counterculture _ those who stand against what America is about,'' Buchanan said during a one-hour stopover at Salt Lake City Monday.

Regarding the initiative that would make English the sole language in which state and local government could conduct business, with some exceptions, Buchanan said: ``There are already too many things that divide us as a nation, language shouldn't be one of them. If we lose English as a bonding influence, we are going to lose our country.''

Buchanan called for stringent measures to stop illegal immigration from Latin America, along with a reduction in the number of legal immigrants allowed in.

``We need to bring our troops home from the Balkans. We need to defend our own borders, not countries halfway around the world,'' he said. ``We need to cut back on the (illegal-immigrant) invasion of this country _ cold.''

Buchanan said a ``Clintonized'' Republican Party is telling its conservative wing that it has to make a ``lesser of evils'' choice for George W. Bush or see another four years of Clinton-Gore.

The major party candidates are difficult to tell apart, he said. Both support foreign adventures with the U.S. military, both support NAFTA and the World Trade Organization and Bush has not set himself apart on abortion, Buchanan said.

``Maybe (Al) Gore is an exclamation point (to conservatives),'' Buchanan said. ``But Bush is a question mark.''

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