1992 Republican National Convention

From Academic Kids

The 1992 Republican National Convention was held in the Astrodome in Houston, Texas from August 17 to August 21. The convention re-nominated President George H. W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle.

The convention is most remembered for the perception it generated of a Republican Party dominated by radicals. This was most emphasized by Pat Buchanan's famous opening night "culture war" keynote speech where he argued that a "religious war" was taking place in the United States between believers and secularists. Republican National Committee chairman Rich Bond when talking about the Democrats also stated that "we are America, they are not America". The Clinton campaign was quick to highlight such rhetoric and the media also gave them great prominence. This perceived radicalism motivated Democrats and drew moderates away from President Bush.

Some allege that the focus on values was a calculated attempt to shore up the conservative Republican base that had been drifting away from the president. Most involved in the campaign contend that the remarks were inadvertent, a product of insufficient scrutiny of speeches given by mavericks like Buchanan and slips of the tongue by men like Bond. They also point out that of the 128 speeches given at the convention very few of them focused on such themes.

Despite these issues, the convention did give the Bush-Quayle ticket a significant boost in the polls, though it still trailed Clinton-Gore by several points. However, the surge proved to be short-lived as Ross Perot re-entered the race and Clinton maintained a steady lead through to Election Day.

Another noteworthy event at this convention was Ronald Reagan's final major political speech, although it was somewhat overshadowed by Buchanan's address which immediately preceded it.

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