Palin backed Buchanan in 1999

Chris Hayes of The Nation has uncovered an AP report from 1999 about Pat Buchanan’s campaign for the 2000 Republican nomination:

Pat Buchanan brought his conservative message of a smaller government and an America First foreign policy to Fairbanks and Wasilla on Friday as he continued a campaign swing through Alaska. Buchanan’s strong message championing states rights resonated with the roughly 85 people gathered for an Interior Republican luncheon in Fairbanks. … Among those sporting Buchanan buttons were Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and state Sen. Jerry Ward, R-Anchorage.

Yes, that Pat Buchanan. And if you think Buchanan’s racist, anti-Israel, Holocaust-minimizing, anti-gay and borderline antisemitic views are a recent phenomenon, the Anti-Defamation League provides a handy compendium of Buchanan quotes from 1999 and before.

Now it’s possible that in 1999 Palin was a naive young innocent of 35 who was unfamiliar with Buchanan’s obnoxious views on these matters. I would hate to think that she was familiar with those views and supported him anyway.

Whatever: she owes us an explanation of why she supported Buchanan, what she believed then and what she believes now.

(Hat tip: The Stump.)

Update: According to Ben Smith at Politico:

[Palin] promptly responded to the [AP] story in a letter to the editor, that “the article may have left your readers with the perception that I am endorsing this candidate, as opposed to welcoming his visit to Wasilla. As mayor, I will welcome all the candidates in Wasilla.”

She didn’t denounce him, as many members of the Jewish community did at the time for his doubts about America’s commitment to Israel and Israel’s role in American policy. But she didn’t back him either: She was an official of Steve Forbes’ campaign that cycle, also according to the AP.

Still, welcoming the disgusting Buchanan by wearing one of his buttons betrays, at best, a serious lack of knowledge about him.