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Trump Vs. Buchanan: Round 1

In this corner: he's got the money, he appeals to women -- of the supermodel variety at least, and with his moniker splashed in gold across sky-high buildings, Donald Trump has the name recognition for a presidential run.

In the other corner in this most unlikely of match-ups is Pat Buchanan, the family-values conservative who has made running for president something of a moral crusade every four years.

It's a slugfest worthy of one of Trump's casinos.


AP
...conservative columnist Patrick Buchanan.

"Perhaps we need Don King to moderate?" said Maurice Carroll, a political analyst with the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute. "Both of these guys are showmen. They like the attention ... and they're both smart. I wouldn't want to get in their way."

Buchanan, who says he feels abandoned by a GOP that's too close to the center, said on CBS News' Face the Nation Sunday he will announce his decision on making a move to the Reform Party in October.

Trump has an aide in Washington researching the cost and feasibility of getting on the 29 state ballots, plus the District of Columbia, that don't have permanent spots for Reform Party candidates.

And Trump has the Reform Party's highest-ranking elected official, Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, urging him to run. Buchanan, meanwhile, has Republicans praying he won't -- or he may take conservative votes from the GOP to the benefit of Democrats.

This weekend, Trump challenged Buchanan's provocative comments on Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Third Reich like a candidate-in-waiting. Buchanan argues in a new book that Hitler was not a direct threat to the United States after 1940.

But if Trump really is thinking of running for president he may have to work at his populist touch. In his biography, Trump: The Art of the Comeback, "the Donald" describes how he loathes shaking hands, because hands are crawling with germs.

"It's just a bad custom," he says in the book.

He's no fan of the double kiss either.

"There's nothing so phony," he told The New York Times recently. "You usually end up knocking heads or noses. And it's disgusting. Unless," he added slyly, "the woman is attractive."

Now picture the Donald working a campaign rope line of your average Americans or kissing babies.

And there's his flamboyant and well-documented personal life. Since divorcing second wife Marla Maples, Trump has appeared in gossip pages with a rotating array of gorgeous models on his arm.

And then there was that infamous New York Pot headline quoting Maples, then his girlfriend, trumpeting her trysts with him as the "Best Sex I've Ever Had."

Buchanan's press clippings, in which he rails against abortion, homosexuality and premarital sex, are equally controversial.

Trump characterized a potential match this way on Monday: "As much as I like Pat, it would be nasty."