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VENTURA WON'T SUPPORT BUCHANAN IN ANY CASE

Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, the highest elected official from the Reform Party, says he will not endorse Pat Buchanan even if he wins the party's presidential nomination next year.

"No, no, I don't think I can support him," Ventura told USA Today in an interview appearing in Thursday's editions. "I find him very shallow. He says he is a grass-roots guy, but I find that fraudulent."

While Ventura has been cool to Buchanan's candidacy in the past, his remarks in the interview -- conducted in his office in St. Paul, Minn. -- apparently were his most pointed to date.

The governor said the Reform Party needs a centrist candidate and that although Buchanan has "softened his rhetoric," he remains a right-wing candidate determined to bring his conservative cadre into the party.

Ventura said that would harm the party's attempt to grow into a viable national alternative.

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