UNION CITY, N.J. - President Clinton yesterday used the launch of a computer education initiative to challenge the kind of economic populism that Pat Buchanan has used to move up the slate of GOP presidential contenders.
Mr. Clinton, acknowledging that "more and more of our families are working harder just to keep up," said Buchanan-type remedies would not cure Americans' economic anxieties.
"The answer to the problems from those who are not yet benefiting from the Information Age is not to try to put up walls or turn around and go back," Mr. Clinton told students and faculty packed in a gymnasium at Christopher Columbus Junior High School. "It is to keep going forward until every child and every family in every home, in every workplace," can reap the benefits of technology.
Mr. Clinton did not mention Mr. Buchanan by name or refer to the presidential contest. But he was clearly attempting to weigh in on why many Americans' incomes and hopes are stagnating at a time of strong corporate profits and record stock prices.
Mr. Buchanan, who finished a strong second in Monday's Iowa caucuses, has benefited from talking about economic grievances. He has forced others, most notably Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, to jump into the debate about waves of layoffs and other corporate behavior.
Even before Mr. Buchanan's successes, the White House faced a dilemma over how to send the message that the economy has improved under Mr. Clinton but that acute problems remain.
"More and more of our citizens are living better, but more and more of our families are working harder just to keep up," Mr. …