Conservative author Pat Buchanan on Tuesday blasted President Barack Obama as a "drug dealer of welfare" and praised Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for starting a "great debate" with his comments about the 47 percent of Americans who he said were "dependent" on government services.

"This is what this campaign should be about," Buchanan told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. "You have in the United States of American something approaching half of the American people now who pay no income taxes and half of the American people who strictly get benefits from government."

Buchanan advised Romney to not write off all of the 47 percent of voters -- like some veterans -- who pay no income taxes, "but there are other folks, clearly, that are getting all these benefits that really just live off the benefits and aren't trying."

The former MSNBC contributor pointed to the rising use of a "narcotic" like food stamps to show that President Barack Obama had failed to prove that government could be effective.

"In that sense, if it's a narcotic, Barack Obama is a drug dealer of welfare," Buchanan charged. "He wants permanent dependency, in my judgement, of all these folks somehow getting federal benefits, benefits, benefits -- and paying no taxes."

Watch this video from Fox News' On the Record, broadcast Sept. 18, 2012.

(h/t: Mediaite)