Trump loves Ronald Reagan, but Reagan never liked him back and neither do his three living children.
Republicans love comparing themselves to Ronald Reagan and Trump is no exception.
Take for example his name-dropping tweet, posted less than two weeks prior to his inauguration.
An old picture with Nancy and Ronald Reagan. pic.twitter.com/8kvQ1PzPAf
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017
In recent years, it has become de rigeuer among ambitious Republican politicians to heap effusive praise on the late President Ronald Reagan, lauding him as the paradigm of conservative leadership to which they aspire, and then—subtly or not so subtly—casting themselves as his heir apparent.
Even Donald Trump… is not above this name-dropping ritual. Seemingly apropos of nothing this afternoon, the president-elect shared “an old picture” with his close pals, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, as if he had happened upon it while perusing old photo albums. Just two kindred spirits sharing a moment, you see.
However, as The Washington Post reported in June 2016, “The Reagan White House viewed Trump and his ‘large ego’ warily.”
Trump has routinely compared himself to Reagan and embellished his ties to the GOP icon… [however] A review of every Trump mention in the Reagan files shows that White House aides spent much of the 1980s trying to gently reject the mogul’s self-aggrandizing overtures without bruising that “large ego” of his. [emphasis added]
The Washington Post goes on to list seven examples of Ronald and Nancy Reagan as well as the Reagan White House snubbing Trump, to include the following telling piece of information regarding the image that Trump tweeted on January 9th of this year:
Back in 1983, Trump snagged a picture with the president during a photo line at a White House event. The president, not paying close attention, signed it “Reagan Reagan.” Five years later, Trump included the image in his book “The Art of the Deal.” An aide in the social secretary’s office noticed the mistake. She sent an apologetic note and a corrected picture — signed with an autopen.
In all fairness, were Ronald Reagan around today – he would despise Trump, or at least his politics. Check out The Washington Post‘s other examples as the way Nancy and Ronald Reagan as well as his White House dealt with Trump.
Reagan’s Daughter, Patti Davis
Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, confirmed as much during an interview by SiriusXM Progress in December 2015. Asked about Ted Cruz’s obsession with her father, she broadly answered the question in regards to all the Republican hopefuls, saying: “But yet, they are so not like him. My father would be so appalled at what’s going on — he would be so appalled at these candidates. I don’t think he would be a Republican. If another Ronald Reagan came along right now, I don’t think the Republican Party would accept him.”
In her Facebook rebuke, Davis recounted how her father had survived John Hinckley, Jr.’s assassination attempt, which Hinckley had said was inspired by a movie. She then told Trump his “glib and horrifying comment” was heard by many — including those who could be incited to violence if given the idea.
“Yes, Mr. Trump, words matter,” Davis said. “But then you know that, which makes this all even more horrifying.”
More recently, Davis published a scathing blog post ripping Trump on July 12, 2017, writing in part:
In six short months Donald Trump, the president who doesn’t know how to be one, has tipped America off its position as the most powerful country in the world and left us scrambling in the dust, trying to remember who we are and who we are supposed to be on the international stage… [W]hat is particularly sobering is how quickly power can be dismantled. Our democracy was supposed to be invincible — that’s what many of us had come to believe. But that isn’t true. One man, whose arrogance and ego lead him trippingly into chaos of his own making, can turn a shining city on the hill into a shadowy, tawdry replica of itself. Where once we had currency in the world, we are now left holding fool’s gold.
Reagan’s Oldest Son, Michael Reagan
And then there is Ronald Reagan’s son Michael, who made his opinion of Trump crystal clear in a series of tweets post on October 3, 2016.
Michael also noted that his father likely would have said something along the lines of, “I didn’t leave the Party, the Party left me.”
Huffington Post elaborated on what they called his “fiery tweetstorm,” reporting that:
“No way do I or would my father support this garbage,” Michael Reagan wrote …
“If this is where he is going I cannot follow him,” he continued, adding that his father would have probably reacted by saying something like: “I didn’t leave the Party, the Party left me.”
Reagan also urged Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, to take a stand against Trump.
“Getting [to] a Point with Trump where I just don’t give a shit,” Reagan wrote.
In another tweet, he posted: “My father would not support this kind of campaign, if this is what the Republican Party wants leave us Reagans out. Nancy would vote for HRC,” adding in a subsequent tweet that: “Jane Wyman was my mother but I can tell u that Nancy would vote for Hillary and was appalled to hear people say he reminds them of RR.”
Ronald Reagan’s son, Ron, Jr.
That takes us to Ronald Reagan, Jr. who, as a regular commentator for MSNBC News and other media outlets, has been vocal about Trump the last couple of years.
Most recently, he went ballistic on Trump during an October 25, 2017 appearance on MSNBC‘s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” arguing that Trump is a “deeply damaged human being” who “needs to be removed” from office.
Reagan, Jr. began by stating that “Trump is a deeply damaged human being. He’s a sociopathic, malignant narcissist.”
Continuing, he stated that America’s antiquated electoral system created Trump.
“[T]he electoral system, not the American people, but the electoral college, has sort of vomited this thing up and it landed in the Oval Office,” he said.
Continuing to refer to Trump as “it” instead of using his name, Reagan concluded his rant declaring that “[I]t needs to be removed. It’s a stain, it’s a big glob on the carpet there. It needs to be removed and that means impeachment or the 25th Amendment. This man is a danger to the world.”
Reagan also told Chris Matthews back in August of this year that Trump was “pathological in his behavior.”
Speaking of Trump, Reagan told Matthews:
You know, we`re really genuinely worried, and with good reason, that the very sober people are worried that this man is simply unfit for office. Character, logically, emotionally, mentally, he does not have the stability it seems to hold the office.
Speaking of Gen. Kelly’s inability to control Trump, Reagan Jr. concluded his remarks telling Matthews:
[Y]ou can`t control a President who is pathological in his behavior. It is not that he`s not behaving as a normal President does. He is not behaving as a normal grown-up does. He doesn’t have the sort of human instincts.
You know whether it`s Charlottesville or something else. The boy scouts, for God`s sake, talking about going out on a yacht with a lot of women and a guy with a lot of money to the boy scouts, who does this? You know, what adult would stand there and say that? Or any of the – so many things that he says? He just doesn’t seem to have the instinct for the appropriate mature stance given whatever circumstances he`s facing.