It probably is no surprise to those of you who read this blog regularly to know that of Ronald Reagan’s two sons, my favorite is Ron, the left-leaning radio talk show host.
The Gipper’s other son, Michael — who also is a talk show host — tilts too far to the right for my taste. I once listened to him speak on a panel at the 1994 National Conference of Editorial Writers annual meeting in Phoenix. Oh brother, he was a serious loudmouth.
These days, Michael Reagan is making some sense as it regards whether the latest pending Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, deserves to be lumped with President Reagan.
In the view of the son: No way, man.
Trump shares none of the late president’s commitment to conservative principles, according to Michael Reagan, who told Smerconish that his dad wouldn’t vote for Trump if he were around today. Michael Reagan said he has no intention, either, of voting for Trump. And, no, he’s not going to vote for Hillary Clinton.
Moreover, Trump embodies none of Daddy Reagan’s good humor, his grace, class and dignity.
“There’s nothing really Reaganesque” about him, Reagan told CNN’s Michael Smerconish. “I mean, my father was humble. That’s not what you find in a Donald Trump, I might say.
“He wasn’t demeaning. He didn’t talk down to people. He talked with people, which is the complete opposite of what Donald Trump, in fact, does,” he said.
Reagan went on to mention the second debate in 1984 between his dad and Democratic nominee, former Vice President Walter Mondale. The president had done poorly in the first debate, causing some pundits to wonder out loud if he was suffering some mental slippage. The question came to him in the second encounter: Mr. President, are you up to the job? He answered, “I will not for political purposes exploit my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”
He brought the house down. The person who laughed the hardest was, that’s right, Vice President Mondale.
Michael Reagan sees none of that in Donald Trump.
Neither do I. Or a lot of others.