Michael Reagan, son of late President Ronald Reagan, predicted a rousing GOP triumph on Election Day and blasted "old dog" Republicans he says are posing as grass-roots conservatives, telling them, "Please leave the room and leave this to us."
Reagan's remarks in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview reflected the recent tension between the conservative and establishment factions of the Republican Party.
The interview with the syndicated columnist, author, and Newsmax contributor followed his recent speaking engagement at a get-out-the-vote rally on behalf of Nevada GOP Senate contender Sharron Angle.
Angle is vying to unseat incumbent Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, and polls show her leading by a narrow margin.
"It's great to see Sharron fight the good fight, fight the battle," Reagan told Newsmax Monday. "You know, what's really interesting to watch is some of these old-dog Republicans out there who are trying to figure out what the heck is going on with the Americans for Prosperity movement, the tea party movement and all this."
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"And now they're trying to find their way into the room like, 'Oh we've been here all the time.' And you're going like, 'You haven't been here all the time. Please leave the room and leave this to us. Leave it to grass roots,'" Reagan said.
Reagan described the tea party movement the most significant conservative uprising since his father was in the Oval Office.
"It's wonderful to see grass-roots America rise up again as they did back in 1980 when they elected my father to be the president of the United States of America," Reagan told Newsmax. "It's the greatest movement of grass-roots America since then."
Reagan says an Angle victory over the majority leader would be "so significant" and would "mean big things." But Reagan warned that Republicans must be ready to respond immediately on Nov. 3. President Obama and Democratic leaders will go to work immediately after the election to push lame-duck session legislation before a more conservative Congress takes power.
"We have to be prepared to fight the battle from Nov. 3 all the way through," he said.
Reagan also shared with Newsmax his take on important races that will be decided Tuesday:
- He credits the conservative the Americans for Prosperity organization for GOP businessman Ron Johnson's surge against incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. "When Wisconsin flips from being a blue state to a red state, the people who should be applauded are those who run the Americans for Prosperity. Not Michael Steele, not the RNC, but the Americans for Prosperity here, who have been working every room for the last two-and-a-half years to make this change happen in this state. They need to be applauded."
- Reagan predicts that the Washington state Senate contest, pitting Republican Dino Rossi against Democratic incumbent Sen. Patty Murray, will be "the key race that says whether we take over the United States Senate or not. If Rossi can beat Patty Murray, that could very well be the 10th seat." Reagan expressed concern that election officials in Washington and other states mailed out military ballots too late to U.S. service personnel for them to be returned by the necessary deadline to be counted.
- He's been "very disappointed" with the California races of GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. "I was saying not too many weeks ago that I thought the brain-dead wing of the Republican Party was running the Carly and Meg campaigns for governor and Senate."
- He sees the West Virginia Senate race between GOP candidate John Raese and Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin as a tossup. Turnout will determine the outcome. "I think this time you see a lot more Republicans, a lot more conservatives, show up at the polls. And I think that's what makes the difference in West Virginia."
- He thinks Republicans will come close to grabbing control of the Senate. "But I think still the Senate will probably, most likely, be held by the Democrats," he said. "And, of course, there will be a big switch in the House of Representatives."
- After Nov. 2, Republicans must come up with a positive program to put forward for America, and conservatives must work to ensure politicians follow through on their promises to reduce government spending.
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