Michael Reagan: Right Would Challenge My Father Today

Thursday, 03 Apr 2014 05:17 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Ronald Reagan would face his stiffest challenge from conservatives, not liberals, if he were to run for office today, political commentator and author Michael Reagan, son of the 40th president, says.

"The reality of it is, if Ronald Reagan were to run today in the United States of America or even for governor of California, there's a good chance that there would be an argument about him becoming governor or president and that would come from the right, it would not come from the left," Reagan told Newsmax TV's John Bachman, J.D. Hayworth and Ed Berliner on "America's Forum" Thursday.

Reagan is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and Chairman of the League of American Voters.

He maintains that the media machine is working against Republicans because GOP politicians are too worried about what conservative talk show hosts such as Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh will say about them to act.

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"They're frozen in time on what to do. Everybody on the planet knows you need an immigration policy, but everybody's afraid to put one forward because they do not know what the big three are going to say about it in talk radio the next day. The Republican Party needs to find its own message and take the message away from talk radio and others," he said.

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Asked what steps he would take to get the conservative media more friendly to Republicans, Reagan replied, "Quit looking for the perfect candidate and do the Ronald Reagan Rule. Do the 80-20 rule. Well you're not going to agree with somebody 100 percent of the time, but my God, don’t throw them under the bus. We…took Jeb Bush, we also took Marco Rubio when they tried to come up with immigration policy and threw them under the bus."

"The reality of it is we don't have such a large party that we can find ways to throw people off the bus. We need to bring people onto the bus," Reagan added.

As for how the party can appeal to Reagan Democrats who have voted for President Barack Obama in the last two elections, the younger Reagan said, "Ronald Reagan did exactly what Susanna Martinez did in New Mexico to win the governorship. They went to people, they weren't afraid to go into black areas, they weren't' afraid to go into Hispanic areas that weren't predominantly Republican areas but Democrat, and talked about shared values. They found issues that they agreed on instead of starting the conversation in areas where they always disagree.

"Reagan Democrats voted for Ronald Reagan because they liked him and he included them at the front end of the conversation, not at the back end of the conversation. When he walked into a room, he wanted to meet and greet everyone in the room. Everybody was his best friend. Mitt Romney? Nice guy, great governor, but the reality of this, he was looking for the back door when he walked in the front door. You can't do that."

He also said there is no guarantee the Republicans can win control of the Senate in national elections in November.

"There's no lead pipe cinch that they'll re-take the Senate of the United States. The problem here is, are we going to try to destroy the party on the way to taking on the Senate of the United States of America? We need to concentrate on winning the Senate instead of concentrating on beating each other at the ballot box and that's what we need to do. The Republican Party needs to have a message, a message of inclusion, not a message of exclusion."

He claimed that is what his father did and that is why he won the governorship of California and the White House.

"He had a message of inclusion within the party and we don’t have that really anymore within this party, and there's too much in-fighting going on in the party. There's too many people trying to find the perfect candidate, the perfect this, the perfect that," Reagan said.

There is no way that the GOP can regain the governor's mansion in California this year, Reagan says.

"There's not a chance for a Republican to win the governorship away from Jerry Brown in 2014. That's why I'm all over this state every week. I've been out fundraising at the local level so that we can take back the Assembly in this state, take back the Senate in this state."

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