Political commentator Michael Reagan castigated Donald Trump and any GOP presidential contenders who are "looking to wrap themselves in the mantle of Ronald Reagan," telling Newsmax TV
they're doing a "disservice" to themselves and the esteemed former president.
In a fiery interview with "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth on Tuesday, the son of the 40th president chided Trump for his violations of the so-called 11th Commandment to never speak ill of another Republican.
"He's using my father on one side, and on the other side trashing everything my father, in fact, believed in," Reagan said.
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Reagan pointed to an interview Trump gave last week
in which he said "Ronald Reagan was a Democrat and he was sort of liberal… and he became a great conservative."
"If you think of it, he was a little bit less conservative than people think, but he had a great heart and I have a great heart."
Reagan said candidates need to talk about what they believe.
"If my dad were alive, what he'd be saying is this: 'Well, there they go'," Reagan said. "It's amazing how many of these people, including Donald Trump now, dropping my father's name to try and wrap them in the mantle of Ronald Reagan. Let's be honest, never going to happen with Donald Trump.
"These people looking to wrap themselves in the mantle of Ronald Reagan are doing a disservice to themselves and a disservice to my father. Wrap yourself in your own mantle, tell us who you are...."
"There's nobody I'm going to vote for because they remind me of my father," he added. "I'm going to vote for the person who is capable of leading this country. I'm not going to vote for somebody because, oh, they remind me of dad."
Reagan came down hard on Trump for bashing rival candidates — and his call to deny citizenship
to children born in America to the parents of illegal immigrants.
"I don't like and I don't appreciate the things he says about Jeb Bush, or what he says about [former Texas] Gov. [Rick] Perry or anybody else," Reagan said. "I want to hear what he's going to do and when he tells us what he's going to do, I can be for or against it...."
Reagan added Trump's controversial proposal to take "the birthright away from those who came here illegally and gave birth to their children… is never going to happen."
Hayworth pointed out there are arguments pointing to a portion of the citizenship clause in the 14th amendment that suggests citizenship is not a constitutional birthright – and that Congress could "change it by statute."
"There's not a court in the land that's going to overturn and step on the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution with having to do with birthright in this country," Reagan argued.
"I know there's people who say 'oh, if we just get the illegals out, if we just get that birthright away, that somehow things are going to be better in America.' That's not true. The problem in America is basically Americans."
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