Michael Reagan tells The Wall Street Journal this weekend that there are many candidates and commentators who discuss and try to claim his father's aura and legacy, but most fall short – including Donald Trump.
The eldest son of President Reagan and heir to his conservative mantle, Reagan told the Journal he does not plan to participate in this year's presidential election
and will have nothing to do with either Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Reagan’s comments were detailed in a profile of him and his new book out this Tuesday — "Lessons My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity and Faith of Ronald Reagan."
The book, which Reagan says offers a personal side of the man only his family members saw, offers life lessons that help people deal with their failures, their relationships and even their leadership skills.
Michael Reagan writes in his newest book that his relationship with his famous father was not easy, as the elder Reagan "didn’t do the things with me that other kids got to do," he writes. "He never took me to a baseball game, a football game, or Disneyland."
However, Reagan did share stories and lessons with his children, including strict lessons on finances. He recalled that at age 9, he was rebuffed for a raise in his allowance unless his father, who was still an actor, got a tax cut.
It may have been the first time "Reaganomics" was implemented, but Dad lived up to his promise. When Michael turned 10 the elder Reagan gave his son the allowance raise.
His father was not a perfect man, Reagan says, and so like most people he has had to learn the importance of forgiving.
"I think a lot of us make the mistake of not learning while our parents are with us sometimes, and we don’t see the positive side because you’re living in that moment," he said.
"Lessons My Father Taught Me," organized into several life lessons on family, marriage, and more, also shows how the late president was open to negotiations with members of both parties, and how he avoided insulting politicians who had different views.
"If we want to win on the Republican side, we’ve got to be more likable and relatable," Reagan told the paper.
Reagan endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the nomination, but Tuesday afternoon, when Donald Trump was on the way to winning in Indiana, the president's son mourned the party's changes on Twitter, tweeting: "The Republican Party is no longer the Party of Reagan." It is "now the Party of Trump."
And, he maintains, Trump has violated his father's "11th commandment" not to speak on a personal level ill of any fellow Republican.
In his new book, Reagan also said that today's politicians lack the common sense his father had, and annually vote for "bigger and bigger deficits.
"I guarantee my father, were he president today, would wage all-out war against this fiscal madness."
Reagan said he struggled as a child of two celebrities. His mother is the actress Jane Wyman, and until 1964, his mother was the more famous of the two.
That year, Ronald Reagan gave the speech "A Time for Choosing" to support Barry Goldwater's campaign, and gained national attention in politics rather than on the sound stage.
Reagan points out, though, that he has been far more than just the son of one of the nation's most popular presidents. He's written seven books and holds five world records in powerboat racing.
Over the past 10 years he has also operated the Ronald Reagan Legacy Foundation, which supports his father’s legacy. Reagan also serves a contributor to Newsmax.
Get your copy of Michael Reagan’s revealing new book "Lessons My Father Taught Me
" at bookstores everywhere or go online to Amazon
or Barnes and Noble.
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