Entries in Ronald Reagan (18)


Palin: Big Gov't, Overspending Has US On 'Road to National Ruin'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) -- Sarah Palin said Friday night that the U.S. has veered too far from the values of President Ronald Reagan and warned that government overspending will lead to “decline and defeat.”

Speaking at an event to celebrate Reagan’s 100th birthday, Palin launched a broad attack on big government and increased federal spending.

“This is not the road to national greatness, it is the road to national ruin,” Palin said at the event sponsored by the conservative Young Americas Foundation in Santa Barbara, Calif. “American exceptionalism is not exceptionally big government.”

Instead, the former Alaska governor urged Americans to “reconnect” with the principles of limited government promoted by Reagan. “Those values will lead us back to prosperity,” she said.

“Unlike others, Reagan seemed to be able to look out over the horizon and see what unsound policies, policies of big government expansionism…where that would ultimately end, and that was in decline and defeat,” she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ronald Reagan's 100th Birthday to Be Celebrated Nationwide

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Friends and admirers of Ronald Reagan will pop the cork this weekend for elaborate festivities around the country to commemorate what would have been the former president's 100th birthday.

Reagan, who died in 2004 at age 93, will be celebrated from Simi Valley, California, where hundreds are expected at a celebrity-packed tribute concert featuring the Beach Boys, to Dixon, Illinois., where neighbors will gather near Reagan's boyhood home for a celebratory gala.

At the Super Bowl in Dallas on Sunday -- Reagan's actual birthday -- a two-minute film tribute will air on giant jumbotrons before tens of thousands of fans.

Earlier in the day, Nancy Reagan is expected to lay a wreath at her late husband's gravesite, as F-18s launched from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan fly overhead and the military performs a 21-gun salute.

The tributes, ranging from the formal to the quirky, have been coordinated by the Ronald Reagan Foundation and the Reagan Centennial Commission, a panel formed for the anniversary by Congress in 2009 with President Obama's approval.

Perhaps the most coloful display for Reagan's birthday will be a giant six-foot-by-six-foot birthday cake that will be served to visitors at the newly renovated Reagan museum in California.  It's topped with 20,000 jelly beans -- the president's favorite candy -- and emblazoned with the presidential seal and photos from his life.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Is Obama Another Reagan?

Photo Courtesy - White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- While no time in history can be genuinely replicated, those who cover politics are always eager to compare the current President with his predecessors.

For President Obama, the comparisons with Ronald Reagan are often easy to make.  Both saw huge spikes in unemployment and lingering economic uncertainty during the first two years of their tenures. Both suffered significant Congressional losses in their first mid-term elections.  And, Democrats are confident that if the economic picture improves over the next two years, as it did for Reagan in late 1983 and 1984, Obama will have an easy path to re-election.

But, when you compare Obama’s most recent job approval ratings with where Reagan’s were at this same point in his presidency,  you would think that they had absolutely nothing in common. According to the most recent polling taken by ABC News/ Washington Post, President Obama’s job approval rating is 54 percent. At this point in 1983, according to Gallup poll data, Reagan’s approval rating was a dismal 37 percent.

The unemployment rate in January of 1983 was a full point higher than it is today -- 10.4 percent, compared to 9.4 percent. But, that alone doesn’t make up for the difference in the approval ratings of these two recession-era presidents.

The big difference: Obama is doing much better with Democrats than Reagan did with Republicans.  According to the most recent Gallup data, President Obama’s approval rating among Democrats is 83 percent. At this point in 1983 (January 14-17), just 68 percent of Republicans approved of the job Reagan was doing. Among independent voters, the gap is not nearly as pronounced.  Forty-six percent of independent voters approve of the job Obama is doing, while 42 percent approved of Reagan.

But, over the next few months, Reagan’s support from Republicans started to steadily climb. By mid-February, 79 percent of Republicans approved of the job Reagan was doing. And, by October of 1984, Reagan’s approval rating among Republicans was up to 84 percent -- among independents, it was at 62 percent. Unemployment in October of 1984 had also fallen three full points to 7.4 percent.

However, it’s not clear that President Obama will enjoy such robust job growth. In Congressional testimony earlier this month, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, said it may take four or five years for the labor market to “normalize fully.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nancy Reagan 'Loved' Ron Reagan's Book; Is 'Proud' of Him

Photo Courtesy - The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library(NEW YORK) -- Despite the family feud that has unfolded over the past few days between Ron Reagan and his half-brother, Michael, Nancy Reagan said she is very proud of her son for writing his new book My Father at 100.

“She was worried about me. She said ‘Are you alright?’ I said ‘Yeah mom, I’m fine... but they are going to ask me what you think of the book. So what should I say to them,’” Ron Reagan told ABC News. “And she said, ‘You tell them that I’ve read it, I loved it, it made me cry and I’m very proud of you.’”

In Reagan’s book, he notes moments during his father’s presidency which he found troubling and said could have been early signs of Alzheimer’s, such as during one of the 1984 presidential debates with Walter Mondale or when his father could not remember the name of canyons he knew well in California.

Michael Reagan, Ronald Reagan’s son from a previous marriage, took issue with these charges and tweeted "My brother seems to want [to] sell out his father to sell books” and “My brother was an embarrassment to his father when he was alive. And today he became an embarrassment to his mother."

Ron Reagan said he didn’t want to get into public “intra-familial squabbles,” but he called Michael’s comments “a little strange” and said there is confusion “between Alzheimer’s the disease and dementia, which is a symptom of Alzheimer’s and shows up in the later stages.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Reagan Brothers Clash Over Alzheimer's Allegations 

Photo Courtesy - Joe Kohen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A memoir by a former president's son has touched off a family quarrel of words.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, President Ronald Reagan's son, Ron Reagan, said he saw early signs of Alzheimer's disease while his father was still in office.

Ron Reagan recounts the signs in his new book, My Father at 100: A Memoir. His half-brother, conservative commentator Michael Reagan, has fired back on the allegations, calling Ron an "embarrassment" to his parents.

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Michael Reagan accused Ron of trying to "sell out his father to sell books."

Michael Reagan added, "my brother was an embarrassment to his father when he was alive and today he became an embarrassment to his mother."

"There was just something that was off. I couldn't quite put my finger on it," Ron Reagan told 20/20's Elizabeth Vargas.

Ron Reagan said it bothered him when he saw his father making phone calls and reading note cards like "he had prompts."

"These seemed like conversations that wouldn't really require that," he said.

Ron Reagan said he was troubled by one of the president's 1984 debate performances and was concerned enough to spend a day shadowing his dad at work.

"It wasn't like oh my God he doesn't remember he's president...You know, it was just -- I had an inkling something was going on," he said.

Ron also writes in his book, "I've seen no evidence that my father (or anyone else) was aware of his medical condition while he was in office. Had the diagnosis been made in, say, 1987, would he have stepped down? I believe he would have."

The former president was diagnosed with Alzheimer's six years after leaving office. He died on June 5, 2004.

He wrote an eloquent letter to the nation, saying: "I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience..."

His wife, Nancy Reagan, said goodbye to him seven years ago.

"We've learned of the terrible pain and loneliness that must be endured as each day brings another reminder of this very long goodbye," Nancy Reagan said in 2005. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ron Reagan Jr. Concerned Over Dad’s Mental State in First Term

Photo Courtesy - Joe Kohen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former President Ronald Reagan -- who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years after leaving the presidency – elicited “shivers of concern” about his mental state as early as 1984, during his first term in office, according to a new book by his son, Ron Jr.

In his forthcoming memoir, My Father at 100, Ronald Reagan Jr. writes that he grew concerned that something was wrong with his father “beyond mellowing” in the early 1980s.

He goes on to say that -- given what science has learned about when symptoms of Alzheimer’s arise -- the question of whether he was suffering from the disease while in office “more or less answers itself.”

“Three years into his first term as president, I felt the first shivers of concern that something beyond mellowing was affecting my father,” Reagan Jr. writes, according to an excerpt in the new issue of Parade magazine.

“I don’t want to give the impression that my father was mumbling incoherently during this or any period. But by the time he turned 76, he had survived a near-fatal shooting and surgery for colon cancer. As old men will, he’d learned to conserve his energy for crucial moments,” he continues.

Reagan also writes that he believes his father would have resigned the presidency had he been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s while in office:

“Had the diagnosis been made in, say, 1987, would he have stepped down? I believe he would have,” he writes. “Today we are aware that the changes associated with Alzheimer’s can be in evidence years, even decades, before identifiable symptoms arise. The question, then, of whether my father suffered from the beginning stages of the disease while in office more or less answers itself.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Christine O'Donnell: I Would Vote for Hillary Clinton

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Former Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell wants Hillary Clinton to challenge President Obama -- and she's willing to help.

“I would love to see her take out Obama in the primary. You know, I would even be tempted to change my registration so that I could vote for her in the Democratic primary,” she told ABC News.

O’Donnell praised Clinton via Twitter Monday for her handling of the WikiLeaks release.

“You Go Girl!!” she wrote. “She’s no Reagan yet her verbal lashing against wikileak is tough- watch out Obama!”

So is O’Donnell pushing a Clinton candidacy because she thinks Clinton would be easier to beat in the general election?

“No. It’s because right now I think that anybody is better than Obama,” O’Donnell said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Reminds McCain of Ronald Reagan

Photo Courtesy - ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Arizona Sen. John McCain compared Sarah Palin to Ronald Reagan on Sunday and said he was “proud” of his 2008 running mate.

“I think she's doing a great job.  I think she has motivated our base.  I think she had a positive impact on the last election, and I'm proud of her,” McCain told CNN.

Asked if he thought Palin was a “divisive force” the senator laughed and said, “I think that anybody who has the visibility that Sarah has is obviously going to have some divisiveness.  I remember that a guy named Ronald Reagan used to be viewed by some as divisive.”

Rumors that Palin may run for president in 2012 have intensified in recent weeks.  The former Alaska governor is currently starring in her own reality show and is on a nine-state tour to promote her new book.

McCain recommended that Palin keep her options open when it comes to a possible run for the White House. “I think she's keeping her options open, and I think she should.  I think she is an incredible force in the American political arena,” he said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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