Not so fast there, Mr. President

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You told some newspapers editors last week that if Ronald Reagan were running for president today “he could not get through the Republican primary.”

I know what you were up to. You were trying to enlist Ronald Reagan in your tireless effort to get the GOP’s presidential candidates to violate their principles. You want them to defect to your side and come out in favor of raising taxes to reduce the record budget deficits you’ve created for our grandchildren with your reckless spending.

You were hoping to make Romney and company look like conservative fanatics who’d never do what my father was forced to do when faced with a growing federal deficit — compromise and propose spending cuts and higher taxes at the same time.

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To some extent, Mr. President, what you said about Ronald Reagan not being able to win his party’s nomination in 2012 is true. It would indeed be almost impossible if he was running only as the former governor of California or as an actor and not on his record as president.

Would the Republican Party of today nominate a union member or the president of an actors union? Would it nominate someone who raised taxes as governor of California? Who signed a no-fault divorce bill? Who signed an abortion bill?

A former Gov. Ronald Reagan would win some primaries in 2012. But it would be a hell of a fight for someone like him to get through today’s Republican nomination process. Based on his record in Sacramento, in 2012 Ronald Reagan would be painted as insufficiently conservative and too willing to compromise with the tax-and-spenders.

But President Obama, you sly dog. You were also trying to make it seem that Ronald Reagan would support your socialist dream for America. That he would support hiking taxes to cover the deficit. That he would even support higher corporate tax rates and more government regulations on business.

That, Mr. President, is absolutely untrue. So is your insinuation that Ronald Reagan would not have supported Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which passed 228-191 while your budget plan was being laughed out of the House by a 419-0 vote.

Ronald Reagan would have been a staunch supporter of the Ryan budget. His plan slows the rates of growth in Social Security and Medicare spending. In upside-down Washington, that’s considered a spending cut. But in the real world it isn’t.

President Obama, I have a suggestion. If you really want to find the cause of your budget problems, don’t blame anti-tax Republicans. Look in the mirror. Then give Harry Reid a call over at the Senate and ask him why he hasn’t put up a budget in 1,000 days.

And, please, don’t try to make people believe Ronald Reagan would support you or any part of your failed plan to return the United States to economic health by higher taxes and more spending. He wouldn’t.

Mr. President, I knew Ronald Reagan. He was not only a friend of mine, he was my father. And trust me, he’d never be a political friend of yours.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation.