Michael Reagan offered some advice at the CPAC banquet named in his father Ronald Reagan’s honor to the current president: Know when to shut up.
Radio talk show host David Webb asked Reagan during the Friday night event in Washington, D.C. one of the most common questions he gets: Can President Donald Trump or any candidate who ran in 2016 rightly claim the mantle of his father?
“I would go back to 1980,” Reagan responded. “We weren’t looking for Thomas Jefferson. We weren’t looking for George Washington. We were looking for a leader.”
“In some ways it does a disservice to people to always try and put them up against my father because they’ll pale in comparison,” he added.
“I think when they do this to Donald Trump it takes away from what Donald Trump may in fact accomplish as president of the United States,” Reagan argued. “We had our time in the sun and my dad showed us the pathway” at that time.
The former first son went on to observe that the current president needs to learn that sometimes silence is golden.
“My father didn’t feel the need to respond every time someone attacked him,” Reagan said, drawing applause from the CPAC crowd. “He felt he had better things to do rather than spending half the day attacking those who were attacking him.”
Reagan noted when his father was president, the media outlets were far fewer, and they were almost all liberal: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NBC, ABC, and CBS to name some. There was no Fox News and no plethora of conservative websites to counter the liberal narrative.
Nonetheless, President Reagan prevailed because he stayed on message speaking directly to the American people.
Michael Reagan referenced an op-ed he wrote this week —“What Trump Can Learn From Reagan: When to Shut Up” — which he put in the form of a letter to Trump.
“My father was constantly under attack by liberal pundits and Democrats, Mr. President, but I dare you to try to find a single time when he responded to any of them in the media,” he writes.“Throughout his administration, he laughed at his detractors and didn’t take their bait.”
Reagan said in politics, if you are off message, you aren’t advancing your political agenda. Sometimes it is best to “say nothing and quietly do the right thing.”
“Being president is not like a tennis match — you don’t always have to return serve,” he continues. “You don’t always need to respond to what a John McCain says or quickly decry every piece of ‘fake news’ — on Twitter or anywhere else.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017
Reagan told the CPAC audience, “We all know about the news. It’s not news to tell us the news isn’t on our team.”
He suggested Trump stay on his message of talking about tax cuts, repealing Obamacare, strengthening the military.
“Let the left disintegrate itself. You don’t need to help it,” Reagan stated.
As reported by Western Journalism, while Trump did discuss his agenda at CPAC, he also spent a significant portion of his remarks hammering the “fake news.”
“We have to fight the false narratives,” Trump contended.
“Nobody loves the First Amendment better than me. No one uses it more than I do,” the president quipped.
He added, “It gives me the right to criticize fake news and criticize it strongly.”
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