Ronald Reagan’s eldest son Mike Reagan has issued a statement lambasting Mitt Romney and his supporters for claims that Romney’s Republican presidential rival Newt Gingrich was a strong critic of President Reagan.
Mike Reagan says such claims are false.
Even Rush Limbaugh, shocked by the Romney claims, chimed on his Thursday radio broadcast to say, “This is obviously a coordinated attack to take Newt out here in Florida.”
Rush slammed the Romney-backed smear campaign against Newt.
“That kind of stuff is why people hate Romney so much,” Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh added that Newt has always been a conservative from his early days in national talk radio in the 1980s.
“He was perhaps the premier defender of Ronald Reagan,” Limbaugh said.
On Thursday, Mike Reagan, a respected conservative commentator, responded to the Gingrich critics with this statement to Newsmax:
“I am deeply disturbed that supporters of Mitt Romney are claiming that Newt Gingrich is not a true Reaganite and are even claiming that Newt was a strong critic of my father.
“Recently I endorsed Newt Gingrich for president because I believe that Newt is the only Republican candidate who has both consistently backed the conservative policies that my father championed and the only Republican that will continue to implement his vision.
“It surprises me that Mitt Romney and his supporters would raise this issue – when Mitt by his own admission voted for Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale who opposed my father, and later supported liberal Democrat Paul Tsongas for president.
“As governor of Massachusetts, Romney’s achievement was the most socialistic healthcare plan in the nation up until that time.
“Say what you want about Newt Gingrich but when he was speaker of the House he surrounded himself with Reagan conservatives and implemented a Ronald Reagan program of low taxes and restrained federal spending.
“Newt’s conservative program created a huge economic boom and balanced the budget for the first time in more than a generation.”
Mike Reagan concluded: “I would take Newt Gingrich’s record any day over Mitt Romney’s.”
And Nancy Reagan, Reagan’s wife, has stressed Gingrich’s close relationship with her late husband.
In a 1995 speech at a dinner honoring Ronald Reagan, Nancy said: “The dramatic movement of 1995 is an outgrowth of a much earlier crusade that goes back half a century. Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.”