Originally Published: July 27, 2018 6:30 p.m.
If a liberal like Jesse Jackson went on CNN and accused my father of being a “known womanizer” like President Trump, conservatives across America would go off the rails.
They’d defend the reputation of Ronald Reagan to the max and blast Jackson for his false and evil equivalency.
They’d point out that it is totally outrageous to compare the personal lives of President Trump and my father.
Yet look what happened last week when a prominent conservative evangelical pastor from Dallas went on Fox News and called my father a “known womanizer.”
The Rev. Robert Jeffress, who is a Fox contributor, was asked by Ed Henry to respond to another minister who had accused Republican lawmakers of selling their good Christian souls by supporting a serial bed-hopper like Trump.
“You know,” Jeffress responded, “this is not an unusual thing — we’ve been here before. Back in 1980, evangelicals chose to support a twice-married Hollywood actor who was a known womanizer in Hollywood. His name was Ronald Reagan. …
“The reason we supported President Reagan was not because we were supporting womanizing or divorce. We supported his policies.”
When I heard Jeffress say that I blew my top and started angrily tweeting.
The first tweet I fired off to the Southern Baptist minister was pretty blunt and scathing.
My second tweet was: “Dr. Jeffress. How dare you compare my father to Trump.”
Apparently, I was the only conservative Reagan Republican in North America who actually cared that Pastor Jeffress was casually throwing my father under the bus to support his beloved sinner-in-chief.
All I heard from my fellow conservatives in the twittersphere was crickets — and a week later I still do.
What that holy man from Dallas said was absolutely outrageous.
He equated my father — who was divorced from my mother Jane Wyman when he was dating in Hollywood and not yet married to Nancy — to Donald Trump, who was dating Playboy playmates and who knows who else when he was married.
What was more outrageous, however, was that no conservative Republicans or Fox commentators rose up in defense of my father and his reputation.
As I also pointed out in a tweet last week, all those conservative talk show hosts and politicians who keep saying how much they love Ronald Reagan are either lying or have lost their spines and a pair of other things.
I don’t believe those so-called “Reagan conservatives” anymore.
If they wouldn’t stand up and defend my father against a vile and uninformed statement from someone like Jeffress’, there’s no reason to assume they love my father at all.
I don’t care what the president of the United States does in his personal life. I care what he does as president of the United States.
If you want to defend Trump, fine.
But for God’s sake, why would you use my father to make excuses for a president who has cheated on every woman he’s been married to?
To rephrase that famous old line, Rev. Jeffress, “I knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. And Donald Trump ain’t no Ronald Reagan — and vice versa.”
Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is a political consultant and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.