What Today’s Conservatives Get Wrong About Ronald Reagan, According to His Speechwriter

What Today’s Conservatives Get Wrong About Ronald Reagan, According to His Speechwriter

A former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan says today’s conservatives have much to learn from the 40th president.

Peter Robinson addressed what he sees as misconceptions about Reagan’s leadership in an interview with Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts—beginning with the claim that Reagan supposedly supported open borders. 

Robinson recounted young conservatives as saying, “‘Well, Ronald Reagan signed an amnesty for illegal aliens. He’d be on [President] Joe Biden’s side on the border.’” But he called that “nonsense,” pointing to strict enforcement provisions against illegal border crossers in the 1986 amnesty bill Reagan signed into law. 

On Reagan’s reputation for soft-spokenness, Robinson noted how that differs markedly from his historic “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech near Soviet-occupied East Berlin in 1987, which he helped draft for the president, referring to then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Robinson recalled that “the State Department and the National Security Council wanted that line out of the speech because it was ‘too provocative.’” 

“That guy [Reagan] had the steel to stand up to the entire foreign policy apparatus of the United States and say, ‘No, I’m calling on him to tear down the wall,’” Robinson told Roberts on “The Kevin Roberts Show” podcast.  

“There was a toughness, even an aggressiveness about that man,” added Robinson, a Murdoch Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution. 

However, Robinson emphasized that conservatives face “a new moment” in history and “don’t have as much time” as Reagan had to turn America in the right direction. 

Watch the full episode of “The Kevin Roberts Show” to hear Reagan’s close ally discuss the 40th president’s enduring legacy: 

Original source

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.