LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Mike Pence sees a lot of Ronald Reagan in Donald Trump.
The Republican vice presidential nominee on Thursday depicted the billionaire businessman as a fitting heir to the Reagan legacy with an agenda that in many ways reflects the ideas and inspiration of Reagan’s White House era.
Speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Pence heard a bit of laughter from the crowd when he acknowledged the 40th president and the man who wants to become the 45th have different styles.
For starters, one was a Hollywood actor who grew up in the Midwest, he explained, the other is a real estate tycoon from New York. But he went on to argue there is much more that unites them, and noted that 2016 presents many of the same challenges that existed in 1980, the year Reagan ousted Democrat Jimmy Carter, including a struggling economy and trouble abroad.
Taxes? Trump, like Reagan before him, wants to cut them, Pence said.
Trump wants to strengthen the military, again like Reagan.
And they have identical positions on the necessity of appointing conservatives to the Supreme Court, he added.
“Ronald Reagan spoke the truth to the American people, just like Donald Trump has,” Pence said.
“Like my running mate, I’d say first and foremost Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. And he had the courage and the convictions to know what he was for and know what he was prepared to fight against,” Pence added.
Trump is not known to pepper his speeches with Reagan quotes and references, but Pence argued they share a political kinship. Background and style differences aside, they are “united in a boundless faith in the American people,” he said.
Some Trump supporters embrace what they also see as similarities between Trump and Reagan.
Lois Glab of Camarillo said Trump’s “candor and courage” make him similar to Reagan.
Not everyone agrees with the comparison, however.
“No,” Alhambra resident John O’Neill said. “Becasue Ronald Regan had some basic conservative principles and ideals he lived by. Donald, I’m not really sure where he is on certain things.”
And Ronald Reagan’s three living children — Michael Reagan, Ron Reagan and Patti Davis, have all publicly criticized Trump.
“My father would be humiliated and embarrased at what has happened to his party … that they have nominated someone like Donald Trump,” Ron Reagan said in an appearance on MSNBC.
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