When news reached the 2016 GOP candidates yesterday that former First Lady Nancy Reagan had died at the age of 94, the Republican contenders lined up to pay their respects. GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who loves Twitter more than most of us love to breathe, tweeted out:
Nancy Reagan, the wife of a truly great President, was an amazing woman. She will be missed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2016
Ted Cruz remarked:
‘Nancy Reagan will be remembered for her deep passion for this nation and love for her husband, Ronald. The Reagan family is in our prayers.’
Marco Rubio, who is forever trying to link himself with Ronald Reagan, put out a statement in which he said:
‘For conservatives, she has been a powerful living link to her husband’s legacy as one of the greatest modern presidents.’
Even Hillary Clinton, also a former First Lady, felt the need to comment on Mrs. Reagan’s passing:
‘Nancy was an extraordinary woman: a gracious First Lady, proud mother, and devoted wife to President Reagan—her Ronnie. Her strength of character was legendary, particularly when tested by the attempted assassination of the President, and throughout his battle with Alzheimer’s.’
But, despite all the sweetness and light emanating from those seeking to occupy the Oval Office after the election in November, it turns out that Mrs. Regan was not at all pleased with what she had seen of the 2016 race for the White House, telling the legendary broadcaster Larry King that she was “very upset” with the tenor of the current campaign. King told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer:
‘I’ll miss her. I love socializing with her, I love gossiping with her, I love talking with her.
‘If there’s one thing glad about this. She isn’t around to see the end of this political year. Because she was very upset by it.’
No matter what you may think of Ronald Reagan–and many progressives are not the least bit pleased by the bulk of his policies–he was always classy, always in control, and always kind. He never sought to demean an opponent and even considered his chief rival in Washington–House Speaker Tip O’Neill–to be a personal friend. Reagan was a gentleman at all times, and that’s something Cruz, Rubio, and especially Trump, will never be accused of.
How times have changed.
Mrs. Regan gave a great interview to Larry King in 2007. Here’s a portion where she talked about the love of her life, the late President Reagan: