He died eight years ago but former President Ronald Reagan’s presence is everywhere on the 2012 campaign trail as candidates from Rick Santorum to President Barack Obama invoke his name to make the case for their policies or to bash their opponents. Campaign correspondent Andy Sullivan reports. (April 10, 2012)
Ronald Reagan has been out of office since 1989 and he's been dead since 2004 -- he's been all over the campaign trail this year I actually think Ronald Reagan would win handily in a primary he could not get through a Republican primary today. And if you look at polls he's really viewed as the most successful president ever by Americans head of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington people that. So and actually they wanted get a little piece of the magic. Ronald Reagan is viewed as the father of the modern conservative movement which really defines the Republican Party at this point. And he's also really the last truly successful Republican president. He's very popular when he left office. His confrontational foreign policy helped lead the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He cut taxes in the economy and these are all huge things for conservatives Democrats in game two things from talking about Reagan first of all you can pick up some pretty easy bipartisan -- the second thing is that Democrats can use -- into paint Republicans as to part of the right to point out that you know when Reagan was an office he compromised all the time. And one other big goals this ball is to paint Republicans as obstructionist and unreasonable. And willing to sort of drive the country -- the clintons so they think me and help them do that. Ronald Reagan understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control that for him to make a deal he would have to. Proposed both spending cuts and tax increases. For -- sort of complicated though he is a complicated relationship with the Reagan as a Republican front runner he wants to appear presidential and Reagan obviously is sort of the last word presidential for Republicans but when he first ran for office in 1994. Back in Massachusetts. Romney was really trying to distance himself from -- business trying to appeal to more liberal voters. Rick Santorum has been the most flagrant in his Reagan worship he made a pilgrimage to Reagan's hometown in Dixon Illinois. And even made a big speech about foreign policy in -- jelly bean factory. Now this happens to be the jelly bean factory and that -- that particular type of jelly beans that Reagan like when he was president and as santorum's campaign is faltering he's making the argument that you got to stick with me. Even if it makes -- sort of a nasty convention in Tampa and Ogg is because that's -- Reagan did in 1976. And OK well we didn't win that election it set us up nicely for the election to follow. Everybody taught him to get out of race. 1976. Ronald Reagan didn't get out of the race. He was able to stand tall and may. Win the state of Texas which we have every intention of doing. Okay. Obamacare obamacare obamacare obamacare obamacare and by the way. You know what let me tell you I had no problem. With -- saying Obama -- I don't care.