Reagan was for taxing millionaires, says new Dem ad
December 8th, 2011
09:48 AM ET
3 years ago

Reagan was for taxing millionaires, says new Dem ad

(CNN) - An independent group backing President Barack Obama's reelection campaign will hit airwaves Thursday with an ad reminding voters of former Pres. Ronald Reagan's stance on taxes.

The 30-second spot, from the Democratic group Priorities USA, uses a mock newscast to showcase the former Republican president advocating for higher taxes on millionaires.

Reagan is shown saying, "We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. They sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10% of his salary – and that's crazy. Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver?"

An announcer follows up, asking, "Ronald Reagan supported millionaires paying their fair share. Don't you?"

Priorities USA says the ad will run on broadcast TV in Iowa, which kicks off the presidential caucus and primary calendar, and on national cable.

The ad, which the group says is aimed at congressional Republicans, comes as Congress debates the extension of the payroll tax cut, a measure that both sides agree must be enacted, but differ on whether and how to fund it.

In a statement, Priorities USA Senior Strategist Bill Burton, a former Obama White House deputy press secretary, said the Republican stance on taxes was unfair.

"Today's Congressional Republicans insist on bringing our nation to the brink by forcing a tax policy that puts an unfair burden on middle class families when they can least afford it," Burton said.

"Republicans should listen to President Reagan and, as he said, 'close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.'"

The Reagan spot isn't the first time a former president has been used in political advertising this year. In November, the conservative group Crossroads GPS spent over $2 million to run an ad in swing states contrasting Obama's jobs plan to statements from former President Bill Clinton.

That ad played clips of Clinton saying now is not the time to raise taxes and of Obama promoting increased tax rates on higher income earners as part of his jobs plan.

Thursday's ad is the second paid spot from Priorities USA. The group ran an ad last month in Michigan advocating the president's student loan plan.

–CNN's Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report

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Filed under: Ads • Priorities USA • Ronald Reagan • Taxes
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. diridi

    I do not know about this, but this idiot's Trickle down is the root cause of today's collapse, with Iraq war. Period.

    December 8, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. it is sad

    Well duh.. thats the president Reagan we didn't like, the president Reagan we like is the one in the movies. Jeez, you liberals believe everything he said.

    December 8, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. Man DeLorean

    Reagan would be mortally embarrassed at the current crop of GOP candidates and the Tea Party that produced them. And when he finished verbally shredding them in speeches or debates, they'd be embarrassed for themselves.

    December 8, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. stevie

    Last year, in referance to keeping the Bush tax cuts in place, Obama said, in so many words, that it is a bad idea to repeal the Bush tax cuts,and it would cash even more damage to the economy. Simson-Bowles Comission recomended tax cuts across the board. Dems play an ideological game. They couldn`t mage a lemonade stand. Look at the mess they have caused us.

    December 8, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Anonymous

    The poor get poorer and the rich get richer and we the people are loosing because no one cares we cant pay the bills or feed our kids there are know jobs and know help just more taxs for us none for the rich so stop fighting for the rich and fight for the poor please

    December 8, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. CoJo

    BINGO!!!, Truth hurts doesn't it.

    December 8, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Bob

    The right uses Reagan like they use the bible. Only pick out the parts that support your way of thinking and ignore the rest.

    December 8, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Mary

    The poor get poorer and the rich get richer and we the people are loosing because no one cares we cant pay the bills or feed our kids there are know jobs and know help just more taxs for us none for the rich so stop fighting for the rich and fight for the poor please

    December 8, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    The Gipper would not be a republican today if he were still alive. Where are the real republicans? The party has been hijacked by a fringe element within their ranks. Even Reagan knew the ric had to pay their fair share.

    December 8, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. Paqrat137

    The modern Republican leadership would never have supported Reagan. Nixon or even Daddy Bush, and let's not even talk about Eisenhower. Those Republicans still put the US ahead of their party. Maybe their ideas weren't always "correct" but, even as a Democrat, I could respect their patriotism. Too bad it all ended with the Gingrich Revolution in 1995, when Party became more important than Patriotism.

    December 8, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. Ray E. (Georgia)

    So we are still playing the Class Warfare Game. Everybody should pay their fair share. Especially the 47 Percent that are now paying nothing. The Democrats and Liberals want to run the country. They just want the Republicians and Conservatives to pay for it. Are the 1930's getting closer and closer???

    December 8, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  12. doug

    Ronald reagan & his vp both should have recieved the nobel peace prize not the so-called president (who i still call senator) barack obama

    December 8, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Great spot. Too bad that it will not be as effective as the liberals hope. Reagan would never make it today's Republican Party because he would be viewed as too liberal. Reagan's words will be viewed as a lesson on why not to compromise with Democrats, instead of as the solution to the two recessions that Reagan's "trickle down economics" tax cuts caused.

    December 8, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Great ad, great ad!!
    Meanwhile.... 30 states are attempting to pass new Voting Laws that would greatly impact students, Blacks, minorities, and military personnel being able to vote.
    Stop looking at the Perry, Gingrich, Cain and other "shiny things" aimed at distracting you from what's REALLY going on in this country.

    New voting laws, re-districting, changes in how the electoral college votes will be awarded, this is the REAL news.
    Wake up America!!!

    December 8, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Cfrench

    Republicans are very forgetful creatures. They have completely fogotten about all of Reagans tax increases, Iran Contra, Star Wars, and the rest. Reagan is the ONLY reublican president in the last half century that was not a crook or a complete failure. Eisenhower was the last OK republican president. As a result, Reagan is all republicans have to "aspire" to. Reagan was not a great president, he was average at best. And all you teatards out there who will think that I'm some liberal, or whatever, be advised I voted for Ronnie twice. I just happen to have a clear memory of his presidency, unlike the FOX News/Sean Hannity history revisionists.

    December 8, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. king

    dam right reagan wasnt no stupid person. he knew that the rich needed to help with the country's woes. you see when money goes up it seldom comes back down unless it is forced to do so, to circulate it back into the economy. i dont care what these rabid repubs think. rich folks will not invest in our economy until they see demand which will put more money into their pockets. so all you gullible folks can lesson to the repubs cabooki voodoo economics about less taxes to the rich and less deregulations will somehow give the rich, incentives to invest when they dont see customers coming through their doors. the rich love money too much for that crap.

    December 8, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Logic in LA

    I'm sure they could run a lot of Regan's speeches against the GOP. It its not the same party it was in 1980

    December 8, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. rs

    It won't matter. The delusional Republicans have convinced themselves that Americans love the rich; that the rich make jobs; and that all tax cuts (except those for the rich) absolutely MUST be paid for. That, and the fact that Grover Norquist will give them all wedgies if they raise taxes on the rich.

    December 8, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. Al-NY,NY

    Oh boy...the Democrats are using the GOP hero (who would be called a RINO by today's purity test) against them. What will they do??????? The GOP candidates fall over each other trying to attach themselves to this guy while he was NOT the conservative they adorn him as. The new test for the Republicans (anyone reminded of Germany in the 30's?) would put this guy as a traitor to conservative principles and not worthy of consideration. What a crock these hypocrites are

    December 8, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. vet in texas

    Now, Now CNN, you know that the GOP doesn't acknowledge that part of history (nor the amnesty, weapons sales to Iran, and selling drugs to finance what is now the MS-13 gang). Remember, Reagan the great was fooled into doing all those things, along with raising taxes several times because he was such a compassionate conservative (sarcasm).

    December 8, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. Mikey

    The current brand of Ultra-Conservative extremism now makes Ronald Reagan look moderate. LOL Just tells you have wacky the GOTP has become. Will the last sensible person to leave the GOP please turn out the lights.

    December 8, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Four and The Door

    "Today's Congressional Republicans insist on bringing our nation to the brink by forcing a tax policy that puts an unfair burden on middle class families when they can least afford it," Burton said.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    And Democratic Strategist Bill Burton is exactly wrong in how he interprets President Reagan's words. The idea is not to continue to grow government by increasing taxes on the wealthy. It is to reform tax policy. The Republicans are all for that! This is what they offered in the Supercommittee for $400 billion of revenue increases. The current Republican Party is consistent with ideas that Ronald Reagan made work during his Administration. These are exactly opposite from the policies of the Obama Administration. And the Obama Administration results speak for themself. They have not worked.

    December 8, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. unsub

    todays repubs. would kick reagan out of the party!

    December 8, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. Republican who supports President Obama

    Simply FANTASTIC. Stick it – Perfect 10 on digging this up and using it. I want to hear the excuses now from the GOP obstructionists who worship Reagan.

    December 8, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. Lee

    Pass the Cut Cap and Balance Bill the Republicans want. Roll back the Bush Tax cuts that the Democrats want. Both sides get what they think will help America while compromising on what they think will hurt America. This is the only way we will dig ourselves out of the hole we are in.

    December 8, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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