February 11th, 2010
04:50 AM ET
13 years ago

Reagan brothers spar over dad's view of Tea Party movement

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/10/art.reaganbros0210.gi.jpg caption="Brothers Michael Reagan, left, and Ron Reagan, right, are disagreeing about how their father, the former president, would have viewed the Tea Party movement."]
Washington (CNN) - Don't invite the late President Ronald Reagan's two sons over for a tea party, much less a beer.

Well, maybe a beer, kind of like President Obama's "beer summit" last summer at the White House. That might be needed.

The brothers Reagan, Ron and Michael, don't agree on how their dad – often described as the father of the modern day conservatism – would view the Tea Party movement.

Ron, a liberal, told HLN's Joy Behar that he didn't think his father would embrace the Tea Party movement and its activists.

"I think he would be unamused by the TEA partiers with their Hitler signs and all the rest of it," Ron Reagan said in the January 26 interview on CNN's sister network. "No, I don't think he'd be cottoning to that much at all. As much as we're wringing our hands about the Democratic Party though and it's all well that we do that, we have to remember that the alternative, the Republicans are a true train wreck – a train wreck. Look at Sarah Palin. Look at Scott Brown. You know."

Michael fired back at his brother on Wednesday, saying he has a better understanding of their father's political thinking, after all he holds the same conservative views.

"In 1976 and 1980, and throughout his presidency, President Reagan worked tirelessly to build the conservative movement and the Republican Party through the grassroots," Michael Reagan said in a statement. "He knew what it took to build a movement.

"Unlike my brother, I campaigned with and for my father in 1976 and in 1980 – and I feel more qualified to say what he would and would not have supported. He would be applauding the grassroots organization of this country and Sarah Palin for making herself available to elect conservative candidates."

So much for brotherly love.

Filed under: Ronald Reagan • Tea Party movement
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