September 22nd, 2010
11:16 AM ET
11 years ago

Reagan-era theme revived for 2010 midterms

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/22/art.cftr.ad.0922.cftr.jpg caption ="The group Citizens for the Republic is out Wednesday with a new ad."]Washington (CNN) - It was 26 years ago when Republicans proclaimed that it was "Morning In America," to promote the nation's economic turnaround under President Ronald Reagan's watch.

Now, a group of loyal aides and associates to the late president are spinning his 1984 election theme into a new, national commercial called "Mourning In America," in an attempt to highlight the country's economic problems under President Obama's watch.

The 60-second ad is being paid for by Citizens for the Republic, a political operation founded by Reagan in 1977 and put back online by Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, policy adviser Peter Hannaford, Republican strategists Craig Shirley and Bill Pascoe, among others, who describe themselves as "Reaganites."

In 1984, "Morning In America" became the theme for Reagan's re-election campaign and it was touted in television commercials highlighting the nation's prosperity. The 2010 commercial has a much different take.

"There's mourning in America," a narrator says. "Today, 15 million men and women won't have the opportunity to go to work."

Later in the ad, the narrator charges that "Under the leadership of President Obama, our country is fading, and weaker, and worse off. His policies were a grand experiment – policies that failed."

A Citizens for the Republic official said the organization is spending $400,000 to run the commercial on Fox News Channel and MSNBC for one week.

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. too bad gotcha politics happened after Reagan

    he did a lot of bad stuff that he just got away with and no one ever pressed him for, the hostage crisis should have been pursued to find out all of the story, Iran Contra should have been pursued to find out how far up it went... this follow though happened in Nixon, we lost our taste for it and regained our taste for it in the 90s and haven't let up... a consequence is that Reagan some how got away with a lot and came out looking the better for it... that is trully criminal

    September 22, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. dano

    Where were these guys when Bush & the GOP were deregulating banks and Wall Street and running up debt from 2000 – 2008?

    September 22, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Terry from west Texas

    Ronald Reagan doubled the national debt from $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion. That was his solitary accomplishment as president.

    If Obama could pump $11 trillion in stimulus spending – thus doubling the national debt – the economy would take off. Unfortunately, we are still paying interest on the money that Reagan borrowed

    – and the $1.5 trillion that Bush Sr. added to the debt
    – and the $5.5 trillion that Bush Jr. added to the debt

    The Reagan presidency began America's long slide from super power to third world nation.

    September 22, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    More trickle down bullcrap! Only thing that trickles down to the middle class from reagans plan is bullcrap! Has not worked before and won't work now.

    September 22, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Alex

    Shame on these Anit-American traitors!

    Reagonomics was the beginning of the end of the middle-class. Do the research! More American's living in poverty now then ever – thank you Ronald Reagan!

    Tax the rich – REDISTRIBUTE the wealth BACK to the middle-class.

    The government needs to invest in the poor, especially in the education of poor children. Get the money from the rich who care more about their little pennies then they do about the future of America!

    September 22, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Dave Harris

    It really will be "Mourning in America" if Republicans are allowed to resume their free-spending, deficit-raising ways. It's because of them that we're in this mess. Does anyone really think they've changed?

    September 22, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. Poser

    It's too bad the wingnuts don't seem to remember that unemployment in Reagan's first term was higher than it is now. The data is available on the US Dept of Labor web site. These folks won't let pesky things like facts get in the way of their 'message'. Sigh.

    September 22, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. stufit

    After the arrogant, demeaning and degrading way hard working American taxpayers have been treated by the Democrat liberal Congress and the corrupt, union toady adminstration, we finally see a ray of light shining in the mid term elections and we are rushing to get through it. Then we can concentrate on dumping the big gloom that was supposed to be hope and change but has been nothing but corruption and deceit.

    September 22, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Sam's yer uncle

    Typical Republican lack of cleverness.

    And do they REALLY want to compare what Obama's done with what Reagan did? Reagan started the economic wreck that we're currently under. Reagan built the terrorist networks that we're now fighting by unwisely trying to use guys like Bin Laden to fight proxy wars with Russia. And Reagan gave arms to our enemies.

    People may not like Obama, but he's got a long way to go before he pulls off anything as despicable as Iran-Contra.

    Anybody who thinks Reagan was a president to emulate must've been too young to have really experienced what life under Reagan was like.

    September 22, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. j

    Poor Republicans !!!! They are forced to go back 20+ years to find a "hero". They are all spreading panic now spewing terms like socialism, redistribution of wealth, etc., and that dreaded "LIBERAL" as if it were a dirty word. Reaganomics begun practicing its own brand of socialism in reverse. The tax structure began shifting toward benefiting the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. ---– Bush was openly "gutting" the middle class with his tax cuts. -–The rich have never been richer and banks/corps are "sitting" on billions $$$$$$ just as in the Great Depression.--- Anyone who had Eco. 101 can logically come to the same conclusion. WAKE UP

    September 22, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Debbie

    Oh for goodness sake Reagan is dead. Why does the GOP continue to live in the past as if the 1980's apply to 2010.

    Reagan did a ton of damage Iran/Contra comes to mind. Or giving amensty to illegals. Or his biggest failure Reaganomics. Top down economics has proven to not work. Morning in America NEVER came.

    September 22, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "Mourning in America"

    Simple. Effective. And oh so true.

    September 22, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Marty, FL

    Today's Republican Party is no President Reagan, not even close. The hard shift to the far right and tea extremes would label Reagan as too liberal or some RINO nonsense. No thanks.

    The isolated GOtP is simply promoting negativity, extreme rollbacks against our Constitution, and now mourning. It fails to recognize even some of the positive direction President Obama has made such as keeping our economy out of a depression, lowering the deficit by 8% in his first budget, tax cuts for 98% of Americans and small businesses, etc.

    September 22, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. Marge

    Don't we all know republicans are nuts. The decline of this country started with Reagan's brand of the economy. President Clinton saved us for a while but the wimpy cowboy got in and pushed us the rest of the way down the well. Now the crazys want to go back to Reagan.

    See I tell you and tell you. Republicans don't know how to govern, they dont know how to run a country, all they know how to do it pillage it for the rich and the corporations.

    September 22, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Hannah

    But it was Reagan who started all this mess 30 years ago. He/they started deregulation that allowed the banks and lending organizations to run away with your money, they tripled the debt, they broke the unions. This was when American workers started to lose ground and it culminated with the last Bush administration. All workers of America must know, Republicans are against you and for the wealthy and the corporations. Don't ever vote for them

    September 22, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. boogs

    So...lets see if I get these former Reagan clowns. The purpose is to blame the current economy on Obama. Seems odd – When one of Obama's economic advisors is a fromer Reagan economic staff member. Second, Reagan raised taxes and set a policy based on a theory of trickle down economics – which failed. and every economist will say it would fail again today, which means the theory is bogus. Has been said, we live in a country of fact free politics.

    September 22, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Eric

    Are you better off now than you were four years ago (when Nancy Pelosi took over the House and Harry Reid took over the Senate, when Dems won control of both houses in 2006)?

    If you can honestly say yes, then you know who to vote for.
    If not, then you know who to vote against.

    September 22, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. slipthalo

    I didn't buy into Reagan back then and certainly don't buy into his ideas today – was even a Republican back in the 70's, 80's up to 2004 to be honest. He wasn't the 'saint' they want to remember him as.

    September 22, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Randall

    How quickly they forget that Reagan raised taxes.

    September 22, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. B

    Reagan was the beginning of the reckless deregulation of everything and the ultimate orgy of Greed in this country!

    No oversight and the attitude that the government is the enemy, as Reagan put it, eliminated responsibility and accountability at all levels.

    Bush did the same thing and it amounts to social Darwinism, the rich and powerful dominate everything as we have seen happening.

    We have lots of historical president for it.

    September 22, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. robertJ

    Are'nt the Republicans great? The state of our nation today is the result of Reagn(omics) and DE REGULATION that allows the rich and corporations to blatantly and openly steal from everyone else. Both Bush's used Reaganomics in their failed admisnistrations which had financial meltdowns which far surpassed Clintons sex scandal – What a joke! Wake up people – Reagonomics is the root cause of where we are today – There has to be regulation because greed drives dishonesty and stupid risk taking. A republican smirk and twisting words doesn't help enything – Raise taxes – rebuild our infratstructure and REGULATE these run away corporations and Wall street! Before it's too late!!!

    September 22, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Danny Cali

    Job is up and in California the company looking for more worker now. So, what's is the Party of "NO" going to say?.

    September 22, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. Randolph Carter (the real one), I'm no expert, but...

    Ronny Rayguns? The guy who raised taxes 4 times to get us out of a recession? The guy who gave amnesty to millions of illegal aliens? The guy who negotiated a nuclear arms reduction treaty with the Soviets? That guy was a socialist! Have a nice day!

    September 22, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. MA

    Ah – how fiscal conservatives would have their world views shattered if they found out about the REAL Reagan. Massive spending increases PLUS increasing taxes (ah, yes, he did and every economist knows this). Not to mention a disgusting social conservative agenda, but conservatives LOVE that.

    September 22, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. AEK

    You know folks, there are actually facts that tell a little different tale of the Reagan administration. Mr. fiscal conservative, get government off the backs of the people, in reality had one of the biggest tax and spend "liberal" agendas in history. But, as we all know, the Republicans are very susceptible to any spin that casts their "heros" in a positive light. Just look at the crap that is being spread about George W and his gang of thieves and liars. Incredible that they are not all in Leavenworth for high crimes.

    September 22, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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